Friday, September 7, 2007


Writes: Enock Shishenge
One of the people who inspired me with their words in the early nineties is 2 Pac Amaru Shakur. I listened to his music with passion and read his poems with love from the heart. I used to follow his controversial stories as a gangster. The month September always comes with a hell lot of stories that I always wish to tell. I was born on the 9th of this month some decades ago. And on the 10th one of my sisters was delivered into this world as well. But on the 11th of September America’s World Trade Centre and the Pentagon were reduced into debris by what America refers as terrorists. This is the story that took the world by storm and kept debate flowing globally. On the 12th of September 1977 in South Africa Steven Biko lost his soul in the hands of the apartheid security who enjoyed seeing black people dying and suffering under the notorious laws of apartheid. On the 13th of September 1996, Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States of America and the world was in the deep silence when a great man for hip-hop or should I call him the King of Rap Music- whatever it may be-but this is the day a man, whose words inspired me to take a pen and paper to write poetry, died. “Tupac Shakur died in what most believed to be ‘Rappers against Rappers….West Coast and East Coast Violence.” To be as the crow flies, today I want to dedicate few words to the man who helped me to love words though I was not a man of many words by then. I will remind people about his life story and some of the lyrics that shocked the world, his gangster lifestyle, his upbringing and life after death. I have tried to do research to give you a well balanced analysis and deliver a very good story line. But also remember that this month in South Africa is a heritage month...!


Tupac Amaru Shakur was born on the 16th of June 1971, New York City in the USA. The 16th of June, remember, is a Youth Day in South Africa. The parents of Tupac were said to be the members of the Black Panther. His mum, Afeni Shakur, was pregnant with HIM when she got arrested for the demonstrations in New York City. 2 Pac attended the Baltimore School of Arts as a teen, but later moved to Marin City, Carlifornia. While there he lived mostly on streets. By chance he got a breakthrough when he appeared briefly as part of the group called Digital Underground. Since then he never stopped he released his debut album 2Paclypse Now. The album I used to enjoy so much. He was attacked, for his explicit lyrics, by the state organs. I Get Around came out in 1993 and achieved a platinum standard. In the album there were some brilliant tracks such as Strictly For My N.I.G.G.A.Z.Last Words-‘United we stand, divided we fall, they can shoot one nigga, but they can’t shoot us all”. His acting also flourished. He appeared in the movies such as Juice, Poetic Justice, Above The Rim, Bullet; Gridlocke’d but was removed from Menance Society II for the jail sentence in 1994. He was short but survived in 1994 in New York Times Square. This shooting is the one that led to the West Coast/East Coast grudges because Tupac accused Notorious BIG and Sean ‘Pufff Daddy’ Combs of knowing something about the shooting in question. He was arrested for sexual assault charges and sentenced to four and half year in jail. While in jail his “Me Against The World” and “All Eyes on me” were released. They did very well and topped the charts in the US and other parts of the world including South Africa. Surge Knight, the president of Death Row Records arranged parole for Tupac and it was granted to him in eight months or so. On the eight of September, a day before I celebrated my birthday in the rural village of Jimmy Jones where I come from, he was shot after watching Mike Tyson vs Bruce Seldom and five days later his body and soul went separate ways. It was different from other big people who die mysteriously; there were a lot of explanations and theories why he died. One theory was that because he had slept with Faith Evans who was Notorious BIG’s wife. This led to more hatred between the west coast and the east coast. BIG was shot dead six month later and Orlando Anderson, the main suspect of 2Pac’s death was shot dead also in May 1998. But Tupac like Mantshwa Bemuda, the powerful musician from South Africa, released albums after death. When 2 Pac bite the dust was 25 years of age still young and with many dreams to achieve. Many people usually say “He lived and Died By The Gun”


