Khawuleza (Miriam Makeba)
Khawuleza was originally recorded in the 1950's by South African singer Dorothy Masuka. Although Dorothy and Miriam Makeba were competitors in the music market, they became good friends. Miriam sang many of Dorothy's songs throughout her career.
As Miriam explains herself, Khawuleza talks about the police raids that used to happen in colonized South Africa. It took a lot of courage for a black artist to sing a song like this, because it was seen as "political" and an offence against the government.
The song reminds me of her own story, that Miriam tells in her biography: Like many other women, her mother used to "illegally" brew beer at home to make a living. She was caught by the police and sent to jail, together with newly-born Miriam. If Miriam had been old enough at the time, I'm sure she would have shouted:
"Khawuleza! Hurry Mama, please don't let them catch you!"
Honor Miriam's work - download Khawuleza from legal sites only:
Khawuleza! Khawuleza is a South African song. It comes from the townships, locations, reservations, whichever, near the cities of South Africa, where all the black South Africans live. The children shout from the streets as they see police cars coming to raid their homes for one thing or another. They say "Khawuleza Mama!" which simply means "Hurry Mama! Please, please don't let them catch you!"