In a land where men lead each other hand-in-hand, but homophobia runs rampant, we drove off the main road and miles up the ridge to one of the pockets hardest hit by the genocide— a place where the residents stopped waving back. An area so very isolated, it was as if the genocide had never ended. Topping that, we were traveling this dirt trail with two Tutsis in an area where they had recently been “hunting Rwandans,” and a sense of discomfort was tangible, as if an invisible line had been crossed and we’d entered ibiwa (“problems”).
The man on the tricked-out bike with “One World, One Love” mudflaps, did not know who Bob Marley was, but professed to me that those were the words of God. With him, the message had outlived the fame— just as it should.
Amidst a village where the singers said that they were too tired to sing due to being sick with Malaria, they don’t have to be “taught” recycling. Every last item is reused, some purpose found. Just as it has always been, eons ahead of western “progressives.” There, plastic bottles lend prestige, and children fight over the remnants if cast out by passing cars.
It was here that we found the hunchback, teenage break-dancer that with his Intore moves, could out-battle any south Queens sidewalk challenger.
We’d already survived a Katy Perry onslaught at the machine-gun guarded mall— her sound still remaining sterile even when blasted through cracked, tropically humidified speakers. Worse was the tag-team lounge duo playing an off-key Bob Marley medley, as a local village audience kept straightening out the beat, clearly entrained to European 4/4 mechanical rhythms.
The Abatwa (“pygmy”) tribe is identified as one of the most marginalized, voiceless and endangered populations in Africa. In fact, their name is frequently taken in vain as a general....... więcej