Remembering Brenda Fassie Ten Years Later: Why I love ‘Weekend Special’ so much.
Swedish artist Robyn, one of my favourite performers, once said something to the effect of loving sad love songs that you could both dance to and lose yourself in. Weekend Special, one of the most iconic African pop songs of all time, is most certainly a high ranking tune in that category.
Listening to Brenda Fassie's groovy 80s breakout hit track, watching her get down in her glamourous gear, you'd hardly think this song was about a person painfully acknowledging their side-partner status in a relationship now void of any love. As a kid, I was certainly clueless as to the sentiments expressed in the song. But the one thing I could vouch for, both then and now, is the timlessness of Brenda's voice. During part of my upbringing in Nairobi, Kenya, I remember hearing Brenda's Weekend Special and Yvone Chaka Chaka’s Umqombothi and Thank You Mr. DJso often on the radio that I believed them to be released in the 90s and not the 80s.
Generations of people from all over the continent can identify with at least one of Brenda Fassie’s songs, or name a period in their lives where one of her tracks dominated the airwaves where they lived at the time.
Weekend Special was the start of Brenda Fassie’s fame, and what an amazing debut it was.
RIP Mabrr (3 November 1964 – 9 May 2004).