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Friday, September 30, 2016

Pan-African Comments In A YouTube Discussion Of A Zulu Dance Video

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a YouTube video of "traditional" Zulu dancing*.

This post also presents selected comments from that video's discussion thread that reflect the pan-African** attitudes and beliefs that all people with some Black African descent share a common familial bond. Other comments in this compilation are about the dance itself, or are expressions of pride from Zulus, or are rebuttals or put downs of African Americans' comments that indicated their connection to Africa.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, folkloric, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all others who are featured in these videos and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of this YouTube video.

*WARNING (for educators and others who work in public settings) - Some of the dancers in this video are women with their breasts uncovered. I've put the word "traditional" in quotations because traditionally females didn't perform this warriors dance.

**A longer statement about the meaning of "pan-Africanism" is given below.

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WHAT "PAN-AFRICANISM" MEANS
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-Africanism
"Pan-Africanism is a worldwide intellectual movement that aims to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all people of African descent. Based upon a common fate going back to the Atlantic slave trade, the movement extends beyond continental Africans, with a substantial support base amongst the African diaspora in the Caribbean and the United States.[1] It is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to "unify and uplift" people of African descent.[2] The ideology asserts that the fate of all African peoples and countries are intertwined. At its core Pan-Africanism is "a belief that African peoples, both on the continent and in the diaspora, share not merely a common history, but a common destiny".[3]
-snip-
"Pan-Africanism" also may have political connotations. However, in this post I'm focusing on the meanings that are given above.

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SHOWCASE VIDEO: Professional Zulu Dancing



Tekweni, Published on Oct 27, 2012

Exciting traditional female and male Zulu Dancing. Filmed by Tekweni TV Productions, a television production company based in Durban South Africa. www.satvchannel.com 0027 31 2611034.

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NOTES ABOUT THESE SELECTED COMMENTS
These comments are given in chronological order based on their posting date on YouTube, with the oldest comments given first, except for comments. However, these comments may not be in consecutive order.

The comments in this compilation are only a sample up to this date of those comments whose subject matter is described above.

Sub-threads (comment exchanges) are noted by the word "reply" followed by the response comment/s. I also used four asterisks instead of two to mark the end of a sub-thread.

I've assigned numbers for referencing purposes only.

As per the policies of this blog, except for the word "damn", amended spelling is used for profanity. That amended spelling is indicated by the use of "&" symbol in place of one or more letters in those words.

For a few of these comments, I've added brief definitions or other explanatory comments. Additions & corrections are welcome.

SELECTED COMMENTS
From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxhhF_nHxIs
"Professional Zulu Dancing"

2014
1. Moriyon Ipuole (BEATS BY WOLFMAN)
"someone please help interprete the intro lines"

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Reply
2. Lindelwe Manqele
"Amazondo soneni...hatred! what have we done?"

Nampa bekhuluma ngathi soneni....we are the talk of people, what have we done bad?

Eish I tried my best its not easy to inteprete isiZulu
-snip-
Here's a definition of "eish" from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=eish
"Used in South African English and Afrikaans to express exasperation or disbelief. The word was first transliterated from the Xhosa language to Afrikaans, and then into South African English."

"So, there's been ANOTHER power outage, hey, bru? Eish."

"Daar is petrol in Suid-Afrika??? Eish!"


#no way #really #is it #seriously #good grief
by Cpl. Springbok November 11, 2007...

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3. bh5496
"Guys I'm pretty sure the little one is a little person/ midget. Look close at her face, and the fact that she dances so professionally."

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2015
4. Will Pitsz
"Never seen nothing like this in my life. Powerful beat. I wish that I knew what they were saying."

**
Reply
5. Mzwandile Qwabe
"they were saying leave this earth with its things. it sounds better in zulu"

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6. Bonneo Starr
"Makes me fee so proud to be a black man on planet Earth! Lets not compare family. we are all sons and daughters of the sun God Heru, both in Africa and America! We are one mind, one beat, one family."

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7. LaDonna Victor1
"I am African American. Proud of my African heritage and American culture. The Zulu people are admired for their courage and strength throughout the world. Shaka Zulu was an amazing leader--and his descendants and people pay homage to his legacy through the celebration of their rich heritage."

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8. Jewell Smith
"I love this! I am a black woman born in america, yet my African ancestors run deep in me. I can never her a drum a stay motionless. Why must we compare black americans to a black Africans? We/I am strong because of my African roots!! NO one can tell me anything different!!"

