Fahamu (Oxford)

22 December 2011

South Africa - 'Yes We Know It's Christmas'

A group of South African musicians has recorded a response to Bob Geldof's 1984 song. Proceeds from the new single will go towards teaching discipline, literacy and contraception at British schools.

After 28 years of silently tolerating it, a group of unemployed local musicians have joined forces to release a Christmas single, entitled 'Yes we do,' in response to the Bob Geldof inspired Band Aid song, 'Do they know it's Christmas?'

Speaking at the launch of their song, the musicians praised Geldof's relentless quest for an answer and said they hoped their collaboration would free the Irishman and his friends to start looking for solutions to new and more important questions.

"Like, Do they know about climate change in America? Or did Kim Jong-il have time to write down the abort codes for the nukes before he died? Or perhaps he can revert to the time-honoured classic - 'Tell me why I don't like Mondays'."

Speaking at the launch of the single, whose proceeds will go towards teaching discipline, literacy and contraception at British schools, composer and singer Boomtown Gundane said that for years he had been irked by Geldof's assumption that hungry Africans were also stupid.

'Or was he just saying that Africans were stupid? Of course we knew it was Christmas.'

He said despite the poverty and hunger that had inspired Geldof and his friends to create the song back in 1984, Africans had developed their own ways to remember Christmas.

'Just because we don't have Boney M or Christmas advertising in September doesn't mean we are oblivious to it,' said Gundane who went on to suggest that Africans were a lot like the Irish.

'They made it through disasters like the potato blight and the invention of the Protestant church without forgetting Christmas - why did they think we would forget it?'

When asked why the ensemble of African musicians, who have called themselves Plaster Cast, had taken so long to come up with a response to the Band Aid song Gundane said it had taken a while for them to realise that it wasn't actually an elaborate joke.

'We kept waiting for them to laugh,' he said, 'But the punch-line never arrived.'

Gundane said he hoped that his involvement with the song would turn him into an expert on British politics and economics in the same way 'Do they know it's Christmas' had turned Geldof and Bono into the world's leading experts on Africa.

'If I'm not sharing a platform with the Queen and David Cameron by this time next year, or headlining at Glastonbury, then I will have done something very wrong,' said Gundane.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2011 Fahamu. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.