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WALKING A MILE IN YOUR SHOES: My Spiritual Journey With Lucky Dube

By January 7, 2016Articles, Magazine
Leah Mochoele book review by Lee Abel- Island Stage Magazine

 by Lenah Mochoele

book review by Lee Abel

 

Lucky Dube’s music touched millions of hearts worldwide, but very few souls had the opportunity to work with him professionally. For those who did, their lives were forever altered, elevated, and enriched. Fate smiled on Lenah Mochoele. She began working at Gallo Record Company, Lucky’s label, in 1995. She quickly worked her way from secretary to artist development/liaison, and finally to organizing tours and accompanying artists.

Her recently published book, “Walking A Mile In Your Shoes: My Spiritual Journey With Lucky Dube” provides a riveting view in to both her spiritual connection with Lucky as well as insights and stories about Lucky himself, from his struggles and joys to his convictions and logic.

Well written, personal, and deeply insightful, this book will be a welcome read for the fans who still bemoan the tragic loss of their beloved icon, as well as to those who had the privilege of knowing the man behind the legend. This is a deep book that will leave the reader feeling he/she has just had an enlightening encounter with the man who was Africa’s King of Reggae.

I travelled the continent with Lucky. Apart from the amazing crowds that he would move, his music would make you want to search your soul and correct any issues you might find hidden there. I cried a lot when he got on stage; I looked at his audience, made up mostly of the poorest of the poor. Lucky represented the masses. He had told me his story as a youth growing up in poverty, but nothing prepared me for his impact.Lenah Mochoele

I recently caught up with Lenah, and we had a wonderful, engaging conversation, including this background on one of her poems.

Lee: Lenah, in chapter 9 you shared how you wrestled with your emotions when you heard about the murder on the morning of October 19th.

Lenah: I did not realize the whole world was also in a wrestle that morning, I was not alone. We all shared bullets for breakfast with Lucky’s family in the little corners of our hearts and minds.

Lee: And you wrote a poem?

Lenah: The Bullets For Breakfast poem carries a message still fresh to this day. The world was served grief in the form of bullets for breakfast that morning. For Lucky’s family, relatives, friends and his fans the world over, this poem figuratively captures a breakfast meal in the form of grief. You cannot eat bullets, but when bullets take life, the affected are served a free meal. Instead of enjoying a good breakfast, the world was forced to accept this untimely, unnecessary act of barbarism. A good life wasted by bullets.

Lee: Sounds like “Running Falling”.

Lenah: Yes, the poem relates to “Running Falling” from Lucky’s “House of Exile” album, where Lucky narrates in song form how the people of South Africa embrace the triumph of the power of good over evil. Figuratively, Lucky mentions that at hearing news that Apartheid was going, the oppressor man was running and falling, thinking that people would do to him what he did to them 400 years ago, he will look for his gun and to his surprise he found it empty because we, the people, ate the bullets for breakfast to rid the country of the evil system of Apartheid. Without the bullets, the people would enjoy peace. In Lucky’s philosophy of peace and love, for peace’s sake, we will do everything, even if it means eating bullets for breakfast.

BULLETS FOR BREAKFAST 

by Lenah Mochoele

I had breakfast one unforgettable morning

Served to me forcefully

A breakfast I had to have no matter what

A breakfast different from any other

Special in its nature I had to eat it,

Forcefully as my throat suffered greatly to swallow This breakfast so special and yet so difficult Different presentation , but not new to me

I had had different breakfasts before

Served to me in the morning and I got acquainted To the different breakfasts life serves me

When the room service knock came

I tried to brush my teeth before the breakfast But then again I decided there was no need No need at all to brush your teeth

For this special breakfast I only am acquainted All I needed was to put my brace napkin

To make sure my breast and all that is in it

 Is protected, covered in a napkin Like the soldiers cover themselves in

breast plate in a war

So do I cover my breast in a special napkin

A napkin trusted enough to protect the

Steel turned heart of this strong black woman For I only am acquainted to the special Breakfast, not so many people are invited to This napkin stays on my breast

Now that the girls have sucked

Each one of them, their last drop

Of the natural juices mother earth offered Pure in its form, it’s always been

Its reliability is unbelievable as

It always assures me, of how strong I am That no matter how strong the stain

From the breakfast, the beat goes on

As I approached my serving that morning I wasn’t sure what to expect

My last special breakfast

Looked cold, and unappetizing Complicated in its presentation

To this day I am still baffled

I had to approach the special serving anyway

Accepting an offering life served me, I could not refuse Accepting that life always serves me what I do not order I approached the breakfast anyway

When my special breakfast was served,

There was no one to whisper to, no one to scream to

To ask if indeed this was my breakfast

Landing straight, into my heart

No tea cold or warm

No dashing of a drink of sorts or straight, or on the rocks No buttered bread

No fried nor scrumbled eggs

Straight from my sleep

I had to eat my breakfast

Three bullets

Served on a platter, hard and cold, in a hotel room Room service it had to be, no starter no dersert Special I’ve always known that I was

The breakfast was over special

For I could not handle the honour

Of this particular special breakfast

Three bullets

On who

Lucky what

 What did you say again

Which Lucky are you talking about

As my special breakfast was getting into my system I got drunk from just the three bullets

So drunk my world was spinning

Spinning with confusion

Spinning with hate Spinning with fear Spinning with hurt Spinning with grief Spinning with pain Spinning with resentment

Bullets for breakfast

The bullets that still make my world spin

Bullets that kept me drunk for many years

Bullets that kept me addicted for many years Bullets that kept me obsessed for many years Bullets that kept me cold for many years

Bullets for breakfast

I hate you with a hate

I hate you with a hate from my heart,

liver, lungs, oesophagus, large intestines, small intestines, my blood, brain, hair, eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks , ears, neck, my feet, legs, my toes, nails and everything I am made of.

Bullets for breakfast I wish I could pee on you. Bullets for breakfast I wish I could fart on you, Bullets for breakfast I wish I could send you

To where you came from in the first place 

For we don’t need you in Africa

 Read Island Stage Magazine

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