Voices of Liberation: Songs and the Liberation Struggle in South Africa


  • Rachidi Molapo


Many communities around the world have taken part in songs and dance or have witnessed roles played by songs. However, scholarly focus on such a field of study has been very limited. This study challenges for a new consideration of what songs are and the roles they play or played in contemporary society. Songs have been means of communication, education and importantly played important roles in the struggle against apartheid. When the apartheid regime became repressive by banning or exiling leaders, suppressing information, songs in vernacular or indigenous languages flourished in promoting resistance texts. These songs flourished like graffities in repressive environments. They were used as propaganda tools by the liberation movements and at the same time dealing with state propaganda. They were platforms of propaganda in a dialectical relationship with the state but also embodied other elements beyond these parameters. Songs have been fundamental instruments of resistance, heritage and history. This study looks at how South African activists used songs and the struggle against apartheid and the post-apartheid scenario. Focus will be on the pre-1960 period, exile and the post- apartheid dynamics. A qualitative research methodology has been useful for this study because of the human agency aspect.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n27p985


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How to Cite

Voices of Liberation: Songs and the Liberation Struggle in South Africa. (2014). Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(27 P2), 985. https://www.richtmann.org/journal/index.php/mjss/article/view/5170