I was asking one of my favorite Ngewels from Senegal West Africa what he thought about Radical Islamic groups in Mali trying to stop musicians from singing and playing music; attempting to instate Sharia Law there.
I’m not sure what sort of answer I was expecting, perhaps one politically charged. His response surprised me in a good way. Simply and matter-of-factly he said:
“They can’t stop music. They can’t stop a musician from playing his music or a singer from singing.”
Watching this video today I was reminded of his words and realized more than ever he’s right. Music is everything. It is our spirits manifesting themselves. It’s the spirit that never dies. *The griot (ngewel) thinks with a clear mind.
*Ngewel (wolof word)=musician & oral historian of culture, ritual, spectacle.