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Stories from South Africa's Freedom Struggle

The Robben Island Singers Audio CD

Price: $18.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 43 Songs, 2014 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2010 $18.99  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. "Singoban' Thina" (Who are We?)0:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. "Sizothabatha Umthwalo" (We Will Take Our Belongings) 1:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. My Name is... Muntu, Thembinkosi, Grant 5:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. "Sikhalela Izwe lakithi"- (We Are Crying for Our Country That Was Taken by the Colonizers) 1:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Thembinkosi - Mzulu, Mxhosa & Msotho Unite Against the Common Enemy0:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Thembinkosi - The Buttocks of the Unemployed (Are as Hard as Concrete) 1:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. "Izinqa ZikaMahlalela" (The Buttocks of the Unemployed Are as Hard as Concrete) 1:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Thembinkosi - Big Guns for Muntu0:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. "Sizobadubula Ngombayimbayi" (We are Going to Fight by Using Big Cannons) 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Grant - Devoted to Comrades Who Died in Action0:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. "Sihole we Mqabuko" (Lead Us Joshua Nkomo Into Zimbabwe)0:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Thembinkosi - Let the War Begin!0:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. "Silindel' Impendulo" (We are Waiting for an Answer) 1:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Thembinkosi - A Dedication to Bab' uMdlalose, a Wise Old Man Serving a Life Sentence 1:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. "Luthuli Bambiza E Oslo" (Tribute to Chief Albert Luthuli - Noble Prize Winner) 1:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Muntu - Learned at Training Camp in Angola0:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. "Guerilla Sizobabulala" (Guerilla, We Will Kill Them) 1:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Grant - The TV Story: Pulling the Blanket Over My Head 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. "Sasolburg" (The Oil Refinery is Burning- ANC Boys Sabotaged it Yesterday) 1:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. The War Medley - "Toi Toi" (War Dance) 2:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Thembinkosi - A Dedication to the Cubans0:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. "Take Over" (Take Our Country the Castro Way) 1:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Thembinkosi - Ants and Cockroaches 1:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. "Avante Popolo" (in Spanish: Viva Communism) 1:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Thembinkosi - We Did Not Go to Europe, Europe Came to Us0:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. "Chimurenga Dzakatanga" (The struggle continues in Zimbabwe) 1:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen27. Interlude 1:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen28. Thembinkosi - Celebrating Zimbabwe's Independence0:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen29. "Kure Kure Kwa Ndinobva" (Far Away is My Home) 2:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen30. Muntu's Arrest: Detention, Torture, Interrogation, Trial, Sentenced to 22 Years 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen31. Muntu - In Prison Sugar and Water Kept Us Alive During Hunger Strikes0:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen32. "Sugar Lump" - Sing-A-Long with Kids 2:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen33. Muntu's Clementine Duet 1:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen34. "What a System" (What a Crime) 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen35. Thembinkosi - Letters from Loved Ones 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen36. "Ama Come Duze" (Come Closer Sweetheart, Daddy is Here)0:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen37. Thembinkosi - Dedicated to Gizenga, an Old Man Who Taught us to Survive in Prison0:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen38. "Bulawayo" (The Enemy Appears From Around the Corner?) 1:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen39. Grant - "Kuyahanjwa" - We Are Going Home! 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen40. Grant - The World Seemed as if it Was Just One Country With One President: Mandela 2:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen41. Umzabalazo Uyasivumela" (Everywhere the Struggle is in Our Favor) 1:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen42. Closing Words0:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen43. "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica" - God Bless Afrika (South Africa's National Anthem) 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

Editorial Reviews

The Robben Island Singers are a group of three ex-political prisoners from South Africa. They tell stories from life in the townships, joining the armed struggle to free their country, and their time in prison on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was serving a life sentence. One of the things that sustained them in prison was singing. The songs they sang, mostly traditional folk songs, took on new meanings through the context of the struggle. This album includes some of those stories and songs.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s Grant Shezi, Muntu Nxumalo and Thembinkosi Sithole were incarcerated for taking up arms to end Apartheid. They served 10, 13 and 9 years in prison on Robben Island, the infamous apartheid era prison. Like thousands of young men and women, they joined Umkhonto weSizwe, or MK, the armed wing of the African National Congress - a banned organization under apartheid (now the governing party of South Africa). Individually each man was captured, chained, tortured, tried for treason and terrorism and sent in the bottom of a ship to an island prison.

They would soon meet older prisoners who taught them how to survive and how to sing the history of their struggle. Prisoners sang traditional folk, freedom and worker songs in various African languages and in English, sometimes just adding new phrase or two to a vintage song to give it a new meaning. Entire sections of the prison, or just a few prisoners might launch into one of these simple and stirring acapella phrases in celebration of good news, or in resistance to prison authorities, or simply to express the desperate need for a morale boost during a long struggle against oppression, racism, loneliness. Frequently prisoners would sing a familiar melody and improvise new lyrics to challenge prison authorities. In this album, you will hear these stories and songs. It is a history of struggle that will surprise you for it speaks in rich harmonies across all the boundaries that divide by race, poverty and privilege.

Ironically, these three singers had never performed together outside of the prison until a documentary filmmaker, Jeff Spitz, brought them halfway across the world to the United States. Now through collaboration with Groundswell Educational films, they have been invited to sing at universities, high schools, churches and cultural institutions.

The Robben Island Singers are now taking their unique, unscripted musical performances into American communities, including disadvantaged, violence-stricken neighborhoods. Because of their own life experiences, their bravery and sacrifice for freedom, and their creative, wise insights into forgiveness, The Robben Island Singers give voice to youth and inspire audiences of all ages.

The story of the Robben Island Singers will soon be released in a feature documentary film.

This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

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