On a Saturday night of January 1930 several thousand African men clad in loin cloths and the calico uniforms of domestic servants thronged a concert in the Workers' Hall of the Durban branch of the Industrial and Commercial Workers' Union (ICU) in Prince Edward Street. To the pounding sounds of hundreds of sticks, successive teams of dancers, some of them trained by Union officials from the rural hinterland, rushed to the stage performing the virile, stamping ingoma dance. The Zulu term ingoma (lit. ‘song’) covers a broad range of male group dances like isikhuze, isicathulo, ukukomika, isiZulu, isiBhaca, umzansi and isishameni. The kinesic patterns of ingoma are inseparably linked to choral songs in call-and-response structure and, as such, constitute a complex statement of the unity of dance and song in Zulu performance culture. The peak of Zulu-speaking migrants' dance culture, ingoma evolved out of the profound transformation of traditional rural Zulu culture through impoverishment, dispossession and labour migration around the first World War. But on that night of January 1930, at the climax of the spectacle, the ingoma dancers struck a particularly defiant note:
Who has taken our country from us?
Who has taken it?
Come out! Let us fight!
The land was ours. Now it is taken.
We have no more freedom left in it.
Come out and fight!
The land is ours, now it is taken.
Shame on the man who is burnt in his hut!
Come out and fight! (Perham 1974, p. 196