Music as a Weapon

In October ’13, a seminar was arranged by the Oslo World Music Festival and the Nobel Peace Center.

…As far as Africa is concerned music cannot be for enjoyment. Music has to be for revolution. Music is the weapon.

Fela Kuti

The questions asked to the panel were based on the following premise : What happens when music festivals become a threat? How do musicians become leading figures in the struggle for peace?

Does living under war or oppression give musicians and cultural organizers a special responsibility in using words and music as peace generating “weapons”?

Music is a weapon of the future.
Music is the weapon of the progressives.
Music is the weapon of the givers of life.

Fela Kuti

My music fights against the system that teaches to live and die.

Bob Marley

The legendary American trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie once remarked to Hugh Masekela, the South African horn player: “I would like to be part of your revolution because the people always seem to be singing and dancing.”

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.

Bob Marley

What do you think? Please answer below, in the comments.

Image: Via Art Scoop BrazilMore music, less war!


Johnny Clegg (With Nelson Mandela) – Asimbonanga (1999)

Nelson Mandela joins Johnny Clegg on stage as he opens his show with the classic Asimbonanga

Asimbonanga (we have not seen him)
Asimbonang' umandela thina (we have not seen mandela)
Laph'ekhona (in the place where he is)
Laph'ehleli khona (in the place where he is kept)

It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world.

Nelson Mandela
Old African Music

Hugh Masekela – Bring Back Nelson Mandela

The curious beauty of African music is that it uplifts even as it tells a sad tale. You may be poor, you may have only a ramshackle house, you may have lost your job, but that song gives you hope. African music is often about the aspirations of the African people, and it can ignite the political resolve of those who might otherwise be indifferent to politics.

Nelson Mandela