Spirit of Africa by Desert Rose is a unique collaboration between World Music and struggle art by Ronald Harrison. The art is from his famous Chief Albert Luthuli series of art works, currently residing in the Luthuli museum in Durban. Each track on the album is written to reflect the emotion in each of his works of art. Nkosi Johnson, the child of Africa who died from HIV is depicted in the arms of Miriam, the African Matriarch. Nkosi Johnson lived his life as a brave activist, spreading awareness of the perils of HIV. Born free and Surrender are tracks which can be described as an African meditation and while the art deals with difficult issues, the music resurrects these difficult emotions into a beautiful African meditation. Ronald Harrison met Chief Albert Luthuli while he was in the struggle and was struck by his nobility and compassionate ways. The art and music both reflect the nobility and power of the African culture, music and the ethos of Ubuntu. A child of yours is a child of mine…your suffering is my suffering, and in this ethos we can all meditate on these universal truths when listening to the music.
The entire world can benefit from the universal way of Ubuntu. South Africa’s harsh history is a lesson for all who discriminate due to color, race and ethnicity. With the approach of Ubuntu, all of these illusions of difference dissolve. In the African trance music found in tracks such as African Footsteps, one is transported into the vibrant healing energy of Africa.
African Renaissance track once again expresses the powerful vocals of the African Matriarch, sung by Nobuhle Ketelo. Her voice and power demands respect and in the painting you see the mother of the future president Thabo Mbeki, gazing through the window of her hut at her child playing, both oblivious of the important role that he would play in the history of South Africa and Ubuntu
The poignant vocals found in Wings of Love and Born Free are sung by the young children of Langa between the ages of 7 and 10. Spirit of Africa reflects some of the best South African artists, such as Pops Mohammed, Pretty Yende and Dizu Plaatjies paying respect to our magnificent continent and all who inhabit it.