The sun has finally gone away on this Australian spring day and night has fallen. I’ve been really enjoying a bunch of music from all across Africa in the last couple of weeks, marveling, as usual, at the variety of ways it can bring joy to the soul.
With the televised Presidential debates going on in the USA one’s mind is taken back to when Dubya pronounced, “Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease." And whilst I was recollecting that gaffe I stumbled upon some other things said about that wonderful continent. A few are appended in no particular sequence or priority.
“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” (Desmond Tutu)
“The darkest thing about Africa has always been our ignorance of it.” (George Kimble, explorer 1912)
“So geographers, in Africa maps, With savage pictures fill their gaps, And o'er uninhabitable downs Place elephants for want of towns” (Jonathan Swift)
“I am the hero of Africa.” Idi Amin Dada
“People go to Africa and confirm what they already have in their heads and so they fail to see what is there in front of them. This is what people have come to expect. It's not viewed as a serious continent. It's a place of strange, bizarre and illogical things, where people don't do what common sense demands.” (Chinua Achebe)
“Humans have been evolving for millions of years longer in Africa than in Europe, and even anatomically modern Homo sapiens may have reached Europe from Africa only within the last 50,000 years. If time were a critical factor in the development of human societies, Africa should have enjoyed an enormous head start and advantage over Europe.” (Jared Diamond)
First, white folks discovered Africa
and they claimed it fair and square.
Cecil Rhodes couldn't have been robbing nobody
'cause he said there was nobody there.
White folks brought all the civilization,
since there wasn't none around.
They said 'how could these folks be civilized
when you never see nobody writing nothing down?'
(Gil Scott Heron /Black History)
I hope you enjoy this mixtape of African sounds as much as I have in recent days.
01 Heaven [Ebo Taylor] GHANA
02 Safi [Rachid Taha] ALGERIA
03 Pachange Maria [Os Bongos] ANGOLA
04 Dododo (ekassa 1) [Sir Victor Uwaifo] NIGERIA
05 Hawa Dolo [Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabete] MALI
06 Thuto ke senotlolo [Mahlathini Nezintobmi Zomgqashiyo] SOUTH AFRICA
07 Maqtool Hawaki Ya Kordofan [Abdel Gadir Salim] SUDAN
08 Tenere (The Desert, My Home) [Bombino] NIGER
09 Gua [Emmanuel Jal and Abdel Gadir Salim] SOUTH SUDAN AND SUDAN
10 Salome [I.K. Dairo and His Blue Spots] GHANA
11 Salam [Youcef] ALGERIA
12 Miwa [Gangbe Brass Band] BENIN
13 Ghanili Chweyi [Oum Kalthoum] EGYPT
14 Rosa [Francisco Mahecuane] MOZAMBIQUE
15 Riberonzinha [Maria de Barros] CAPE VERDE
16 Tiebaw [Oumara Sangare] MALI
17 Coup De Chapeau [Thu Zahina] DEMOCRATIC REP. CONGO
18 Sene' (Working the Land) [Afro Celt Syound System] IRELAND
19 Deka [Ade Liz] COTE D’IVOIRE
20 Paradiso [Konono No.1 ] DEMOCRATIC REP. CONGO
21 Xigevengu [Wazimbo] MOZAMBIQUE
22 E Nan Man Nuku El Rego et ses Commandos] BENIN
23 Tea samba [E.T. Mensah] GHANA
24 Rouh Adhqimagh [Lounis Ait Menguellet] ALGERIA