#day19 #WinterABC2020 #afrobloggerswinterchallenge
Back in the 90’s in high school l was part of a group of high school girlfriends who loved hanging together but all loved different music. We shared food and our misguided love for all things American. We collected pictures of our favourite stars and stuck them in special notebooks. We saved our donut monies and bought glossy magazines from America especially People Magazine. In the group l remember there was a Madonna fan , a New Kids on the Block fan and me -a Michael Jackson fan. l had the biggest Michael Jackson poster in our shared bedroom and only used to listen to Wacko -Jacko. Like all teenage phases fortunately it passed.
l recently remembered this period when l saw a character in the despicable movies called Brat dancing to MJ , then l became excited and l said to my kids ‘ Wow Michael Jackson ! ‘ imagine how l felt when my nine year old daughter said ‘ ‘who is Michael Jackson ? ‘ child where do l begin. I decided to keep quiet because my nine year would just not get it.
I am quite eclectic, listening to different genre’s with others seemingly clashing with my faith but l learnt it is the conditions of our hearts that matter not what we profess on the outside-lest l become entangled by the yeast of the pharisees. Thus I have a done a Kenny-Gee phase. I love big band music-think Phil Collins renditions in big bad style.l have crooned to Mahalia Jackson a lot-my voice is nothing to write home about-God cant give you everything . I get Chiwoniso Maraire Zimbabwean female mbira maestro , Bethany Pasinawako -Wangu is epic. Can you be Zimbabwean and not fall for it least one Jah Prazah song.
Being an artist l have attended many live shows and l do thank God l have seen our own Winky -D , Jah Prazah , Oliver Mtukudzi , Chiwoniso , Hope Masike-l forget to tell you about the crazy Nguvayakwana shows hosted by Gospel Train and all those great gospel artist that we attended. So truly it is difficult to choose five favourite songs but l feel that l need to do my Michael Jackson period justice by this ode to wacko Jacko.
To me ( remember it’s about me) the late Michael Jackson was the best personification of the power of the Arts to recreate new worlds. He lived a life to the whims of his artistic creations both flawed and good. He created his own world and fell at the peril of his own sword. My relationship with Michael Jackson is the same as the one l feel for the late Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. Always leaves me conflicted. At the one end you loathe the direction and steps they took in life but at the same time admire the brilliance and resolute standing for their passions and beliefs. That’s why the song ‘ Man in the Mirror’ by the King of Pop means something to me. Its a call to action for the man whom we see in the mirror to begin the process of change. Maybe it was a reflection of what he saw in himself but it should also be a reflection of what we do see in the mirror-are we proud of what we see when we dare look beyond the artificial veneer ? Can we continue looking at ourselves or we begin to avoid the mirror because it reflects our true selfish , greedy souls who care not for others – what awesome words by Michael Jackson with the chorus bidding :
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.
My second favourite from MJ is the enduring enigmatic song penned by Jackson and Lionel Richie , produced by producer-par excellence Quincy Jones. Written as a call to the world to not ignore the ravaging effects of hunger on the people of Africa when images of starving Ethopian children, emaciated to their bones were shown on television networks in the early 80s. A who’s who of top artists in America was assemblied and sung the lyrics of this song that shook the world to act. USA for Africa. I loved how America was trailblazing the world, leading the way in making the world a better place. What has happened to that America ? Herein part of the lyrics as penned by Jackson and Richie :
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me
What a song!
Smooth Criminal has to be one of the best songs of all time , what with the incredible video. I used to call it ‘ the gotta be starting something ‘ song because l thought that line was just amazing and l put this song in my top five.
Who could have spoken about race so well without causing drama than MJ in his epic song Black or White, when l see the images around the world in the aftermath of BLM, l always think of this song.
My last song in my top five is the Jackson 5 song ‘l want you back’ when a young black , flat nosed Michael was towards breaking out on his own. He struggled with how he looked and was one of the pioneers in changing how a person physically looked. The world disparaged him for this but l always think how hypocritical we humans can be because now botox , nose and boob jobs , skin bleaching are all every day occurrences that are raking in billions and acceptable. Then again he was a pioneer-somebody had to start it. And now that l have my little secret in the public domain l don’t need any bashing unless you wanna be starting something !