Christian Long

Vusi Mahlasela: Sings “Thula Mama”

In TED Talks on May 9, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Reflection by ALEX F.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Vusi Mahlasela:  Sings “Thula Mama”

Vusi is the kind of person that you automatically like before you even hear him speak. He has a stage presence that just makes you want to listen, and boy this guy is someone to listen to. He tells a story of when he was younger, the police had come to his house, and his grandmother had told them that she would throw a bowl of boiling water at the first one who came to get him.

I personally would like to meet his grandmother.

The story he tells is so powerful, even if it’s short and not incredibly exciting. It’s one of those stories where you can just imagine this little old lady, standing tall in front of a mass of police, and telling them no. It’s a really run thing to think about. But then we get into his song. And after his story about fighting and rebellion, you’d expect a song full of struggle, and heartbreak, and pain, right? Well, that’s not what we get. We get a sweet, heartfelt song about love and respect for all the people who had fought for their freedom and rights. It’s really amazing to see someone who’s lived through that kind of violence and struggle to sing about something so inspiring. He even manages to get the audience into it towards the end of his song. He sings “My song of love; my song of life” over and over again, as if this is the song that totally embodies his life.

While it might not be a top 40 hit, Vusi Mahlasela really brings something into his song that the most popular pop-stars don’t have.


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