Under the banner of We, The People, a people’s movement of active citizens working for change, Thuma Mina – The People’s Version, led by the Masekela All-Stars – champions the power of personal change and agency, recognising the power each of us has to build a society steeped in human dignity, equality and freedom for all.
About Constitution Hill
Constitution Hill is a living museum that tells the story of the constitution-making process and South Africa’s journey to democracy. The site is a former prison complex that held thousands of ordinary
prisoners – alongside political leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Luthuli, Albertina Sisulu and Winnie Mandela. Constitution Hill bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past. In a way, the history of every South African lives here.
Today, Constitution Hill is home to the country’s Constitutional Court – the custodian of our Constitution – as well as a series of museums, exhibitions, offices, major events, creative hub, community spaces and a park. The space symbolises our country’s transformation from apartheid to democracy.
The Masekela All-Stars
A host of celebrated South African musicians, affectionately dubbed The Masekela All-Stars, collaborated on this noble vision of social cohesion and people’s empowerment. Vocalists include the legendary Abigail Kubeka and Vusi Mahlasela, with a younger generation represented by Thandiswa Mazwai, Zolani Mahola and J'Something. Bra Hugh’s nephew Selema Writes adds a new fresh and fitting rap; a call to South Africans to end gender-based violence.
Graced with the talents of Hugh Masekela’s last touring band, Johan Mthethwa, Fana Zulu, Cameron Ward, Godfrey Mgcina and Leeroy Sauls, a horn section from the Marcus Wyatt-led Bombshelter Beast, arranged by SAMA award winner Zwai Bala and produced by Grammy Award winning South African producer JB Arthur, Thuma Mina – The People’s Version, brings a vibrant, upbeat, can-do twist to Bra Hugh’s original – a burst of Hugh-inspired energy around which to organise, support and empower each other – South Africans facing forward with indomitable spirit and innovation.
The music video includes a host of local heroes who have already heeded the call and selflessly served vulnerable fellow South Africans through the crisis.
We, The People
Rooted in the preamble of our Constitution, Thuma Mina – The People’s Version, is a call to take personal responsibility – to “improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person”, and to stand together as we do it. It is a clarion call to dispel our despondency and disillusionment, and instead stand together and find solutions to the challenges we face. It is time for the people to take the lead.
This call reflects the original intent of Bra Hugh. At the time of its first release, the HIV/Aids pandemic was ravaging the county and the government was in deep denial. This was his call to the people, for the people. The newly added rap lyrics address that other South African pandemic, gender-based violence, as prevalent now as it was then.
In its original release, Thuma Mina was Bra Hugh’s call for the people to take charge of our constitutional values and rights – values he was personally witness to on 10 December 1996, as President Nelson Mandela signed our Constitution into law in Sharpeville – and he sparked the flame to our South African spirit, performing on that stage.
The call then, and the call now, is for the people of South Africa to embrace the values of our Constitution, step up and be the catalyst for a people’s movement that will “start to turn it around”. Sharing resources, healing, building and nurturing a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. It’s time for each and every South African to ask: “If not now, when? And if not us, who?”
I wanna lend a hand. Send me!