We’ve been catching a bit of buzz about a relatively underground Venda/Tsonga artist by the name of Itai Hakim with whom The Brother Moves On has been collaborating. If he seems familiar to you it’s because he was featured in our cultural appropriation video from earlier this year.
The band will be going on a European tour with Itai as a means to introduce him to a newer, wider audience as well as mentoring him. His work is exceptional and he truly is one to watch.
Itai says Ni Songo Gela came to him in a dream where his grandfather kept repeating the words, “Ni songo xela”, which translates to “don’t get lost”. At the song’s core is the idea that whatever you do, never lose your way. Remembering home isn’t necessarily about remembering the actual location but rather the the morals, values and teachings that were imparted on you there. “I wrote the song because most of us in the city suffer from this sense of exile from the source (our culture, languages and history). Much of that suffering comes either from apathy or not seeing any value in one’s own cultural background.”
Watch Itai Hakim perform the hauntingly moving Ni Songo Gela with The Brother Moves On, live at Popsicle Studios in Cape Town, South Africa.