**
9. Black Beauty
"My mothetland Alkebulan.
Am so proud of being an ivoirien.
Your guys make me cry..so beautifull to watch you dancing with passion and love👍
One africa ❤"

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10. Gmsrebukethetempter
"The negro of America and these people are 2 completely different people"

**
Reply
11. The 4th Horseman
"Blacks in America are a watered down version.Blacks basically dance the same way but it has been turned into sexual versions of the real thing."

**
Reply
12. B Moe
"Watered down version??"

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Reply
13. The 4th Horseman
"Poor choice of words.But African dancing and singing is clearly an influence in black culture."

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Reply
14. B Moe
"African american dance isn't watered down, it also isn't an influence. It is AFRICAN MUSIC AND DANCE, we are the descendants of AFRICANS. We are PROUD of THAT!

Anglo americans music, and dance is watered down, African inspired music...because they take it from US!

With the exception of these hebrews israelites, The vast majority of AFRICAN americans look at West and Central Africa as our ancestral homelands. We LOVE ALL AFRICANS, except arabs...we don't like arabs, of afrikaners, or boers!"
-snip-
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hebrew_Israelites
"Black Hebrew Israelites (also called Black Hebrews, African Hebrew Israelites, and Hebrew Israelites) are groups of African Americans who believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites. Black Hebrews adhere in varying degrees to the religious beliefs and practices of both Christianity and Judaism. They are not recognized as Jews by the greater Jewish community."

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Reply
15. B Moe
"But we have nothing but love for the rest of yall"

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Reply
16. marina nononsense
"+B Moe :)"

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Reply
17. Gibbs Jakatiga
"+B Moe Thanks....When i watched tv in Africa as a child which was not often. I always asked my dad what's that tribe man doing on tv. I always thought all of you were from my tribe and that you spoke languages like Swahili. Growing up and school made me realise that some of our people were taken by force to the America as slaves. People have tried to bring differences between us but as a child i could realize that you are part of us...."Upendo, Umoja na Amani iwe na Wafrika wote" translation May Love, Unity and Peace prevail amongst Africans."
-snip-
Google translation of the Swahili words "Upendo, Umoja na Amani iwe na Wafrika wote" = "Love, Unity and Peace to all Africans"

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18. Gmsrebukethetempter
"The negro of America and these people are 2 completely different people"
-snip-
Note that spelling "Negro" with a lower case "n" is probably an intentional putdown.

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Reply
19. Brooke Lynn
"Lol. We're African decent. You're European decent. Blood doesn't change. And why do you insist on putting Black Americans down? ...
Because arrogance runs in your blood? Slave owner mentality. But you'd be proud of that.
FYI, you own no one."

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20. Austin Moffatt
"chuckling at all the america-born-and-raised black kids talking sh&t* about white people like they literally came from w/e tribe this is in the video.

stfu kids you're american, not african."

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Reply
21. John Moore
"Austin Moffatt: why you mad? It's just music, but despite 400yrs of bullsh&t it is still in the DNA of Black folks. You don't have to be mad about it, I'm sure your ancestors had some drums and pipes and sh&t, and danced around in traditional sh&t, like the Greeks. Stop Hating."

**
Reply
22. Zorgoon Trollstones
"you dumbarse. That's like saying Euromericans cannot identify with their English, German, Italian, French etc roots. Wow, what an outstandingly poor mental capacity you have sir."

**
Reply
23. The merc with a mouth
"+Skummelskog Trollbutt the point is the black kids in America cant identify with their roots they are too busy twearking and updating their twitter accounts"

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Reply
24. Zorgoon Trollstones
"That's a stereotype. Twerking is an African dance that comes from the Congo. It's good to see African Americans getting interested in the motherland. It's a step forward and a beautiful thing, though they should know none of them are Zulu. Not even close."

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Reply
25. Kiryu San
"I agree, I've lived in Swaziland. Black Americans and Africans could not be more different."

**
Reply
26. Metalicification
"At least Black Americans are becoming more aware of the lands that their ancestors were torn from by Europeans. Every Black American is a descendant from Africa. Let them watch, read, and understand the beautiful culture their fathers were from!"

**
Reply
27. icky mcboss
"Just because we where kept ignorant of our roots doesn't mean we are no longer of african decent. I had to get curious about my ancestors before I learned anything about them. My label may be American, but my blood says otherwise. We only have a cultural difference. Smh I hate living in America, most people here seem to be just as dull minded as you on just about anything."
-snip-
"smh" = "shake my head" in annoyance and/or exasperation, anger etc.

