Real Unity is no game
Solid foundation first
November 26, 2000
By A. H. Hotep
An accident is the product of forces both visible and invisible.
Machel's entire career was about encouraging people to prance. He worked hard to encourage the jam and wine behaviour and his entire repertoire was devoid of any conscious lyrical content.
Instead of simply stating that an accident happened at the show,
I will present a view on the making of the accident.
Machel and company bought their own hype and the power of instant microphone command. They failed to realize that the very thing they were calling on people to follow, when they saw the danger in the stands, was directly opposite to what they have been encouraging for 18 years. Many promoters knew this and booked the band in venues with open space where they could do little damage. Unfortunately, the promoters inclusive of Machel and his family did not understand or respect their supporters and quite clearly, they did not appropriately cater for them.
Machel's perceived successes cannot transcend the very thing that made him popular. The emotions he instructs are rebellious over the lack of genuine opportunities and recognition in the society and he encourages people to rebel the system. He and his supporters have always been on the fringe of the laws of the land and the laws of morality and nothing is too wrong with that given the present social climate. That is what appeals to disenfranchised people. His popularity and music provided a controlled outlet for a cross-section of people.
The show would also have attracted other people who do not normally socialize in public with the same zeal as ordinary people except at times like carnival. They normally carry on in the same belligerent manner in private venues, which escape the scrutiny of the wider media. These people would have been attracted to the show because of the VIP arrangements. VIP areas in concerts are schemes to make more money by attracting people who like to segregate. This was a great opportunity for some people to show-off.
In the hype before the concert, it became evident that there was the force of political manipulation behind the show, as we heard, the Prime Minister was to make an appearance.
National Unity was the Prime Minister's slogan for the last general election and no doubt, he would have used this concert in an attempt to gain political mileage with General Election so close. On television, Machel's father made it a point to state that the Opposition Leader did not respond to their invitation to attend the show, and with his clever use of words, he tried to give the impression that if the Opposition Leader did not respond then he may not be interested in National Unity. That line by Machel's father reeked of Basdeo Panday, who, over the years, has made such overtures in an effort to embarrass the Opposition Leader.
Then we heard that Machel was granted a life long visa by the US embassy, lower in value but similar to the presentation of a diplomatic passport to Jack Warner. One can assume that the government had a hand in this presentation and may have done so as a payback for Machel allowing them to use the show for political mileage. Machel and family were playing the same game as Pearl Eintou Springer who wanted to package a section of African people for delivery to Basdeo Panday; an effort that caused the people to boo her at the Queens Park Savannah on Emancipation day.
There was too much dishonesty surround the staging of that 'Unity Show' close to Elections maybe in the hope that the Prime Minister could profit from the mileage and take credit for a large number of people coming together under his call for National Unity.
What could have protected Innocently ignorant youths, who stayed within their reaches, from a greater destructive manipulation?
Other forces unknown to the promoters and Basdeo Panday were working against them.
Real Unity is a very sacred concept and the effort to use ordinary people in a dishonest exercise of political manipulation with no regards for history and recent experiences disrespected all of history. The force of history is very real and powerful.
Waiting until most people had already purchase tickets then making politically charged statements, meant a total disregard for the power of integrity; a real force that protects the common naive people from the entrapment of deliberate acts of deception.
Calling the Show 'Real Unity' and having several levels of VIP areas meant that the organizers had no Idea of what are good symbols of Unity.
The concept of VIP runs against the concept of Real Unity.
The normal fete with one standard fee for all have been a better symbol of equal opportunity instead of this segregated venue with fees above the people who have support Machel the most.
This entire exercise disrespected the very essence of Real Unity for which nothing could have prevented one of many disasters from occurring at the show in an effort to restore some balance. His poor naive supporters would have been relatively safe and would have been the least traumatized by the disaster that came.
Real Unity needs a solid foundation; it is not a Show but a work.
The 'Real' Unity Lessons
By: Meri Ranut Nov 28, 2000
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