South Africa: Pilato - a Raptivist Who Believes in the Power of Music


Fumba Chama is a Zambian-born rapper who goes by the name PiLAto. The lyrical wordsmith has used his music to question the unfulfilled promises made by politicians. PiLAto attended Amnesty International's global assembly in August. Maverick Citizen sat down with him to discuss his music and activism.

MC: The name PiLAto is an acronym, what is that about?

A: Yes, PiLAto is an acronym standing for: Peoples in lyrical arena taking over. So, that in itself denotes responsibility for creative people to take charge and responsibility. Instead of just watching things play out, can we add creativity to the issues that affect the people, can we play a role in ensuring that we have a society that works for all?

MC: Who is your musical inspiration?

A: Fela Kuti, Kanye West. A lot of people. Someone taught me when I was young that you don't need one inspiration, you need a lot of them for you to create your own mind. So, if you pick one you become a clone. You pick two you get confused 'cause they may not always agree, so pick a lot of them and then you create your own mind.

MC: You use your music...

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