Although I had a really long day yesterday, I couldn’t resist supporting an evening event that a very dear friend of mine made me aware of. We were talking earlier in the week and she explained that there was a gathering that was going to occur at one of our local community cornerstones. The event was called The Black Family Bond and she wanted to know if I could come and play my Kora and maybe tell a story or two.
I don’t know how anyone could turn down an event supporting the strengthening of familial bonds. I couldn’t and I didn’t. I’ve worked many jobs over my lifetime and I can honestly say that working as a performing artist is a lot more demanding than I had anticipated in my idealized youth. Earlier that day I had workshops at one school with students and then a couple of assembly performances at another school. I’m somewhat phobic about the business aspects of my craft so I’m always trying to make sure my correspondence is “never” delayed. So, factor in workshops, performances, email returns, phone calls (oh, I almost forgot… eating) and there is little time left for anything else.
To make a long story short, as they say, I arrived at the small church called KRST Unity around 7:30 pm, just in time to hear an extremely dynamic woman talking to the audience about the realities of living in the community as families, current changes in the legal system that everyone needed to be aware of, etc. She was exceptional! I could have listened to her talk for hours on end.
They announced me and I went out and did my thing, a little music mixed with a bit of interactive tale telling. In the middle I might have thrown in a few of my own philosophical morsels. The thing that made this most memorable to me was the response I got from the children in the audience. After I finished my performance and was exiting the area, a good number of the children in the audience also stood up and followed me out of the sanctuary. It was impromptu, it seemed almost like a dance to me, as if they had moved on cue. It was a humbling thing for me to be a part of. We spent time in the back room, while I was preparing to leave, talking. A few of the children were trying to get me to commit to returning or coming to their homes to give them bed time stories. Aren’t children the most amazing thing about life?
I had arrived more tired than anything. I was leaving more refreshed than I had felt all day. Maybe this is why I do what I do.
Dooni, dooni kononi be nyaga da.