“This land is your land, this land is my land
From Pretoria, to Robben Island,
From the great Limpopo, to Atlantic waters,
This land is made for you and me.”
That’s my rewrite of the well known folk song, accompanied by an upbeat Trini Lopez version that my husband downloaded to a CD. Although I can dance up a storm, my singing voice is the pits, hence the CD for teaching purposes.
First I met with Ruth and one of the young Home Based Care women, Winnie, to give them the printed words and listen to the tune. They immediately began clapping the beat and moving their feet as we sang our way through. By the third time through they were singing in harmony, and after that they no longer needed the CD. Amazing how much better my voice sounded singing along with them! Then we set a few simple arm and feet movements to the chorus.
The next day we team taught the song to about 30 gogos. Ruth and Winnie explained what the words meant and they all learned the English version. What a glorious sound they made! I couldn’t help but think what a tentative and thin sound a comparable group of Canadian grannies would make as they learned a new song in a foreign language. But of course, it’s cultural – they sing lustily and spontaneously many times a day. What fun!
On World Aids Day, Monday, Dec. 1, I will be going with Sitabogogo to a big rally. Will report back on that experience next.