Q: Is 2 Pac dead or alive?
A: The question seeks a lot of thinking. But I think Tupac is dead though there are so many reports which can convince young stars that he is still kicking and making music and money.
Q: Which reports do you think confuse young stars?
A: Such as the one that appeared on the Sowetan few years back. They reported on the five videos by Tupac and others that featured him. “The album released after Tupac contained, on the sleeve, the words: Exit Tupac, Enter Machiavelli., “American reporters allege Makaveli is the rap star’s spelling... belonging to a 16th century Italian philosopher, Machiavelli,” reported by the Sowetan. The investigation went on to say that “This great thinker is popular and is also known in history because he recommended that people fake their death in order to evade one’s enemies and gain power. It is…documented that 2Pac was tired of ….’gangster wars’ which dominated the USA….” So if you can check this view it seems to be credible though it is not. When young people come across these kinds of reports they get confused and think it is true without any proper understanding of the motives of these kinds of reports. I nearly got into the same kind of a trap as a teen but later realized that I had to dig deeper into the main purpose by doing a research which proved most of the theories wrong. So the youth should not be led astray or misled by reports of this kind. The reporters of this particular newspaper mentioned that Tupac left Mike Tyson’s fight in Las Vegas on 7th September 1996 whereas it was on the 8th September 1996. While trying to make their argument more convincing the report went on to say:”….The date was September 1996. Tupac apparently passed away in the nearby hospitals on the seventh day after the shooting, on September 13. One of the albums released after his death is called The 7 day theory. But the truth is 2 Pac died on the fifth day after he was shot. The reports further put more flesh on their skeletal argument. They said there was never a picture of Tupac in hospital. He did not have funeral. His body was reportedly cremated, just one day after his death. In songs he released before his death, he intimidated that he wished to be buried not cremated. There was no autopsy, although the state law in Nevada after a murder. Cynics suggest that for him to have been buried or to have had an autopsy there would have had to be a body, and there was none,” The Sowetan reported. If you further check this report said he was shot on the 7th whereas Tyson fought on the 8th and Tupac shot that same night. For a person who does not know or probe these kinds of reports will believe in the 7 day theory. In another view on the same report it is said that:''The first track to be released after the shooting, mysteriously called I aint mad at Cha, is the 13th track on his album of that time. In the video, Tupac is shown being shot as he leaves a theatre-remarkably similar scene to that of Las Vegas incident in which he was reportedly killed. Later in the same video he’s shown as an angel in heaven.” All these make one to believe whole-heartedly that Tupac is still alive and kicking. They further went on to talk about the man who released Tupac’s music after death as Simon and Simon is referred as the first person to witness the resurrection of Jesus; Hail Mary, White Man’s World where his lyrics says; ''We aint gonna walk off this planet unless you chose to”. The songs add more add more confusion in the young minds. There are many tracks which have relevance to his death but the most convincing of them all is Aint Hard To Find where his lines says: “I heard rumours I died, mudered in cold blood, but that was fiction”. And in Scarface’s video of the song Smile, Tupac is shown being crucified, remember that Jesus Christ resurrected that is what many people believe Tupac did. But his mother in one interview said categorically clear that her son is dead and you could feel it that she was feeling the loss by mere looking at her face, though she thanked him for having made millions for her. Some were saying the guy who works for a shop that sells baggy clothes in Carlton Centre is Tupac. This is the man I heard about in the late nineties and I once visited the shop he worked for in 1998, but to my disappointment he was not like Tupac if one knows 2 Pac. Be told, people can say anything and everything to convince people with the aim of proving their point or theory as correct. Tupac’s mum says she keeps in her house the ashes of his cremation which was reported to be coming to Soweto the past years. But at the end of the day is up to a person to believe whatever s/he wants to believe in. Mara 2Pac u bodile!( But 2 Pac died) You will never see him except in the videos which are manipulated by the American technologists who want to advance their money making schemes. Maeno will never be convinced that 2 Pac is alive and kicking but, instead, he is dead and cremated. If you have an argument about this issue advance it to the following e-mail address: I will publish your argument if it defies mine…if you are of my points you can still comment and your comment will be published as well. Till Next Time!

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