Farewell from the Cape of Good Hope.
It's been over 200 days now. Winter is gone and spring is in full bloom. Cape Town is exploding with flowers right now! We drink a lot of tea in between short missions to the plant store. We hope everyone is staying safe and doing well.
Farewell from the Cape of Good Hope.
We might be locked down in South Africa, but that is not stopping us from voting.
If you haven't voted already - please make a plan today! Our country (and the world) can't afford anyone sitting this one out.
It's been five months since I last played to a live audience. South Africa just lifted a few restrictions (like being able to sit outside and eat/drink) so I thought it would be fun to try out some new material.
This is a video of the first two verses of a new song I wrote called "Power of People."
Speaking of the Power of People.
Live music venues were not included in the CARES ACT that Congress passed earlier this year to help mitigate the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are a lot of people in the live music eco system who are hurting right now. The live music was one of the first industries to shut down and it will be one of the last industries to open up.
If you care about live music it is ESSENTIAL that you contact your representatives right now to tell them that you want them to support the bipartisan RESTART Act + Save Our Stages (SOS) Bill. 90% of live music venues are at risk of shutting down permanently.
The live music industry is at risk right now. We have two more days to #SaveLiveMusic before Congress goes on recess. We need you to contact your Congressional Representatives and ask them to support the bipartisan #RESTART Act + #SaveOurStages (SOS) Act.
Please click this link to contact your Representatives now. It takes two minutes. -> www.NitoLive.org/resources/take-action/
Senator Marco Rubio, The Live Music industry is a delicate ecosystem that needs help right now. Please #SaveLiveMusic by supporting the Save Our Stages Act, RESTART Act, and any other provisions that will bring relief to the live music community.
This is a new song I wrote this week. It still really raw but the lyrics are about my family heritage and the various
"Long Way Or The Hard Way"
You see my Bloodline Flows From the Delaware tribe, Lenni- Lenape, turtle clan.
We signed the first official treaty with the United States. September 17th, 1778. you see,
There are 500 treaties that have been broken 500 treaties that are not spoken 500 treaties that they’re still provoking. 500 treaties! I ain’t even joking.
I’ve seen the Elders pray When they get Pepper sprayed
But when Tatanka moves, guess who runs away? Treaties don’t come with an expiration date.
So, the ink From the pen still holds some weight.
To resist is to exist, and to exist is to prevail. Here On Turtle Island.
The Holy Grail.
Where we can jump in the water and hear the song of the whale, “The Black Hills, still ain’t for sale.”
Are we gonna go? Long way or the hard way? x3 Are we gonna go? I don't know...
Calling all tribes and the Redeemer of Men.
How can we move forward If we ain’t right within?
The Columbus statue was a big mistake.
So that Columbus statue ended up discovering a lake.
walked through the valley of the shadow of death, not only did a get a new life, I got a vision quest. And I’ve seen a couple things, a couple dreams deferred. But on the long walk to freedom a couple things Occur
You might find some keys needing to be unlocked But Remember Child... It takes all you got.
You gotta fly like an Eagle over the Puget Sound, no matter how high you get, always kiss the ground. A man can't live off bread alone, so do what it is that feeds your soul.
Join The People of the Salmon on the Yurok Rez.
Protecting the Klamath. from an Exxon Valdez.
Another grandfather, Was a Scottish hier to the throne.
But he Left the kingdom, left his family, left all he’d ever known.
When he married a Native woman he adopted into tribe.
But not one royal family came to be by his side.
How does one who’s royal be dissatisfied?
When you struggles with the struggle, maybe he realized?
That you can take what you thought and Wrap it up in a box cause this world looks different between a “have” & “have not.” If we want be great we gotta acknowledge our past 'cause Truth, Grace and Mercy are Great Virtues that last.
All around the world we see Women are Rising.
Not Coincidence this is perfect timing.
The patriarchal system being brought to it’s knees.
Because a bunch of men are scared to let a woman lead.
If we never ask forgiveness it won’t go away.
You can’t forget and then forgive.
It works the other way
I took an Uber earlier today to get back to our house after returning our rental car. My driver was a nice gentleman from Malawi. His name was Meshack and he's been living in South Africa for 12 years now. We discussed many issues during the 45 min drive through the mountains that create the dramatic landscape of Cape Town.
