Latin Quarter - Nomzamo (One People, One Cause)


Nine children in one family
Nine Xhosa Wars
Nomzamo in 1960
Already victim of her country's laws
I say 'laws', why dignify
The Sjamboks and the slammed cell doors?
In twenty years they gave her nineteen sentences - still
One People! One Cause!
One People! One Cause!
Nomzamo! Nomzamo...

Named 'Trial' but how often can
You take the stand?
Nomzamo left glued in Brandfort
Twenty years for a touch of his hand
But in touch and in the face of
The Robben Islands and the bleak Pollsmoors
I see 'separate' - I see 'development' - still
One People! One Cause!
One People! One Cause!
Nomzamo! Nomzamo...
Nomzamo - you say it's part of your soul
Nomzamo - one day you'll paint it
Red, black, green and gold...

Told today that they release you
That you had paid your debt
Nomzamo in her own damn country
How much more boorish can these people get?
But you refuse to get the message
Of waving whips, in bloody semaphore
Where only gunfire's indiscriminate - as always
One People! One Cause!
One People! One Cause!
Nomzamo! Nomzamo...

Song Description

This song is based on the book ‘Part Of My Soul’, a collection of essays by Winnie Mandela, wife of Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress, who was arrested in 1963 and sentenced to life in prison the following year. The full name of his wife is Nomzamo Winifred Mandela. She’s one of nine children. The Xhosa people, to whom she belongs, fought nine big wars against the Boers, the white settlers, in the 18th and 19th century.

Nomzamo means ‘test of faith’, but even when one loves, how long can a person bear inhumanity and inequality? In 1960 she already became a victim of the laws, a word that is meant to give the police batons and slamming cell doors a veneer of respectability. In twenty years Winnie Mandela was convicted 19 times, had to leave her home and go into exile to Blandford.

Now all the processes against her have been struck down. She refuses to accept the message of the whips and the waving flags. Even the goal of separate development of blacks and whites, which some moderate reformers aspired to, is unacceptable. In the Apartheid regime only the gunfire of the police and the military didn’t know the difference between skin colours. The solution applies: One people, one cause!


  • AStudio Version (4:30)
  • BExtended Version (6:13)
  • CStudio Version (3:11)