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The Exotic Performance of Lucky Dube

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pole-pole festival-linkeroever-antwerp-belgium-4th July 2004

By Joel Savage

The fully air-conditioned bus carrying Lucky Dube, the famous South African reggae star, his manager Mr David Jacobs and the entire musical group, arrived at the premises of the festival at linkeroever-antwerp. There was another group playing on the stage and Lucky Dube was to perform after them. He arrived on time. He sat in the bus for about thirty minutes and suddenly came down in a grey leather cap, covering his dreadlocks, a pair of blue jeans and black shoes.

I followed him humbly and said “Sir I have an appointment to interview you.” “Who did you ask for the interview?” asked Lucky Dube. “Els, please,” I responded. Lucky identified the name immediately as the lady who has the programme of all the artists who are performing at the festival. “I will do the interview after performing,” said Lucky.

He went back into the bus. I stood at the backstage for about thirty minutes and Lucky came out again. This time, he had on different attire – a long sleeve light-cotton black shirt and the same material for the trousers – signifying that it was time to go and do what he likes best: put on a show.

I followed him as he walked towards the platform. Meanwhile, his musicians were already playing his opening tune in preparation for him. Lucky didn’t walk straight to the platform. He grabbed one of the iron bars of the platform, holding close to it and moving his body in gymnastic movements. During the short period Lucky did that, my instinct told me that he was praying before going on stage. He did it in a way that nobody could see what he was doing.

As he climbed up the stage, a thunderous scream of love, devotion and hapiness from the crowd greeted him. He grabbed the microphone and the serious reggae business started. Lucky’s Peter Tosh-style of voice was like a magnet pulling everyone to dancing. He sang a couple of his old songs like “Money Money Money” taken from the album Soul Taker. But things went different when he sang “One People Different Colours.” The people were filled with mixed feelings of sadness and joy. I saw some weeping, swinging their hands in the air, some carrying bands with bold inscription: “Lucky we love you,” “Lucky welcome to Antwerpen,” etc. I have never seen this anywhere before.

Then he shifted to his new album The Other Side, which is already on sale. He explained the reason he wrote that song. “Part of the grass is green and the other part is not. Many Africans in Europe today want to go home, while those in Africa want to come to Europe.”

After playing “The Other Side” he also played a tune called “Soldier,” followed by “Kwasa-Kwasa,” his own invention of reggae and kwasa beats. Lucky Dube pulled up a spellbinding performance that won him an ovation at polepole festival. He ritired to the bus later and got changed. About fifteen minutes later he came out and signed on a lot of materials for some of the fans and he gave them out. Some also had the chance to talk to this simple man, whose music played an important role to the fall of apartheid over ten years ago.

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About Joel Savage

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Joel and welcome, all the way from Belgium!

  • TUMWINE ALEX

    very good

  • http://www.luckydube.ch.tf Ricco

    I know that I’m late but he is really a great man. We saw him many times. It’s always a pleasure to see him perform.
    Please take a look on our fanpage about Lucky Dube.
    http://www.luckydube.ch.tf
    IRIE from Switzerland

  • http://juskosave.blogspot.com joel savage

    Hello Ricco and Daniela, thanks for your interest and comments on Lucky Dube’s performance at Pole-pole festival-Belgium.

    I also took my time to visit the Fan Site which you introduced to me. It’s a beautiful site. Even though it is written in German, Lucky’s message is always the same. “Togetherness and Peace”

  • http://www.luckydube.ch.tf Ricco

    Different colours, one people.
    Thanks for visit the fanpage.
    Lucky will be in Europe during July.
    Until now I know a festival in Switzerland and one in Italy.
    I will update the page as soon as I know more.
    He will be here for 4 weeks, so I hope that he play in your region.
    IRIE

  • http://blogcritics.org samuel achamber

    lucky has always been a thriller to me, and i have always looked forward to seeing him perform live

