The new video for “Ubaba” (Father) tells the story of the Soweto fathers forced to work in ‘the hostels’ — male-occupied working-class homes during apartheid.
Feet in the tradition, head in the future, the four musicians of Urban Village raise the cultural and historical awareness of the South African township of Soweto, where a strategy of the regime sought to separate many fathers from their families and send them to mines in Johannesburg during the 1990s.. Through the camera of Justice Mukheli, the video explores the daily life of these male spaces which, despite the fatigue of the work, remained places of conviviality and unity.
“Justice Mukheli, is our brother from Soweto. From the moment we discussed his vision for the “Ubaba” music film we trusted he would bring the song to life on screen. The music video shows the different roles played by father’s within society; to nurture, to care, to love, and to protect their families. Salute to all the Ubabas out there present in the house” — Urban Village.
These cohabiting souls gather around a unifying fire to share songs, drink sorghum and eat together. This happy village is surely where Urban village gets its group name, a place where people sing and work in harmony in the face of the oppressor. The video provides a glimpse of contemporary South African culture, essential today in envisioning a future where the spirit of unity takes precedence over issues of skin color and economic interest.
Urban Village is the futuristic indie folk voice of Soweto. In their eponymous EP, the musicians get their inspiration from the rich musical heritage of South African soil and offer an original synthesis that mixes zulu guitars, indie folk, South African choirs, and jazz, all carried by a spiritual energy. This EP is a journey through the times of Soweto, first designed as a dormitory town to better monitor those who were sent there, that has become the laboratory of music where the hopes of an entire people resonate, even today.
L’EP Ubaba is available on all platforms.