Taku Mazire, who also goes by Master Con Fuze, is a South African rapper, born in Rusape, Zimbabwe. As a self-proclaimed revolutionary, he aims to promote love, freedom, and peace in his music. A few years ago, Taku Mazire released a track that uses those ideals to describe the modern day socioeconomic conditions of Cape Town, South Africa. It is titled “House of Hunger” and the song, its lyrics, and its message I find very relevant to similar conditions in the United States.
The music video for “House of Hunger” starts with a voice over referencing slavery, and suggesting that politicians are just as “owned” as slaves were. Taku Mazire, wearing a shirt with his logo that says “More Justice, More Peace” sits and lays down on a bench labeled “Whites Only.” While these are all likely references to the racism and injustices that stemmed from South African Apartheid, I cannot help to notice the parallels to the United State’s own history with said issues – the mention of slavery, the bench reminiscent of those seen in the Jim Crow South, and the slogan on Taku Mazire’s shirt that mirrors a chant from the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the first verse, Taku Mazire mentions the “system”, a term commonly used in the States to describe unfair governing bodies. He goes on to explain how the system “devours freedom.”
“Minimum wages, mass arrests. Society trapped in economic cages, we work too much, peep out weary faces, in many places it’s mostly men with more melanin, but less benefiting…”
While Taku Mazire is describing what he observes in Cape Town, this lyric undoubtedly applies to many cities in the United States.
As the song goes on, many other truths and similarities between oppressive conditions in South Africa and the United States are told through Taku Mazire’s lyrics. His tone is angry – as it should be – and “House of Hunger” highlights a need for change in both countries.