  • Shackleton Machingura

    Mr Dube or has always been my favourite amongst other reggae artists. In most cases, he sings about my life, real things taking place in my life, and so i regard him as my personal prophet. In his song, its not easy, he sang exactly what transpired in my life when i had a devastating love encounter with Deborah. In Devorce Party, he sang about my just ended relationship with Felistas (to name juss but a few). But, he southes my heart with the song touch your dream in his latest oferring. I dont know how to get in touch with him juss to tell him how i appreciate his good work, poetic expertise and story telling skills. Mr Dube, our own AFRICAN LEGENDARY, Bob Marley of the time, big up to you, dont stop instead, put MO FIRE, i’m one of your best fans, u got my support till the end of tym. WE FEEL IREEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

  • http://ALL PETER BANDA

    I HAVE RUN OUT OF WORDS TO USE CONCERNING THE TRAGIC DEATH OF THE TRUE SON OF THE SOIL{LUCKY DUBE} IF DEATH CAN REALLY STRIKE LIKE THIS, THEN ITS NOT WORTHY LIVING IN THIS WORLD.WHY SHOULD THIS UNFAIR WORLD TAKE SUCH GREAT SON OF AFRICA OR IS IT GOOD THINGS DONT JUST LAST LONG.

    WE HAVE BEEN DEPRIVED OF OUR MENTOR,EDUCATOR,PROPHET OF OUR TIME BECAUSE OF THE MESSAGES THAT HE BROUGHT OUT THAT EVEN A FEW PEACHERS TODAY KEEP ON FEEDING OUR SPIRITUAL FOOD.

    HE WAS MORE THAN SOME PREACHERS{MEN OF GOD}WHO ARE JUST INTERESTED IN MAKING MONEY AT THE EXPENSE OF THE REAL MESSAGE.

    MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE: LUCKY DUBE DESPITE YOUR DEATH, I WILL STILL NOT FORGET YOU PERSONALLY AND YOUR GREAT MESSAGES YOU PREACHED TO US.

    LONG LIVE THE TRUE, LONG LIVE THE MESSAGE

  • http://www.insisevus.com/html/lucky_dube1.html Insisevus

    Lucky this one s for you my friend May you find peace amongst the stars and may your music rule the earth forever

  • MUSAKANYA T MUMBI – ZAMBIA.

    LUCKY WAS A BIG TIME INSPIRATION IN ALL HIS SONGS AND PERFORMANCS.IT IS DIFFICULT TO FIND A SUBSTITUTE FOR HIS MUSIC.
    TAKE FOR INSTANCE THE POWERFUL INFORMATION CONTAINED IN SUCH SONGS:
    -SOLDIER
    -ROMEO
    -SHEMBE
    -RESPECT
    -GUNS AND ROSES
    -YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR FRIEND
    -MONEY MONEY MONEY
    -TAXMAN ETC.

    THE MESSAGE WAS COINED IN SUCH A WAY THAT EVEN PREACHERMEN WHO HAVE STUDIED THEOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY CAN NOT MANAGE COINING THE MESSAGE IN THE MANNER HE DID.

    TRUTH OVER YOUR TRUTH,LUCKY WAS NOT ONLY THE SHINNING LIGHT BUT WAS A PATHFINDER.

    I VOW TO EMMULATE HIM AND PUT HIS MONOPOLY MESSAGE TO GOOD USE FOR HE IS THE GOOD SOURCE OF WISDOM TO ANY STRAIGHT THINKING CHARACTER.

    I ONLY SAY FIRE BURN THE KILLERS AND GRIND THEM TO FINE POWDER.THEY SHOULDBE MADE FOOD FOR THE CROCODILES.

  • Mayor

    TNX LUKY 4 PROMOTING THE RASTARARIAN N AFRICAN CULTURE ALTHOUGH U’RE DEAD BT UR MUSIC STILL LEAVES IN OUR MEMORIES.BBBBBIIIIIGGGG UUUPPPP RASTA

  • james odera

    its hard to believe dat lucky is gone,but his songs wil rule the world forever i encourage fans to listen to his songs more so guns and roses.