To the Peace on Earth, a book about discovery through music was launched in Durban at KZNSA Gallery in Bulwer Road on mother’s day May 12th 2019.
Robert Trunz world renowned speaker entrepreneur is at the centre of the story as between 1995-2005 he recorded the music of the freedom era of South Africa. It was a surprise when he arrived for the Durban launch on May 12 2019. He had flown to Johannesburg for the launch that took place there on April 25th but had not attended. He rather sent a message, “I hate these kinds of gatherings.” Which he confirmed when he took the microphone.
But now in Durban he had a different energy. He carried in his hand a letter that Ananda (the late spiritualistic mystic of this book) had written out. It was about kakka pippi Robert said.
The event was headlined by Madala Kunene who performed solo guitar in the first set and then in the second set was joined by his collaborator the saxophonist Sithembiso Ntuli.
During the interval the author spoke briefly of the power of music education and music gatherings to give purpose and sense of direction to the seeker. Sifiso Ntuli from Roving Bantu Kitchen made the visit to Durban and delivered a few words.
As a legendary Johannesburg “cultural agitator” what would Ntuli make of Durban? Durban is culturally difficult. There is a common saying, “Live music in Durban is dying.”
The first words Sifiso said in his introduction, “If I phone my friends in Johannesburg and tell them that it is a beautiful afternoon in Durban under the trees and Madala is playing for an audience of ten people, they will laugh.”
Madala Kunene had played a delightful set solo! Even Robert who had recorded and heard Madala all over the world in so many different bands, quipped that Madala played music he had never heard before.
8 hours of transcribed interviews with Robert Trunz made up the backbone to the book, To the Peace on Earth. Robert said he really loves to hear Madala play solo.
When I invited Robert to share the texts by Ananda he had brought, bouyed by the cheers of the author’s brother, he reluctantly came to stage.
He said, “Yes, Ananda did change you for the better!” looking directly at the author. “And he changed a lot of people,” he continued turning towards the audience.
“But what I want to say,” he continued, “There aren’t enough venues. There aren’t enough people to come to listen to live music, because live music is energy. It is then when the spirit comes in. It is then when everything happens. And there were fantastic bands that I was able to work with like bands from Amampondo in the Cape, and when you see 10 -12 percussionists on stage and it gets to the point when everything kicks in and goes off, it is no more making music it is just the spirit that comes in. And it moves people, not only here but it moves people everywhere in the world.”
The Durban visit was nothing less than a mission of cultural agitation. We were buoyed by the presence of a reasonable audience of about 35 people including real luminaries of arts and culture in Durban.
Thank you to Robert Trunz, Madala Kunene, Sifiso Ntuli, Sinothi Malunga, Mikhail and Sanabelle, Philani Duma, Tate Mahlangu, Eben Otto, Marianne Meyer, George Thawn, Linda Turner, Tessa and Angus Douglas, Angela Shaw and Sinothi Malunga.
Malunga is part of the eThekwini jazz appreciation society. eThekwini is what Shaka Zulu called the port of Durban to describe how it is shaped like one ball (or testicle). eThekwini Jazz Appreciation Society have a venue called Jazz Expressions.
Curiocity Backpackers downtown Durban offered Ntuli awesome accommodation for the duration of his stay. When meeting the manager Megan Nortjie he quipped, “We should make T-shirts, “Come have a ball in Durban!””
The music of the freedom era in South Africa was made possible by a unique Swiss / South African inter-relationship. The book traces the story of the compassionate and mutually beneficial donation of Robert Trunz to creating Melt2000 records.
The launch event in Durban showcased the dire need for cultural intervention in the city. Vast and expensive developments such as Ushaka and the beachfront lie fallow whilst cultural centres are caught in the battle for power.
According to Mr Ntuli September 24th is King Shaka Day. He believes it was a political decision to re-brand this date as cultural heritage day and a grave mistake. As he explained, when he was in exile the people of North America called the South African’s ‘Mandela’s children.’ He said, “King Shaka is a name that the unborn children of South Africa will eat from.”
Images beneath Robert Trunz, Madala Kunene, Sifiso Ntuli, Sinothi Malunga & Struan Douglas:
TO THE PEACE ON EARTH
MAY 12 2019 KZNSA
Celebration of Music of the Freedom Era : Live music literature and film event
The Durban launch of To the Peace on Earth will take place on May 12th at KZNSA in Bulwer Road Glenwood and feature a live performance by Madala Kunene and Bafo’s.
