Thuma Mina Exhibition Statement
The late Hugh Masekela released a song in 2007 titled Thuma Mina- Send me. This song detailed the challenges of ordinary South Africans that include violence, illness, poverty and addiction. This has long been the narrative of how the reality of Africans have been viewed, without hope, without a future… However, in the same song he reminds us that each one of us has a part to play in uplifting our nation in freeing ourselves from these circumstances through action and prayer. This speaks to history of activism and spirituality in South Africa right in the midst of political and social disruption. The country has experienced a number of upheavals such as the Marikana Massacre in 2014, Fees Must Fall in 2015-2017 and a change of leadership in South Africa preceding the 2019 elections. All of these issues highlight the discontent of the nation and that something needs to be done by all of us. This year the newly appointed president of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa quoted Masekela in SONA18 sharing the same sentiments: We are at a moment in the history of our nation when the people, through their determination, have started to turn the country around. We can envisage the triumph over poverty, we can see the end of the battle against AIDS. Now is the time to lend a hand. Now is the time for each of us to say ‘send me’. Now is the time for all of us to work together, in honour of Nelson Mandela, to build a new, better South Africa for all.
Students from Peter Clarke Centre will critically engage with their society as they know it through the music of Hugh Masekela, South Africa’s politics and art specifically, the symbolism of Sethembile Msezane’s Public Holiday series. Their artworks that engage with these issues is their experience of South Africa’s democracy; it’s legacy, pitfalls and possible future.