- Syd Kitchen: Acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, vocals
- Wesley Gibbens: Drums, percussion
- Nux Schwartz: Bass, mandolin, backing vocals, percussion, jaw harp
- Greg Leisegang: Piano accordion
- Karen van Pletzen: Backing vocals
- Roly Struckmeyer: Backing vocals
- Tim Well: Backing vocals
In South Africa, nicknames are bestowed on many of our national sports teams in an attempt to galvanize public support behind their efforts in the international sporting arena. Initially, televised events unearth these names on banners peppered around stadiums, following which, some are picked up by the media, and used in the conscious effort currently being made to create the semblance of a “rainbow” nation; a gathering in solidarity behind the national interest. Names like the ama-boka-boka (the Springbok rugby team), and the ama-croca-croca (the Springbok paraplegic team), are particularized as “totalizing” agents in the task of building a non-racial, multicultural, deconstructed, post-Apartheid South Africa. In reality, this glossy perception is merely a veneer concealing the deep divisions still perennial to a South Africa not yet recovered from the hangover that followed the miraculous democratic Elections of 1994. The subsequent euphoria has done little to erode the reality that, while political democracy has been won by the majority voice in this country, economic democracy is non-existent in the retention of the country’s wealth by the minority.
Cut to a speech that President Mandela gave at the 1998 NAM Conference in Durban. Calling for the cancellation of all debt owed by developing countries to the World Bank, Mandela stressed the absurdity and unacceptability in the continued creation of excessive wealth in certain parts of the globe, while starvation plagues the majority of Humankind. Although his comments specifically addressed the reality of Africa and the other Non-Aligned countries present, they echo a global crisis.
To return to the first issue of how names are used to “totalize”, I have coined the name AMAKOOL (the cool) to signify the way we can go about life unconcerned with the guy in the gutter. We can sit eating supper and watch seemingly unaffected as CNN or the BBC delivers graphic images of Rwandan “stick people” or the like into our de-sensitized lives. Our collective apathy is the product of what I call AMAKOOLOGIK (the cool logic). My naïve hope is that millions will hear that word and ask themselves one central question:
“Aren’t you amazed that its so alive and still going on?”