'Hidrunisa Samora': Invocations of a Dead Political Leader in Maputo Rap

'Hidrunisa Samora': Invocations of a Dead Political Leader in Maputo Rap

Author: 
Rantala, Janne
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2016
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS)
Source: 
Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 42, No. 6, December 2016, pp. 1161-1177
Abstract: 

The first president of Mozambique, Samora Machel, died in 1986 in a suspicious aeroplane crash in South Africa. This article focuses on the invocations of Machel in contemporary Maputo rap in the context of a wave of popular invocations, which were followed a few years later by official endorsements of Machel. Through empirical analysis, this article contributes to the debates about Machel's post-mortem influence in Mozambique and public memory struggles in the region. I aim to examine how and why, with the use of digital technology, Machel's body and voice have been invoked, read and listened to in the context of field material and thematic interviews. In the rappers' invocations of Machel, the great moderniser of his time finds a new role as the rappers' political ancestor and the people's ally in struggles against present-day injustices. The diversity of styles reveals innovativeness in the context of local spiritual ideas concerning the involvement of the dead in the life of the living. Rappers' invocation is selective, but different from politicians' often empty tributes. Machel's technologically vivified body or spirit is invoked for the empowerment of otherwise marginalised youth.

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CITATION: Rantala, Janne. 'Hidrunisa Samora': Invocations of a Dead Political Leader in Maputo Rap . : Taylor & Francis Group , 2016. Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 42, No. 6, December 2016, pp. 1161-1177 - Available at: http://library.au.int/hidrunisa-samora-invocations-dead-political-leader-maputo-rap