Oslo Spektrum, Tuesday, July 24, 2012, confronting with joy, I am almost in front of the scene and see and hear the music that has been so important to my youth and my adult life. Miriam Makeba died in 2008, but otherwise they were there, most of whom participated in the 1987 tour. The African musicians made several solo songs, and one of the many highlights for me was Hugh Masekela’s intense Stimela (Coal Train) . This became more like a work than a song, he told, sang, groaned, played, shouted and grunted so we both saw, heard and smelled the train thundered through the African landscape, heading to the mines in South Africa, where the miners climbed far below the ground, far away from their loved ones, to their dark world of dust and narrow times with dangers around every corner.
Of course, South Africa’s political progress was celebrated at this concert, it would just be missing. 25 years have passed, and the incredible happened: Nelson Mandela is set free and the black South Africans have been granted rights in their own country. If Paul Simon can be a part of it all, I’m quite convinced that he was a positive driver rather than the opposite.