The book is set in the post apartheid era and is released under a multi-media theme of 25 years of democracy. Durban is a breeding ground for so much culture of SA. And the people of Durban are invited to celebrate with us in a magical afternoon of music and celebration.
Programme of the KZNSA Launch MAY 12 2019:
3:30 – 4:30 PM Madala Kunene performing live set one:
4:30 – 500 PM The launch will take the form of a 30 minute discussion between Sifiso Ntuli of the Roving Bantu Kitchen in Brixton Johannesburg and Struan Douglas author of To the Peace on Earth on the power and transformation of the music of the freedom era in the late 90s in South Africa.
5:00 – 6:00 PM Madala Kunene performing live set two:
In Johannesburg the book launch supported the Moses Taiwa Molelekwa Arts Foundation whose founder and director the father of Moses, Jerry Molelekwa who spoke at the Johannesburg book launch of the importance of scoring Moses’s compositions for performance across all genres be it jazz or choral music.
To the Peace on Earth the new book featuring the life and death of Moses Molelekwa and many musicians of the freedom era was launched in Johannesburg at the Roving Bantu Kitchen on April 25th 2019: The event was a success and documented by the Jazzuary FM team: For more info: https://tothepeaceonearth.wordpress.com
Please find the Preview Interview for the book on Jazzuary FM to learn a little more about the book : https://iono.fm/e/681159
Please find a book review by Carol Martin here : http://www.alljazzradio.co.za/2018/09/01/struan-douglas-journeys-with-ubuntu-healing-through-music/
ABOUT MADALA KUNENE (From the book story of SA Jazz Volume One)
Madala Kunene is a Zulu guitarist playing his own style of music Madalaline. It is based on melody and traditional composition. Madala is often given the title ‘King of Zulu guitar’, however his music expands far beyond the traditional maskanda. His music is of universal appeal. It has a jazz influence, a reggae influence and many other influences.
Madala Kunene was born in 1951 in Cato Manor. He refused to spend so much as a day at school. He started busking on Durban’s beachfront at the age of 7, making his first guitar out of a cooking oil tin and fish gut for the strings, soon becoming a popular performer in the townships. He said: “It was my ancestors that didn’t want me to go to school. They gave me a talent so that instead of school, I played my music”.
Madala grew up in uMkhumbane, the cultural hotspot of the 50s. He grew up, amongst a plethora of other musicians. Musically this influence would have brought a massive variety of sights and sounds to him as a young child. Madala began paving his own path and creating his own unique sound from the word go. This is what he today calls Madalaline. He wanted to touch the world with his music. By the age of 7 he was playing a homemade guitar and about to begin a lifelong career as a musician. He began busking on Durban’s beachfront in the late 50s. Durban was at its most pristine.
It was a Cuba of that era with the sea running right up to the rocks that neighboured the roads. Durban beachfront was a multi coloured array of people and cultures trading and enjoying the lovely cool spray from the warm Indian Ocean as they walked the promenades, taking rickshaws, perusing bead craft and listening to the young buskers that Madala joined. To this day there is a tradition of busking on the beachfront. Madala and his great friend, Syd Kitchen shared an amazing history and lived experience that would eventually lead to an extended collaboration. The two Bafo’s (friends) performed and recorded together as Bafo Bafo. Unfortunately Syd Kitchen passed away shortly after he was married for the first time. He was in his fifties! “Death is life lived halfway!” explained photographer Peter McKenzie when we heard the news. At some point of both these musicians careers, they made their daily bread from busking on Durban’s beachfront. That takes incredible faith. But they did it. Madala’s music continues to tell his amazing story of the life of a true blue Zulu Gypsy musician, like Manu Chau. Madala can be recognised in performance throughout the world through his multi coloured and typically African attire. Madala was recorded extensively by Melt2000.
When record producer Robert Trunz arrived in Africa from England (and the Swiss Alps before that) he found an incredibly new world. He changed radically. He became a multi coloured man with an African understanding of spirituality and a flare for bright coloured dress. Madala gave Robert many great recordings and Robert gave Madala a house in Queensborough not far from where he grew up and where he lives to this day. This was a defining moment of Madala’s career for it was during these years that he formed a distinctive international presentation of his music that fits under the definition Madalaline.
Sometimes it may only be two chords, but it is the music of Madala, what he has been playing from his very first days as a musician. Madala is a Zulu word for old man, an indication of the wisdom of this man, more than the age because Madala has a youthful exuberance and a childlike humour. He is able to make one laugh and smile regardless of one’s age.