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28. B Moe
"We are AFRICANS who live in america....honestly we chuckle at why you care so much."

**
Reply
29. Zorgoon Trollstones
"DNA doesn't lie. An African anywhere in the world is still an African. Does an Asian American cease to be Asian because his family has lived on American soil for over 200 years? No. You are what you are. You are a European American. Is anyone contesting that, or blocking you from praising English things or Italian things or Irish things? No.so go find some other outlet for your unrest. Thanks!"

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Reply
30. B Moe
"I don't know why they are so worried about who we are? "

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31. Jeff Weeks
"+Metalicification let him know this is all white people have been doing separating black Americans from their culture because it threatens them . It has been the policy of the American government to separate the black man from the mother land ."

**
Reply
32. LaDonna Victor
"Shaking my head at the perpetual ignorance of white people who know absolutely NOTHING about the origins of Black people on this earth. We're all descendants of AFRICA, idiot."

**
Reply
33. Darren Moore
"+Kiryu San I would think so after 500 years of separation/alienation from the continent of our forbears. Same thing goes for whites in America. Aside from the English , how many of them can speak the languages of their ancestors etc. The only difference is that Europeans forfeited their identities willingly, whereas the African was beaten out of the black man in America as African culture/cultures were seen as alien and threatening to them."

**
Reply
34. Darren Moore
"White "Americans"= European descent
Black "Americans"= Americans of African "descent" Blacks in America have just as much right to explore their roots as American whites already do with Ireland, England, Italy etc. Many still call themselves by their ancestral homeland before American. Is it so wrong for Black Americans to claim their African ancestry. However, on the flip side, no one should hi jack another group's identity. I think that because blacks in America were stripped of their languages, religions, and ethnic identities and were forbidden to have them, that their descendants are striving so hard to find their roots. The slave trade did wonders to obliterate black peoples roots in Africa."

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35. RickyboyH
"Very talented group of people!
Greetings to my amaZulu brothers & sisters!"

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2016
36. Tladi Busiswa Ayanda Staroro
"I'm so proud of the Africans whether you are from West, East or south Africa we are all blacks #lets unite and be one"

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37. Thembalethu The Curse
"yebo! proud Zulu! we appreciate the love from our American Brothers and Sisters. #one_love
-snip-
"Yebo" is Zulu for "yes".

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38. Christopher Barksdale
"I read all F&&k up white comments on here I am african american and been all over africa and seen trade routes 1000 years old to say Zulu's never traveled to Youba land or Nigeria or Benin, or even Etheopia is dumb as hell white people and some blacks just cannot accept african people knew of one another or worse think we to stupid to Travel even to Mexico where big ass black african heads are there looking at you saying we were here some look like Zulu's looooooooooooooooool"

**
Reply
40. James Brohard
"+Christopher Barksdale Sorry you feel whites offend you, personally I think this video is energetic and beautiful. ALL PEOPLE ARE BEAUTIFUL. It's the spice of life that makes us different and for the most of us appreciate each other!!!!!! It's the few bad apples, not matter what race that screws it up for us. Please keep that in mind."

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Reply
41. Joe Ndluli
"Not sure what you mean by '...to say Zulu's never travelled to Youba land or Nigeria or Benin, or even Ethiopia...'. A quick clarification. The amaZulu are a Bantu ethnic group specific to Southern Africa. They are part of the Nguni super group which arrived in South Africa about 100 AD. (The origin of the Nguni is linked to a people who migrated southwards from Central/Southeast Africa over three millennia ago).
It was only in the 17th century that a man called “Zulu kaMalandela” (1627-1709) became the founder and chief of the Zulu clan. So prior to this there was no amaZulu. In fact, it was not too long ago that the famous Zulu King Shaka was ruler of the amaZulu (early 1800’s).
Ngitshele, ngizokhohlwa, ngibonise, ngingase ngikhumbule, ngimbandakanye, ngizoqonda.
-snip-
According to Google translate, "Ngitshele, ngizokhohlwa, ngibonise, ngingase ngikhumbule, ngimbandakanye, ngizoqonda" are Zulu words that translates in English to "Tell me, blot, Show me, I remember, to participate, we will gain."
-snip-
Is "blot" a form of the word "brother"?

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42. Aeri cah
"African American here to show my love and respect!"

