So my mother, the lil sis, and I are in my little car driving to a barbecue this weekend.  We're listening to the music of the Baka people (pygmies) of Cameroon, specifically, this track:


When the singers ended the song in unison my mother nodded in approval, stating, "Eh-heh, eh-heh...when the conductor stops, you have to stop.  But there is often that one person who always keeps going after the conductor says to stop.  Because we practiced, and now, weh ku bibsi neh (you've ruined everything).  So we have to fine you five liters of shah (corn beer).  Of course, in an orchestra, there are two kinds of people: the ones who keep quiet and pay, and the ones who have a mouth, saying 'Mbi lah kah!  Ah bi gi keh ni meh?' (I won't pay!  What are you going to do to me?)"

This story had me laughing for days.  I shared it with my father and, not to be outdone by my mother, he showed me the Malian kora.

Seems like lately, all my older relatives have been waxing nostalgic about village life.


  1. That's great!!!

    But seriously, can you blame them? I, too, am nostalgic for village life, even though I've never lived in one. I guess it's the "getouttadodge" mentality I have.

    Great story!

    1. LOL @ Amaya! I'm always trying "getouttadodge," and I live in occupied Michigan where Dodge actually is and reigns over the land. Us folk here always talk about getting out of dodge!

  2. "This story had me laughing for days. I shared it with my father and, not to be outdone by my mother, he showed me the Malian kora."

    Strange, I incorporated this same instrument into a piece entitled, Gathered in my Name. The Kora player sits at foreground (left). The drummer (left of the choir) plays a "goblet shaped" Djembe; while to the right of the choir a man plays the Balafon. For back-story, scroll to bottom of page.

    So rich with tradition we are.

  3. Queenofsheba5/31/12, 12:38 PM

    Talking of Africa, I thought you might appreciate this...

  4. Love storytime! More stories please! ;)

    1. The music in the first vid makes me think of you.

  5. I've never heard this music before, it is amazing. Your family stories was also great to read.


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