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February 7, 2013

The Maskhande Waltz

In his first community event of the Spring 2013 semester, Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Vaneshran Arumugam shared a detailed story about growing up black under Apartheid in South Africa.

During his lecture, Evolving as a Social Activist under South African Apartheid, Arumugam told of attending a school in his East London home that taught a multi-racial student body, skirting the laws that prevented integration between blacks and whites.

An accomplished actor, playwright, teacher, director, and social activist, Arumugam pulled out his guitar and played a song he composed, The Maskhande Waltz. The song pays homage to a style of Zulu folk music called Maskhande, blending it with western Classical and other folk styles.

He also shared about his time spent with Mother Theresa, who visited his school, and his thoughts on being one of the first people of Indian descent to appear on mainstream South African TV.

Vaneshran explained that even though his family is of distant Indian descent, he and many other people of color in South Africa, all consider themselves to be black.

Watch the entire lecture: