The African dream. It means so many things to so many young people. For most young South Africans however, the African dream means rising above poverty into living a life of all-round prosperity. The thing about Zulu Government aka Thanda Magubane, 35 is that he intends on turning his African dream into his lived-out reality. Bearing his heart with his audience in his new brutally honest song collaboration with Big Zulu titled Vosloo 4AM, South Africans are allowed a glimpse of his dreams through his tell-all candidness as revealed in the song lyrics. The song will be released on all digital platform such as Spotify and Apple Music and is set to be the country’s newest gem in the hip hop and rap genres influenced by Zulu traditional music.
On the collaboration and song, Big Zulu said: “I instantly wanted to collaborate with Zulu Government on this song as soon as I heard the lyrics. I am for empowerment and goal-getting particularly, when it comes to empowering young South Africans for success. While the song is a party song which talks about partying till 4AM in Vosloo, it also teaches you to celebrate your successes along the way whatever that may look like. For Big Zulu, success was being in that moment at that party in Vosloo at 4AM as he was visiting the big city from a small town which didn’t even have supply of water on most days. I’m from Bergville and I never imagined the success I now enjoy. I now remember my struggle on the way to the place in society I currently enjoy and, the one thing I think people should remember is to celebrate the successes along the way, regardless of how small they are. The song teaches you to enjoy the small milestone successes on the way to your individual path to prosperity. Don’t get so busy getting to your success that you forget to enjoy the road there,” he said.
The song lyrics also details the accidental meeting between both artists at the party Zulu Government raps about. Both artists wanted the lyrics of the single to appeal to a relatable audience, in specific those who weren’t gifted with much or those born into affluent families who have big dreams and won’t allow their challenges to hinder them in pursuing their personal goals and dreams for their lives.
Lyrical storytelling is what Zulu Government roots his art form in. He is especially proficient in telling uniquely African stories to a uniquely South African audience. “The song is about celebrating my life and the achievements I’ve wrought. It’s especially a celebration of my life and the journey I have so far travelled. I’ve had the displeasure of living with minimal necessities such as water however, I never wallow in self-pity, I believe that you’re born into the circumstances and family you have for a reason. Whether it is to build strength in your character in the area of resilience or, whether it is to set an example for the ones coming up behind you, there’s always a reason that will indefinitely be revealed as time passes. While you should never forget your past, I don’t believe that anyone should accept hardship as a defined destiny. I want my music to tell these stories and inspire young South African’s to get out there and turn their dreams into a reality,” he says.
“I’ll never forget telling my mom about my dreams of becoming a musician. While she couldn’t wrap her head around the dreams I shared with her, she always supported me and told me to never forget to show people respect and to remain humble. Though the lyrics are jarringly honest, I have never forgotten my mother’s words and want this to come through in my music,” says Zulu Government. “I am also not in denial of the circumstances I and my peers face living in this country. I believe that you must rise above your circumstances and in faith, keep moving forward toward success. Self-pity and laziness never helped anyone. I am for personal triumph and I believe that, it’s something that is strived and contended for,” he says.
On Vosloorus, he says: “I will never forget the first time I came to Johannesburg at age 18. I got to visit Vosloorus in 2003 as I was visiting my relatives. I couldn’t party as much as I wanted as I was still quite young. Given all the stories I had heard, I was scared to be in the city and, promised myself that one day I would be back. I’ve kept my word to myself and this song is testament to turning dreams, however small, into your own personal reality.”
“This song is especially special to me as Vosloorus and the parties I attended there on first arriving in Johannesburg, opened my eyes and caused me to dream better and bigger for myself. Am I there yet? I don’t think I’ll ever be there. But, my biggest dream which houses my vision for personal success is that I get to inspire young South African’s through my honest storytelling. This, makes my own personal struggle all the more worth it,” he says.