South Africans 'celebrated' Human Rights Day last Thursday (March 21). A UN-mandated holiday, South Africans celebrate the worldwide recognition of human rights on the anniversary of the Sharpville Massacre of 21 March 1960, and quite rightly so.
Unfortunately, Human Rights Day in SA in 2013 is a day for drinking, missing work and avoiding SA president Jacob Zuma's stilted, halting, poorly-delivered and utterly unconvincing speech on 'socio-economic freedom for all'. In South Africa, 'human rights' have come to mean "the rights of the entitled and empowered to loot and pillage a powerless nation in the name of 'victory over apartheid' ".
We have managed to get our human rights all wrong. I wrote a song to that effect a few years ago, and it came out on last year's "Rural" album.
History sadly shows us that protest music cannot change the world, but that shouldn't stop songwriters from at least saying something, should it?