Senzeni na, senzeni na, senzeni na?
What have we done, what have we done, what have we done?
This beautiful, haunting Xhosa song -- a single line repeated over and over again -- is one of the most powerful and moving songs from all the thousands that were sung during the struggle against apartheid. The role of song in the struggle is wonderfully explored in a 2003 documentary called "Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony". (Soundtrack and more about the movie available at www.amandla.com.)
More recently, Kim Stanley Robinson in his Mars novels named one of his bases Senzeni Na, giving the phrase a new lease of life among thousands of people who don't really know where it comes from. Some of them seem to believe the words are Japanese.