Tuesday, October 14, 2008

VIEN VOIR - Africa Thinks, Africa Blinks

Vien Voir, A Song from Africa

By Umair Ghani

WOP Contributing Editor and Photographer Umair Ghani is nowadays in Africa. On a special photographic assignment to capture the soul of Africa through his lens, he met many African artists, painters and poets there.
In his first report which he filed for our readers, Umair sends me a poem written by African poet, Tiken Jah Fakoly. As I read this poem, I was stunned to observe the feelings, the pain, the anguish Jah feels for his land. Its same story every where. You just put Pakistan in place of Africa and every thing what Jah says, seems to portray a perfect picture – of us – of our country – our own sufferings at the hands of unscrupulous rulers. A fact that betells, common people all over the world think the same way.

Its now time for more people to people contacts. Interaction between different civilizations, people and countries. This will definitely help usher an era of understanding between different cultures. It’s incumbent for our generation to act now, when things like North South, East West Polarization, War on Terror, Uni-polar World have turned this beautiful earth into nightmares, not only for us but also for our coming generations.

Umair Ghani reports…

Tiken Jah Fakoly (1968–)a reggae singer from Côte d'Ivoire, was born into a family of griots and christened Doumbia Moussa Fakoly on June 23, 1968 in Odiené, north-western Côte d'Ivoire. He discovered reggae at an early age, assembling his first group, Djelys, in 1987. He became well-known at a regional level, but would soon ascend to national recognition.
Concerned by the social and political evolution of his country, it was not long before Tiken Jah was writing incisive works on the political environment in Côte d'Ivoire. One such work was on the death of Félix Houphouët-Boigny in 1993, which resulted in a surge of popularity amongst the nation's youth. In 1998, Fakoly made his first international appearance in Paris.
Tiken Jah Fakoly plays music "to wake up the consciences". His music speaks about many injustices done to the people of his country, and those over Africa. As such, many African listeners feel a deep affinity with his lyrics as Fakoly speaks for oppressed people. This connection has helped make Tiken Jah Fakoly a much-listened artist throughout the world.
Since the rise in political instability and xenophobia in Côte d'Ivoire in recent years, Tiken Jah has been living in exile, particularly in Bamako (capital of the neighboring country of Mali) where his concerts are well-attended. In December 2007, Fakoly was declared persona non grata in Senegal after criticizing President Abdoulaye Wade.
Viens Voir is a moving song by Tiken Jah Fakoly, a symbol of unity and strength for African people. Here in Africa, almost everyone is playing or singing his REVOLUTIONARY songs everyday. All taxi cars consistently blare out his voice, all cafes and bars and everyone on the streets is humming… Jah Fakoly is living in exile in Paris, after his severe criticism of Senegalese, South African, Ivory Coast and Congolesean puppet rulers in his previous albums. One of his songs goes like this...."give me arms Ohhhh people, so I can kill these criminals who are ruling over us for nothing."

Come See [Viens voir]
Come see, come see
Come see, come see
You who speak without knowing
Bamako, Abidjan ou Dakar Bamako, Dakar or Abidjan
Sierra leone, Namibie, ? come see
My Africa is not what makes you think
It is believed still faces the same
It is believed the same comments
It is believed the same stories
Listening to my Africa would be drought and famine
When we listen, my Africa would be fighting and minefields
Come see
My Africa is not doing what you believe
Not a word about the history of this continent
On civilizations and wealth of yesteryear
No word on the meaning of values
People who t'accueillent hand on heart
My Africa is not what makes you think
Africa is not doing what you believe
Come in our families
Come to our villages
You know what hospitality
The heat, smile, generosity
Come see those who have nothing
Look how they can give
And leave you richer
And you will not forget
Come see

You can listen to this song by clicking on the title which provides the link to audio player.

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