Our conversation started with the struggle of the working class (and working poor) of South Africa and how the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lock down effected those of us who are gig workers (musicians, Uber drivers, etc). Our conversation then went into the difference in response between USA and SA and then into American foreign policy and into race.
At one point, I said to Meshack, "I believe the United States needs a truth and reconciliation commission" which he immediately replied "The WORLD needs a truth and reconciliation commission." And he is absolutely right.
If you are unaware of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission setup by Nelson Mandela and led by Desmond Tutu then I highly recommend doing some research on YouTube and other sources. Although the TRC was not perfect it was a monumental step in the right direction.
There is no perfect way to reconcile.
It is not easy.
Digging up the past is not fun. But if it can be done in good faith, I believe we will see progress in our country and around the world. Western civilization has achieved it's economic superiority off broken treaties, slavery, systemic oppression and disenfranchisement of non white people.
Only when we hold our mistakes and broken promises accountable (like 500 broken treaties and Jim Crow) can truly ask forgiveness. Once we have asked and received forgiveness is when the full redemptional power of Greatness can be unleashed on our Nation.
The world needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission because there is no future without forgiveness.
We are witnessing a worldwide self awakening of marginalized and oppressed people. We are also witnessing the worldwide galvanization of sympathetic white folk who are joining the struggle and becoming allies of the Liberation movement.
What is Liberation?
Liberation is Self Determination.
Liberation is accountability and an unequivocal message to the future generations that come hell or high water we shall overcome.
We are sorry to announce that due to the Covid-19 pandemic,
all dates in South Africa and USA have been canceled through July.
We are stuck in South Africa until lock down is lifted and international flights resume.
Please check for updates on social media.
We have been deeply impacted by the recent events in America regarding George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Not only do we hope and pray for peace and justice but we feel it is our civic duty to engage in the non violent struggle of our fellow Americans.
I want to ask my friends and family to take some time to learn more about the struggle and how you can get involved.
Some people are posting on social media.
Some people are peacefully marching in the streets.
Some people are writing their congressional representatives.
Some people are donating silently at home.
Some people are having difficult conversations with family and friends.
Some people are educating themselves.
Some people are registering to vote.
There are many ways to get involved but make no mistake, this is a struggle. It's not easy, it's not comfortable and it's not fun (although you can bring humor to the protest, which is usually good for morale) but the movement only becomes more likely to succeed when you show up!!
With Hope and Solidarity,
Photo: June 6, 2020 // US Consulate General (Cape Town, South Africa).
I organized a non violent demonstration at the US Consulate General (which is a satellite of the US Embassy) here in Cape Town, South Africa. One of the hardest parts about being stuck in a foreign country is not being able to join my fellow Americans on the streets right now.
Katie and Rayah stayed back at the house just in case a lot of people showed up. Well, only one person showed up, but that is okay. It feels like it's been a few years since I've hit the pavement but the moment my shoes hit the ground I felt a jolt of energy. I knew that I wasn't marching alone. I knew I was marching with tens of thousands of other people around the world.
There are many different strategies when it comes to non violent, direct actions. One of my favorite strategies is creating signs. It's a fun outlet for me because I'm usually pretty fired up about whatever it is that we're protesting and I can't just make one sign. I've made anywhere between 10 and 50 signs for protests before. When I know there is going to be a lot of people at a demonstration I usually start streamlining signs.
My main objective was to let the US Embassy know that Americans in South Africa want justice and reform. Here are a few of my signs.
About an hour into my march (which was just a big circle) a car pulled up honking it's horn. Low and behold it was Katie and Rayah coming to check in on me and see how things were going. It's amazing how even a little bit of support can increase morale.
The last thing I want to say is please, please, please do some research and find out how you can get involved in the march towards justice. There are so many ways to get involved. The extremists who have resorted to violence, and their partners the (left and right wing) media has been pumping all the images of burning and looting to make Americans feel that it is not safe to peacefully assemble. This is a tactic to discourage you from getting involved. DO NOT LET THEM WIN.
We can do this but we NEED to add our support to the African American community. Peaceful Action is one of the most effective weapons when attempting to achieve political coercion. The isolated incidents of violence is the oppositions attempt to change the narrative from all the legislative victories non violent demonstrators have achieved. WE CAN CHANGE THE NARRATIVE BY HITTING THE STREETS. But it only works if we do so peacefully.