Who's Behind This Website?
I'm Helen, Swiss, author of this website. I neither have musical talent nor a degree in ethnomusicology, sorry. Instead, I believe I have something in common with you
A passion for the African continent!
I've always been fascinated by Africa, even though I didn't know much about it. My only connection to the continent were some years of African dance and djembe classes. Until 2006, when I decided it was time to finally realize my dream:
I quit my job at IBM Business Consulting Services and moved to Ghana
. Just like that. Since then, Africa has touched me, inspired me and taught me many life lessons. But...
Whya website about music? - It all started with a bamboo flute
During my first weeks in Ghana I met a young percussionist called Mensah. He was struggling to make a living as a member of a local music group.
(In Ghana, "struggling to make a living" means sharing a hot and tiny room with six people, no running water, no electricity, no toilet etc).
Kingy Mensah With His Drums
Nonetheless, Mensah had this incredible faith in God's blessings and the determination to make it in life. He just wanted to "do something".
One day, he sold me a bamboo flute and I paid for some lessons. It was fun and gave him a bit of extra cash.
Motivated by this, he wanted to organize a drumming workshop, so I brought in some friends. They paid a small fee and enjoyed learning and playing the drums for a few hours.
And you know what happened next?
- With that extra income Mensah built some drums and sold them.
- With that income he opened a small souvenir shop.
- With that income he filled the shop with even more drums and sold them all.
- And with that income, well...
Mensah now owns a business, exports African drums to all parts of the world and pays decent wages to many workers. Wow! And all this started with a little bamboo flute...
Mensah's story got me excited about the potential of music for the African people.
As much as this website is about music, it shall be about solidarity towards Africa. Because it's so easy to support the continent:
Download songs legally... Buy African drums instead of Asian imitations...
Through music you can make a big difference by just having fun!
Many lessons to learn
Wet Goat Skin - What Smell...!?
Helping Mensah with his business over the past years has taught me a lot about music, about Africa and about life itself.
I love doing this, although it's hardly ever easy. As Youssou N'Dour says in one of his songs:
"If you want to grow, there's a price to pay."
This is oh so true in Africa!
Objectively, I've lost more than I gained during my time in Ghana. But everything I've learned from being here just makes it worthwhile. I'm grateful for being able to experience Africa!
If you are curious about African music, I hope that my website helps you discover this rich continent with all the treasures it has to offer!
Moving Djembe Shells
Music is so closely connected with daily African life. By learning about its music, you'll learn about the continent itself.
This broader horizon and new respect will reflect in the way you live your own life: More freely and consciously.
But hey, you better come and discover this yourself! It's an exciting "safari". I see you in Africa!
Thank you for visiting and please keep in touch
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