Happy Africa day to all!
We are all proud to be African and are reminded by our activities in 2011 when the SAMRO Foundation was joined by former President Thabo Mbeki and Prof Peter Klatzow to the first performance of I am an African, Klatzow’s commission for the 2011 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition for Singers. The composition is for voice and orchestra and is based on Thabo Mbeki’s speech at the adoptuion of the SA Constitution by the Constitutional Assembly on 8 May 1996.
The inspiring words to the libretto were :
I am an African. I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees , the flowers , the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.
My body has frozen inour frosts and in our latter day snows. It has thawed in the warmth of our sunshine and melted in the heat of the midday sun. The crack and the rumble of the summer thunders, lashed by startling lightening, have been a cause both of trembling and of hope .
The fragrances of nature have been as pleasant to us as the sight of the wild blooms of the citizensof the veld. The dramatic shapes of the Drakensberg, the soil-coloured waters of the Lekoa, iGqili noThukela , and the sands of the Kgalagadi, have all been panels of the set on the natural stage on which we act out the foolish deeds of the theatre of our day.
A human presence among all these, a feature on the face of our native land thus defined,
I know that none dare challenge me when I say I am an African!
Deputy President TM Mbeki, on behalf of the African National Congress, on the occasion of the adoption by the Constitutional Assembly of “The Republic of South Africa Constitutional Bill 1996.” Cape Town, 8 May 1996
Left to right: Prof Peter Klatzow, Pres Thabo Mbeki, Prof Mzilikazi Khumalo and his wife Ditlhare, and Zanele Mbeki