Izz on the importace of asking questions :

“.. it speaks of modesty. It says one doesn’t know, but one’s willing to ask so they can learn.”


I haven’t been posting for a while and one of the reasons is that winter has arrived.

African winters can be cold – just like in Tunis – the winters are chilly – since there is no central heating like in Hungary – so if you are cold – all you can do is – jump up and run a few laps :). So instead of typing away and I spent some time staring into our fireplace while trying to warm up a bit.

OpenCafe fire

… which is really relaxing and if you stare long enough – you might even find that you forget all about the issues of the day … and if by any chance you have some smooth jazz on like this one called ‘African Herbs’ by SA jazz master, Abdullah Ibrahim …..

… then automatically you will be transported to a whole different world – just like you were on a holiday in the … Bahamas …. untilll…

…there is the phone again – and you are rudely taken back to the hard working side of things…

This is another favourite – and looking at this blog – I seem to have an infinite number of favourite songs – and it’s even more interesting how my favourite songs change from artist to artist – from band to band – and eventually become folk songs with a million different versions and styles….(many times having originated from folk songs themselves).

Well, I stand up next to a mountain
And I chop it down with the edge of my hand.
Well, I stand up next to a mountain,
Chop it down with the edge of my hand.
Well, I pick up all the pieces and make an island,
Might even raise just a little sand.
cause Im a voodoo chile,
Lord knows Im a voodoo chile, baby.

I didnt mean to take up all your sweet time,
Ill give it right back to you one of these days.
I said I didnt mean to take up all your sweet time,
Ill give it right back one of these days.
And if I dont meet you no more in this world
Then ill, Ill meet you in the next one and dont be late, dont be late.
cause Im a voodoo chile, voodoo chile,
Lord knows Im a voodoo chile, hey hey hey.
Im a voodoo chile, baby. (lyrics from here)

It was Eostar still back at university that introduced me to Jimmy Hendrix’s music. We spent our time listening to all sorts of music ( Bob Marley, Jimmy Hendrix, Ali Farka Toure and everything in between ) instead of preparing for tests or writing assignments. Hm – I am still planning to graduate one day 🙂 It seems like neither of us stopped listening or playing and we are still listening to the ‘old music’ of those days back in the student hostel.

Here is the story about the recording of Voodoo Chile :

This session, typical of many in this period, sprang from a jam at the Scene club earlier in the night. When the club closed, Jimi’s full entourage moved to the Record Plant. “Jimi invited everyone back to the studio,” recalled Jefferson Air­plane bassist Jack Casady. “There were at least twenty people, and most of them didn’t belong there.” At around 7:30 a.m ., the for­mal recording for the day started with a line­up of Jimi on guitar, Mitch Mitchell on drums, Traffic’s Steve Winwood on organ and Casady on bass. The song took only three takes, though they were lengthy: The released version would clock at fifteen min­utes, the longest official Hendrix studio cut. ( click to read on… )

Angelique Kidjo has her own version of Voodoo Chile.

In February of 2003, she performed a cover of Jimi Hendrix‘s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City alongside Chicago blues guitar legend Buddy Guy and New York rock guitarist Vernon Reid (of Living Colour) in what would become part of Martin Scorsese‘s “Lightning In A Bottle: One Night In The History Of The Blues”, a documentary about blues music that features live concert footage of other rock, rap and blue greats. (from the Wikipedia)

Kerkorrel and friends brought more than a political message to the stage. They also brought incredible licks and rock beats that got the crowd dancing and laughing (read more). Liela

Kerkorrel DVD

Today we bought a Kerkorrel DVD – “‘n Jaar Later” – (buy it at Kalahari.net) – it is an evening at the State Theater with performers like Valiant Swart, Amanda Strydom, Karen Zoid, Stef Bos – singing Kerkorrel songs. Though I am not really fluent in Afrikaans I can tell that he is an outstanding performer and I hope I will have the time to find out more about his work.

I have heard ‘Halala Afrika‘ many times – I hope soon there will be a video I can put here – once you hear this song you will never forget it :

Halala Afrika, Johannes Kerkorrel (1961-2002).

Toe die wêreld hier nog jong was en die horison wyd en oop
Was dit groen hier in die halfrond, suid van die ewenaar
En in die skemer as die son sak en die beeste huis toe loop
Klink die roepstem van die vrouwe oor die heuvels van die land:
Halala, ewig is ons Afrika.
Tula tula mtanami, tula tula sanaboni, tula tula mtanami,
Ubab uzobuya sihlale naye, ubab uzobuya sihlale sonke, Hmmm-Hmmm

Toe kom die skepe uit die weste, wit seile oor die see
Om te vra vir koos en water en te bly vir so veel meer.
En die land wat een tyd oop was, die land het ons verruil
Vir die ghetto’s van die stede is ons koperdraad gegee.
Halala, ewig is ons Afrika
Halala, sasiphila, kamnandi, halala, mayibuye Afrika
Tula tula mtanami, tula tula sanaboni, tula tula mtanami,
Ubab uzobuya sihlale naye, ubab uzobuya sihlale sonke, Hmmm-Hmmm

Daar was rykdom in die maag van ons moeder Afrika
Diamante en ook steenkool, goud, edel metaal
En die mense word die slawe hier want die mense word betaal
Om te tonnel in die aarde elke greintjie uit te haal
En die groot en oop grasvlaktes span dit toe met doringdraad
En van die olifant tot die gemsbok al die diere moes kom buig
Voor die mag van die grootwildjagter voor die mag van sy groot geweer
Totdat net die stilte oorbly, totdat net die stilte heers.

Halala, ewig is ons Afrika.
Halala, sasiphila, kamnandi, halala, mayibuye Afrika
Halala, sasiphila, kamnandi, halala, mayibuye Afrika

(Lyrics from here)

“Fela Anikulapo-Kuti was James Brown, Huey New ton, Rick James, Bob Marley, Duke Ellington and ODB all rolled up in one black African fist.” Mos Def

Fela is another “regular” on the OpenCafe playlist – and have been for long – like him or not – he says it as it is – manlikemalcolm put together a video called ‘Music is a weapon’- which goes really well with Mona’s post about Fela’s life complete with great photos about the king of Afrobeat.