Here we have a song that has probably been played by every single presenter of Afrikan Connexions. A South African epic, written by the great Hugh Masekela, it is about the suffering and exploitation of South African mines and their workers. The lyrics here are clear but the real pleasure and skill of the song is in the musical arrangement. From Masekela’s always amazing trumpet to the speeding, pounding drums, to the slow chug of the bass. You can feel the weight of the coal, the broken workers and the train itself – Stimela – tearing through the entire nation.

Check out the interview with Hugh Masekela done in the Skid Row studios back in the 80s.

This is the classic, live version of the track along with the crackle of the old vinyl version we have.