Anti-Apartheid Struggle Songs from South Africa

Hugh Masekela’s “Stimela” is a vivid picture of what it was like to be a black man during apartheid. The song is about the black men who were used as cheap labor in the mines of Johannesburg, where they worked long hours for peanuts to mine gold, and other valuable minerals. Masekela told this story of the train that all these men took from different parts of southern Africa. “Stimela” almost teleports you into that steam train­–you can feel the pain in Bra Hugh’s voice, through his poetry you can see the hoards of unhappy men who miss their families, anxious for the drudgery that awaits them.