Multitalented young Gareth Smit, final year student in Social Sciences at UCT has composed a a poignant response to the massacre at Marikana. As a musician and photo-journalist 21 year old Gareth is making his mark.


In between studying Philosophy, History and Spanish, Gareth freelances as a photojournalist, having contributed work to the Argus and Cape Times since the age of 16. His photographs have also appeared in international publications. Last year his photos of the shack fires in Hout Bay won him a silver award in the Fujifilm Professional Awards competition.


For the past two years Gareth has also been one of the top ten finalists in the Barleycorn Music Club songwriting competition, the 2012 final of which is taking place on Monday 27 August. Apart from writing music, Gareth plays the guitar, piano, bass and double-bass.


It was while he was a student in the USA that Gareth’s eyes were opened to the wider world. Selected by the United World College South African Scholarship Trust as one of 200 youngsters from 80 countries to be educated at the United World College-USA (one of 13 colleges across the world) he learnt to “think critically and think community”. The philosophy of the organisation is to educate children of different cultures and languages to be catalysts for world peace, justice and reconciliation, a role that this dynamic young man is actively fulfilling.


Hear Gareth on YouTube at His lyrics follow:


What would you say if I said
they left thirty-four dead?
Say: I haven’t got an answer
why we shoot one another.
They promised us freedom,
they promised us grace.
All we got was a reason
to repeat past mistakes.

A sister lost a brother, and a mother lost a son.
Marikana, please remember how your metal’s won.
Children lost a father, further down the road.
Father please forgive us, we know not what is owed.

I didn’t feel the deadweight
but I heard the noise made.
I didn’t feel the dirt-road
but I saw how the blood stains.
It’s written on the headlines,
repeated: “Hold your fire”
I didn’t hear the outcry — did you even feel it pass you by?

The miners dug the same ground
upon which dead they were later found.
The gunman shot the rattle rounds
Count the shells on the same ground.
Today we saw the outcome
of fear being outrun.
Tomorrow we’ll realise, and history will criticize.

After Nelson I remember,
before, I can’t recall.
But if it was anything like this
I’d rather never been born.