Kusale Izibongo (2020)

A jazz commemoration suite by Steve Dyer.

Memorialising the 35-year anniversary of the June 14, 1985 SADF raid on Gaborone, Botswana with music by Steve Dyer, the suite’s title is taken from the Zulu proverb:

“Ku fa izinsizwa ku sale izibongo” – The heroes die, the praises remain.

Featuring Simphiwe “Simz” Tshabalala (drums), Amaeshi Ikechi (acoustic bass), Mongezi Conjwa (piano), Steve Dyer (tenor/soprano saxophone/vocals), Sthembiso Bhengu (trumpet), Siya Makuzeni (trombone/vocals) and Natalia Molebatsi (spoken word).

To give you some background

In the still of the night in Gaborone, Botswana, June 14, 1985, the SADF stormed numerous locations killing 12 people. Some were political/cultural activists, others not.

A grave cleaning ceremony in 2003 for those who lost their lives was initiated by some who had been in exile in Botswana during the time of the Gaborone raid. At this remembrance Steve Dyer sat at a piano and played the beginnings of a composition commemorating the event. The music harnessed the symbolism that days in exile in Botswana and elsewhere represent for our freedom today: freedom as personal and collective emancipation as well as regional independence and interdependence.

Past projects