So I was out on Saturday night, and my friends and I made our way to Suzy Q – by far my favourite place in Hongdae – and settled in there for a few drinks.
We hadn’t been there long when Africa started playing. I cheered. A few people at the table next to us cheered. And – as with many of the songs that get played in Suzy Q – many people sang with.
One of my friends asked me why the Saffas always get so excited over this song. I explained about the Castle ad:
(I don’t even like Castle. But I do get excited when I find Hunters in a bar, so I’m pretending this ad is for Hunters. Because I love Hunters, and Hunters tastes like home.)
I’m not even sure how old this ad is. I think some of the younger South Africans may not remember the song from that advertisement. I was pretty young when it was on TV.
I think it actually comes down to one line:
It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Now I know ‘you’ the song is referring to is a girl, and the singer is using African imagery to describe his love for the girl and blah, blah, blah…
But I don’t think that’s what we hear when we sing this, so loudly and so passionately and so drunkenly in bars all around the world. We hear it (or I hear it, anyway) as Africa itself. I think the ad does too. The feeling is… yes, we’re in another country. But it’ll take a lot to make us forget where we come from. It’ll take a lot to get South Africa out of our hearts.
After explaining this to my friend, she asked if I was homesick. I paused for a moment, and then told her that I am. A lot. I love Korea. I love what I do here – however stressed and frustrated I am at times – but I know I’m not going to be here forever. I miss home. A lot.
Anyhow. For those of you who want to hear the whole song – and get it stuck in your head for days – here’s the terribly 80s video: