30 September 2012
Earlier today I was at a Hugh Masekela show.
I am still buzzing at how amazing he is as a musician.
That guy has 42 albums out! Wow!
Also was impressed with how there was such a strong connectedness through the music and the people who were watching.
I have never experienced such a thing in the “western white” music shows that I have been to.
Yes, there is a sense of connection at those shows too, don’t get me wrong.
But not like what I had experienced this afternoon. This transcended to another level.
I went on my own to the Durban Botanical Gardens (my friends had something else on / they don’t appreciate African jazz / going on my own is part of my nomadic nature.)
I was a little “apprehensive” at first, to go on my own; however I didn’t want to waste energy feeling sorry for myself, so I went anyway…
And then the music and the people pulled me in.
I have been in many a crowd and have felt really alone.
In this crowd, weirdly, I felt noticed and connected.
While I was sitting on the grass, watching Hugh Masekela I noted how a father and his two toddler kids came and sat right next to me.
Right in “my personal space” (as we westernized so often like to claim)
The little toddler’s arm occasionally bumped my arm.
But I didn’t mind.
I loved how everyone there at the show was “connected.”
There weren’t many white people at the show, maybe the only the cultured ones. (Haha!)
I then thought of this:
And I say this as a white African.
And as a person only 32 years young
So my knowledge is limited
I write simply just listening to thoughts of my heart
(I did share my thought with our ‘black’ minister/friend at my church… he agreed with my thoughts)
I think very often “loneliness” and “suffering from loneliness” is often a predominantly “white” thing.
Thinking about the authors who have written about books about the topic of loneliness: white.
Working with young people, the ones who feel lonely: white.
I may speak a little in ignorance.
But I think there is something very insightful in the black African culture, across the 9 various African languages we have here in South Africa,
It’s the profound sense of community.
There is an African saying: Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu
Translated means: a person is a person through (other) persons.
That is beautiful.
We belong to each other
There needs to be collectiveness about us all.
It was cool to see a black man dancing with a white woman, he was swirling her in circles as the crowd cheered them on.
I also noted… 3 friends, who typified a beautiful south Africa: a black guy, a white girl, an Indian girl and a white guy who had come together, had a picnic and danced together.
It didn’t look “put on”
It didn’t looked cliché “new south Africa”
It looked genuine.
It looked right!