Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cultura in Africa




Checking out regional poets and musicians in Kenya became an obession for me while I was in Nairobi. Though the instruments and styles of dancing differed from what I was used to, the rhythmic cadences and messages behind the spoken word were universal.

During a concert hosted by the World Social Forum, an African group began playing what my friends and I
thought resembled our beloved cumbia, salsa and merengue beats. As our hips began shaking, we noticed some Kenyans take a second look. A local Kenyan sports broadcaster who had joined our group, quickly pointed out, "This is African jazz."

I tried mimicking his back and forth dancing motions, concentrating on swaying the shoulders and neck instead of my hips. But, alas, my hips rebelled. Even in Africa I guess you can't take the Latina out of me! When we finally sat down to take a break, some Nairobi women said we danced beautifully. I guess it doesn't matter how you move as long as you allow the energy to seep into you.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Nancy,
Thank you so much for sharing your blog, and even more so, your trip. What a beautiful experience. I'm so glad you're a journalist!