1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Ghana – Dorothy Masuka

Ghana – Dorothy Masuka

More Great Moments In Vinyl History

More Great Moments In Vinyl History

Andy Kershaw is a British DJ who specialises in ‘world’ music. In 1987 he put together a compilation album of interesting tracks he had found along his way. This compilation was called ‘Great Moments In Vinyl History’. It took him 17 years to come up with a follow up collection called ‘More Great Moments In Vinyl History’ and included in this collection is the track ‘Ghana’ by Dorothy Masuka. According to the sleeve notes, very little is known about this recording. A listener to Andy’s show found an old single which seemed like a test pressing at a Camden Market. Dorothy herself, when interviewed by Kershaw, had very little memory of recording the song.

However, this joyous celebration of the Wind of Change blowing through Africa, was fortunately unearthed and we can proudly rank it amongst the great South African songs (with a little poetic licence. Dorothy was from Zimbabwe, did most of her growing up in South Africa, but then spent a large part of the apartheid years wondering around Africa, and she thinks ‘Ghana’ may have been recorded in Zambia).

The song itself has a nice high life guitar and Dorothy’s strong vocals floating over a catchy tune. The lyrics are all about her wanting to go to the various African countries that had obtained independence and meet the leaders who had won that freedom. Dating the song is a little difficult as the sleeve notes of ‘More Great Moments…’ point out. The reference to all the Winds Of Change leaders would lead one to guess that the song would have been recorded in the early 60’s, but Dorothy expresses a wish to see Patrice Lumumba in Zaire. Lumumba died in 1961, but the Congo was not called Zaire until 1971. It may just be that people referred to the Congo as Zaire in a similar way that South Africa was sometimes referred to as Azania during the struggles.

Where to find it:
More Great Moments In Vinyl History– Various (2004), Wrasse Records – WRASS 122

Video:

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