Madala Kunene’s book and film idea centres around Umkhumbane in 1959. As a 12 year old, Madala became acquainted with the father of bass player Marius, Mr Botha a strapping man working at the time for Durban Municipality. In 1959 Kunene and Botha were on the opposite sides of an emotional and tragic forced removal from Umkhumbane. Today they are good friends:
ABOUT SIFISO NTULI
Sifiso Ntuli was born in Kwa Zulu Natal and lived in Johannesburg. During the anti-apartheid struggle was a member of the ANC and went into exile in Swaziland, Tanzania and Canada where he studied electrical engineering and also got involved with the Native American struggle.
For Ntuli, culture was always a primary outlet for creating change. He made the radio documentary,‘Umzabalazo, the songs of struggle,’ which was later transferred to ‘Amandla: A revolution in four part harmony,’ a successful documentary film, in which he acted as narrator.
In 1994 as a returning exile, Ntuli began to work closely with culture to create the conditions to sustain freedom and build on the concept of African Renaissance.
Ntuli’s Pan African and reggae music promotion concept ‘Dark City Jive’ at the Tandoor venue in Yeoville started a reggae tradition there that continues to this day. He was co- founder of the Politburo digital and live music sessions. The House of Nsako music venue in Brixton initiated many artists of the era including Blk Jks, The Soil, Tidal Waves and Bongeziwe Mabandla.
Ntuli together with Ashley Herron founded Roving Bantu Kitchen in Brixton. It was once a strategic high point of Johannesburg. It is now a multi-cultural neighbourhood in transition.
ABOUT STRUAN DOUGLAS
Struan Douglas was born in Umhlanga Rocks Kwa Zulu Natal to Tessa and Robert Douglas in 1976. His early years were dedicated to sport. A near death experience in 1988 shifted his interests from sports to humanities. After graduating from UCT (University of Cape Town South Africa) with honours in religion and philosophy, he worked as a freelance journalist specialising in South African jazz and African music. He created the recording archives Archive Africa, Wondergigs and Goema Captains of Cape Town. The website afribeat.com was launched in 2000 and is a content portal helping people tell their stories.
He has authored, edited and published books including; Shadows of Justice, Airborne to Africa, The New South Africa and the friends around her, and The Story of SA Jazz, Volume’s 1 – 3:
ABOUT TO THE PEACE ON EARTH
To the Peace on Earth explores the authors search for meaning after the tragic double double suicide of Moses Molelekwa and his wife, and then Moses Khumalo.
It is written through the lens of South Africa’s freedom march documented by Melt2000 records, and the enormous and multi beneficial investment into music by Swiss speaker entrepreneur Robert Trunz.
“Melt2000 projects harnessed and promoted energy and a spirit of activism and thoughtfulness. It was never in an overt political social way, it was simply in the spirit of doing, creating and making magic. It became the documentation heritage of post-apartheid music. People were coming together and ﬁnding their truth beyond race. ”Extract
The cultural identity of that post-apartheid South Africa era is an awareness of social cohesion and multi-cultural harmony, such as unity in diversity, uBuntu and xe xarra xe are all described in the book.
To the Peace on Earth is a story of many musicians and masters that help create healing.
The urgency to release this book was inspired by a Winston Mankunku quote which will be published in the Story of SA Jazz Volume 2 later in the year. Mankunku said “If I can stop one person from killing I have done my job.”
The book has been constantly written over the last four years and has enjoyed wonderful contributions from the cultural family of Melt2000, Trunz, Lianne Cox and the late Ananda Masset who the book is dedicated to.
Carol Muller confirms the healing spirit of the book. She writes: “This book touches the unavoidable real by opening our minds to what constitutes the ‘void’, from entering disorientation that can manipulate the mind, to experiencing the beauties of Ubuntu love and respect found on the African continent. Douglas uses the metaphorical ‘fifth’ to explain: “As the fifth in music harmonically divides the octave, so the fifth dimension in Spiritual terms co-creates.”
To the Peace on Earth is targeted at people between the age of 18 and 35. As much as the book deals with the “27 suicide club” it focuses on the causes of suicide offering a full university for overcoming it.
“Every suicide particularly in that vulnerable age group of 18 to 35 in the music industry specifically is not necessary. I don’t think suicide is necessary. In Australia they have brought an awareness of the risks of suicide into their governance and guidelines. Everything from drug addiction to relationships, emotional problems, fatigue – all these things can impact and cause someone to lose their life way too young.” Struan Douglas Jazzuary FM
To the Peace on Earth aims to bring peace internally to those on the journey of life.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
072 956 8134
To the Peace on Earth launch edition books will be sold at R200 for soft cover. A limited hard cover edition is available for R350