Though apartheid is officially over in South Africa, it is far from forgotten by Amandla Poets. Reconciliation is strong on the present agenda, and the building of a new kind of nation remains a priority. With songs like "Come Together" ("Come together black and white, skank it slowly so that you can feel it") and "E.B.'s Prayer" ("My chain is Reagonomics for Sandino, my chain is apartheid for freedom"), the band's most recent album, Makube Njalo (Make It So), espouses political mantras that might seem naive, but will nevertheless inspire thought -- and a little booty-shaking. Still, the Poets' lyrics, in both English and Xhosa, are not all activism; they leave room for reggae standards in the one world-one love vein.
Amandla Poets take their groove to the stage on Friday, Nov. 12, at 9:30 p.m. at Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo (at Gilman), Berkeley. Tickets are $10; call (510) 525-5054. The Poets also perform at Herbst Pavilion as part of the Afribbean '99 Music Festival on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 3:30 p.m. The festival spans two days and includes international acts like soca/calypso musicians krosfyah, Cameroonian reggae master Prince Eyango, and over 20 other performers and DJs. Also featured will be African storytelling, puppet shows, and international food and knickknacks, all at Fort Mason Center, Buchanan & Marina, S.F. Tickets are $10; call (650) 964-2056.