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The remembrance of my moments with Lucky Dube before his tragic death

Joel Savage Interviews Lucky Dube Joel Savage interviews Lucky Dube

Mon, 18 Oct 2021 Source: Joel Savage

Today, October 18, 2021, marks the 14-year anniversary of the death of one of the world’s greatest musicians, the South Africa reggae legend known as Lucky Dube. This happened just three years after my interview with him.

It was something nobody expected to hear. Lucky Dube had been shot. The impact of the news of his death hit me so hard that the first words I uttered were “How such a perfect gentleman, who wouldn’t harm anyone, could lose his life in such a tragic way?”

According to the Mail and Guardian newspapers, Lucky Dube died instantly in a botched hijacking attempt, in Johannesburg on October 18, 2007. That was just two months after his 43rd birthday. The circumstances surrounding his murder illustrate how dangerous South Africa has become.

As a musician, Lucky gave us some of the most legendary reggae songs ever recorded. His music carries no violence. He called for peace, togetherness, love, and respect for all mankind, yet this humble man died in this ‘Crazy World’, a song he wrote; I called a masterpiece.

On this special day, in remembrance of Lucky Dube, I present to you the interview I had with him on July 4, 2004, in Linkerover, Antwerp, in Belgium.

Joel: When you started music at a young age, did you ever dream that one day your music will be much accepted by reggae fans worldwide today?

Lucky Dube: Well I have an idea. Really this was a dream for me. I wanted it to be like that, even though I wouldn’t have a clear vision as to know how big it can be. But I have an idea I wanted the music to reach people everywhere in the world.

Joel: Many fans think that you are another Peter Tosh in the field of reggae, with strong lyrics of liberation. How do you react to this credit?

Lucky Dube: It’s a very great honor really because Peter Tosh was the greatest musician that ever lived and so I respect him so much and to be given the same stage as he is a great honor to me. I do really appreciate that.

Joel: On one of your albums “Soul Taker” there is a special track called “Teach the World”. Please, what inspired you to write such a great song?

Lucky Dube: Well “Teach the World” started actually because when we go round, there are a lot of things that we see and people from different countries, different cultures and everything. But only to find out that people don’t know much about Africa.

They have some mis-speculations about Africa and just wanted people to teach each other. People in Africa must teach the outside world about their culture, beliefs, and everything and wanted the outside world to teach Africa about their culture.

Joel: You fought against apartheid in your songs. How did you feel ten years ago, to see apartheid falling like the Berlin wall in 1989?

Lucky Dube: It was great because it was the biggest dream I had at that time. So I was very happy when it finally happened. I knew I was part of it in some way. So I was very happy when it happened.

Joel: You played in Washington DC on September 20, 2000, with Joseph Hill’s Culture. What was your experience with that group, since Joseph’s message in the music, is in line with yours?

Lucky Dube: Well it has been great with Joseph Hill. You know I have done many concerts with him. He is one of the good men in the music industry.

Joel: Being a South African, you have visited many African countries, have you ever visited war-torn countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia, since you have thousands of fans over there?

Lucky Dube: Yes we have visited those countries.

Joel: That’s great to hear that.

Joel: Reggae in jail, reggae in church, everybody likes it. That’s a true statement by you. But why is it that reggae music is given less attention than any other music? Is it because of its strong message?

Lucky Dube: Yes, at times that is what it is. Reggae is a kind of music one time it will be up and one time it will be down. But it is a kind of music that is always there. It will never go away. It is always there you know, that’s the way it is.

Joel: Next month, August 3, 2004, is your 40th birthday. With a heavy program ahead of you, how would you celebrate this important chapter of your life?

Lucky Dube: Normally I don’t celebrate birthdays. It’s just another day and things would be normal for me. I don’t celebrate birthdays.

Joel: Lucky, thank you for granting me this interview.

Lucky Dube: Yeah man.

Columnist: Joel Savage