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43. thiara sarr
"we love you too. african sister from Senegal"

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Reply
44. RoninAli1
"Peace. Love & Respect to the African family worldwide."

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Reply
45. stuffguy666
"American of African decent makes more scenes also you may have Caucasian in your DNA atleast 1 out 3 blacks in the USA are partly mixed."

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46. Chanell Monroe
"I love, love, love, seeing African culture like this! 💓"
-snip-
A screen photo for this commenter was of a young Black woman.

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Reply
47. thiara sarr
"we love you too lil sis!"

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48. ede imarhi
"Am an African, from Nigeria to be precise. The Chinese never hide their culture. The Indians, French, Italians, Germans, Portuguese etc. They all never hide their culture... so why should we? Let's promote our culture and hold our heads up high while we do it. We are beautiful. Am an African, yes I am, and I will not have it any other way. Cheers."

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Reply
49. King Tri - Gizanai
"i was thinking the same thing #respect from jamaica"
-snip-
Another commenter who praised this video identified himself [herself] as “Trini”

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50. TRUEFUNKSOULDIER
"SPEECHLESS! AND IN AWE! MOTHER AFRICA I LOVE YOU!!!"

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51. Tanner Herzman
"women are warriors in zulu culture as well?"

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Reply
52. Maggie Mc (The Wrong Princess)
"a bit late but yes, they were considered equal, we are after all"

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53. saucilips
"Now I see where I got my soul from. Thank you, Africa!"

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54. cocoa046
"Wow, this was amazing! I am an African American from the United States who was so awe struck at the Zulus drumming and dancing in the movie Shaka that I visited Durban and stayed in a traditional hut for 2 days in the place where the movie was made. about 7 years ago. I saw first hand what you all do!!! I was then and continue to be awe struck at the passion and skill you all have!!! Love you all!!"

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55. thiara sarr
"i'm african from Senegal west Africa. this vid is so amazing and beautiful, powerful dance. i love south african culture and to see these women dancing as warriors just make me proud to be African. God bless you and also our African American brothers and sisters who appreciate African cultures!"

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56. Christopher Barksdale
"dam i love ma people"

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Reply
57. Silver Cat
"I do to.This make a sister want to cry.I have not traveled to any part of the Motherland yet soon come tho.If God is willing"

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58. Lambilia Brown
"my beautiful mother land. no place can compare!!! this is why they are always taking from Africa."

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59. Luis Berrios Vela
"Nuestras raices negroides en el Perú...excelente..."
-snip-
Google translate from Spanish to English: "Our Negroid [Black] roots in Peru- excellant"

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60. Bhekani Zitha
"proud of my culture. just come to South Africa and you'll experience this marvelous piece of art! come to Nongoma, Msinga, Ulundi, Nquthu, and other rural areas so you can be captivated!!!!!!! #dope"
-snip-
The African American Vernacular English meaning of "#dope" = "great"/"exceptionally good" is probably meant here.

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61. Edith Thamae
"my zulu brothers n sisters never fail when it came to their culture they don't care who says what proudly south afri an!"

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62. Kimberly Banuet
"I AM PROUD TO BE AFRICAN AMERICAN AND I EMBRACE ALL THINGS THAT ARE PART OF MY ANCESTRY. THIS IS BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING. I SEE MUCH OF THE CULTURE THAT OUR ANCESTERS HELD ON TO DURING SLAVERY THROUGH MUCH OF OUR MUSICAL AND DANCE EXPRESSION HERE IN AMERICA."

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Reply
63. Arch Linux
"Zulus live in South Africa. I doubt they're part of your ancestry."

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64. Androidgames Or apps
"+Arch Linux true ,her ancestors are from west africa"

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65. Daniel fountain
"African American father of 3 here, showing my children our /their heritage. Much love!!"

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66. Ricky Smith
"This is so powerful I can vision myself doing this Zulu Dance.....Proud to be a part of this Heritage, I Am African American!!"

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67. Mike Pitts
"much love from African American brother great job"

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68. darbyryan1
"Zulu Culture, not African Culture"

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Reply
69. Giselle Thomas
"How can you be part of your mother and not your mothers child. Africa is a continent yes but has birthed many different cultures within the culture that is Africa."

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Reply
70. Dicky Cecil
"Zulu is an African tribe, but I see what your saying, african culture differentiates vastly across the enormous lands"

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71. Precious Mthembu
"I love my culture #ZuluPride"

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