Here’s what some South African artists make of the country’s politics

To get the pulse of a country journalists usually go for political elites or the “man on the street.” Rarely do they ask artists what they think about politics (and we’re not talking when a question about politics is thrown in at the end of an interview to promote an album, new music, a film or a performance). So I decided to ask a couple of South Africa-based artists about their feelings on the socio-political climate in their country. The context: with Mangaung firmly behind the ANC, South Africa still finds itself having to contend with pressing issues such as the president’s multi-million rand mansion, recent revelations about Helen Zille and Co.’s dealings with the Guptas, and as recently as yesterday, a world-renowned athlete causing an international media stir for a murder he may or may have not intended to commit. The creative community in South Africa has been mostly silent on these socially-pressing matters. While there have been pockets of dissenting voices, the overall outcry over something like Marikana, for instance, has been nothing short of de-spiriting. What do artists make of all this? Here’s a few responses: Continue reading