By Wind and Awe- Emmanuel Oritseweyinmi
When a child is born into this world, it has no concept of the tone of skin it has. It’s only grateful for what it’s been given. If the world around accepts it, it would learn to love it. Just as I learned to love you—Africa.
Much like a toddler loves it’s mother and the sound of her voice, sonorous was yours when you welcomed the morning sun, singing Makeba’s “Mbumbe”. Or at night when you sang the moon sweet lullabies. The elements seemed to like it, as I remember the stars shone brighter that night when you sang Salif Keita’s “Wamba”.
And at noon when the sun did our corn roast, you sang to the hearing of the king and his proud chiefs, who sat like children about him, the songs of the one who held death in his pouch.
The truth was never bitter in his mouth, so he mixed it with lyrics and made nobility drink it like sweet wine. For he had a hope that our shores would one day welcome peace and that she may find her place among us. So he dared the elements and made music his weapon.
These days you mumble K’naan, wanting more from the dusty foot philosopher. And your brows were arched when you counted the units to Youssou N’dour’s wordcraft.
I really can’t put my finger on what your reaction would be if you heard what’s being aired on the radio these days. It’s either you’re impressed or sorely disappointed. I pray it’s not the latter. Afterall, we do have some songs that mother and child can dance to. Songs that make them jolly, bringing back good memories, they tell us about what we can have & become. The old days were good, but the future looks brighter. I see the light on.
And one day, when my hair glimmers like the sun when it sets, I should be able to sing my little ones a song from Africa, woven like fine tapestry, soothing to sour minds & uplifting to wary travelers from across the five oceans, brought in by the wind and awe to trade with Mr Black and Miss Beautiful.