July 31st 2007
I've been back to Cotonou for a couple of days now and unearthed some amazing records so far.
Tomorrow is the big national independence day to celebrate good riddance of the french colonial power. My friend Chakirou and I will drive up to Abomey where there will be a big get together of Benin's different Voodoo societies. The event is being organized by a local Voodoo leader who recently gained fame, respect and notoriety when he and some of his followers ambushed a pastor who knowingly and for sheer sake of provocation had built a church on one of their sacred Voodoo sites. The pastor and several churchgoers ended up in the hospital and the church got burned down. I would normally never advocate any form of religiously motivated violence but I guess there are exceptions... Benin stands out as a country where efforts of islamisation and evangelisation have never really had much success. Voodoo is the official state religion. While elsewhere masks and other tribal artifacts merely serve as props for tourist spectacles and souvenir merchandise. In Benin, original African religion as opposed to the imported artificial religions of Islam and Christianity is still very much alive and well. I hope this won't change.
Stay tuned for a new mix and photos.
Thanx to Greg from Madrid, the Radioshow I did with Matt Finewine in NYC two months ago is now downloadable as an mp3.
Downtown Soulville June 1st 2007 mp3
I've worked over some of my first posts on this blog. Not only is there much more to read now but I've also added some more photos.
A while back, I wrote this article for some magazine that never got released. Now I thought why not dump the content onto my blog so the work was not for nothing...
Check it out:
Mr. Mafa's Record Store
Trips to Freetown & Sierra Leone
In the Mouth of the River of Death
OUCH ! !
Just 30 minutes after typing the above, I got picked up by Poly Rythmo Bass player Gustave Bentho on his Vespa scooter. While on the way to his house, we had a minor traffic accident. Lucky enough, I've only left a bit of skin on the roads of Cotonou while Gustave also complained about minor chest pain. He went off to get X-Rays done in the hospital while I took a cab back to the hotel where I showered the dirt off myself and doused my wounds with Iodine...
After the crash, as I was lying in the road, another scooter bumped into my ass, I guess I'll end up with a bruised cheek. Lucky it wasn't a car or a truck...
I hope Gustave is fine and the band still will be able to perform tonight as scheduled.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
July 31st 2007