I’ve been dealing with whether I should get into this blogging thing or not. It’s not like I don’t have stuff to write about, rather I tend to wonder if what I have to write about really has any merit in the eyes of the internet public. I’ve been through enough to know that my journey has some lessons that some could understand and even others can even appreciate. So, here we go:
Who Am I?
In case you didn’t know, I am a 33 year old African American man with a lot of ideas on how I can improve my immediate community, which would thereby improve my at-large community. I know I can’t make change on my own, but I do grow weary of those who don’t support the concept of community up-lifting.
I do a lot of different things when I’m not busy “at work”. The thing that I love to do the most is dance. I know that sounds odd for a man to say that (and I do think that it’s sad that more men don’t dance.), but it’s something that I’ve been really passionate about for the past ten years that I’ve lived here in Washington DC. In the past, I would’ve NEVER put this information on my website, however it’s a part of who I am. As an adult (in the traditional African context, a man does not reach adulthood until his 30’s), I now realize that I should celebrate ALL facets of who I am regardless of what others may think.
For the past 10 years, I’ve been a dancer with the KanKouran West African Dance Company. It’s been a great journey since I first stepped on the dance floor some ten years ago, but I can honestly say that it’s time for me to evolve. This evolution will take shape in many different ways. The best way to follow is to check back here to this site for the latest information.
You can’t have dance without rhythm. Rhythm, in it’s most simplistic form, originates from the human heartbeat. We all have a heart, however the human condition and the world we live in tries very hard to make sure that we’re not connected to our hearts and/or the rhythm within.
A djembe (pronounced ‘JEM-bay’) also known as jembe, jenbe, djimbe, jymbe, yembe, or jimbay, or sanbanyi in Susu; is a skin-covered hand drum shaped like a large goblet and meant to be played with bare hands. According to the Bamana people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes directly from the saying “Anke dje, anke be” which literally translates to “everyone gather together” and defines the drum’s purpose. In the Bambara language, “Dje” is the verb for “gather” and “be” translates as “everyone”. *I got this last paragraph from WikiPedia, but it’s a pretty good primer for those who just don’t know*
I’ve been drumming now for about four years. At best, I can play the D’jembe accompaniment to several traditional West African Rhythms (from the countries of Mali, Senegal and Guinea in particular). I can also play the Djun ensemble (which is Djun, Songba & Kinkinei). I told myself that 2010-2011 is going to be the “year of the DRUM” because I really want to focus on improving my d’jembe technique. We’ll see how that plays out.
As if I don’t have enough to do already, I also like to take pictures of the world that I live in. Since I started dancing, I am particularly fond of taking pictures of people on the move in the arts. I’ve told myself time and time again that I want to get more into photography, but like everything else, I just have to find the time to do what I love and that’s being creative.