“If you ever question that music is the universal language, watch this: A German-speaking teacher tutoring a French-speaking African how to sing an aria in Italian.”
The inspired story of the Kimbanguiste Symphony Orchestra, the only symphony orchestra in Central Africa, which practices in a rented warehouse in the Congo and got its start with no instruments and no professional musicians who knew how to read music – a wonderful addition to other recent innovation in orchestras.
Life in Africa has many challenges: from disease to poverty and war. The continent also has a reputation for extreme difficulties that are fixable, but a lack of resources often prevents the problems from being solved.This is where resourcefulness comes into play: if you don’t have what you need make do with what you already have. A surplus of empty plastic bottles is something that not only affects Africa, but the entire planet. (Read More)
How China is building up Africa…for its own good. Chinese direct investment in Africa has increased nearly twentyfold, from under US $500 million to more than $9 billion, over the last six years. So what does China get out of all these projects? Mining rights to the continent’s resource-rich countries.
The recent referendum for independence in Southern Sudan reminded me of this photo. In the 1960s and ’70s Leni Riefentahl spent time living in the region, and the Nuba gained international recognition (though not necessarily for the better) after she published her photographs of them.
What is spreading is African concepts, perspectives, philosophies, traditions and cultures through African music. This is now being done by Africans themselves. It is true that African traditions, cultural norms and aspects have been spread for years all over the world. However, this spreading was by non-Africans which in some ways was an interpretation of African by non-African scholars, writers, film makers and so on. Africa and Africans have been suppressed for a long time. It was only around the 1950s that Africans resisted and fought for their rights in their own land and started gaining the political power to rule themselves and try to determine their own future.
The other message of the song is that not all non-Africans oppressed Africans. Actually, there were and still are non-Africans who fought and fight to free Africa from oppression financially, educationally and politically. Music can dismantle cultural, political and racial barriers.