Africa sings for Jozi’s children
by You Have My Word
Movement. Tempo. Drums. Pulse. (Africa.) Horn. Trombone. Strike. Drums. Flow. Sway. (Culture.) Dance. Bass. Rhythm. Shakers. Impact. Measures. Accent. Djembe. Swing.
We were onlookers in a crowd, watching 27 young music-lovers perform in a space big enough to park a large ship. SMYLe, is how they’re known in these parts.
The performance was a mix of songs that had been birthed from their souls, and others that spoke deeply to them written by legends that had gone before. If you listened closely, you could pick out the melody lines.
You could see the heartbeat of Africa throbbing in well-arranged cadences above clustered groups of admirers. You could taste dirt as the beat ran on – African soil struck by the stomping of feet.
Africa sings for everyone, but on that day Africa sung for Jozi’s children. It was as if the music had lulled them into a trance – they couldn’t help but move.
As the music went on they were drawn out, drawn closer. They left their parents’ side and braved the paved, open space – space void of everything save a little box where passers-by could drop in their change.
Then they started to dance. Black. White. Indian. Coloured. Boy. Girl. All, dancing. They couldn’t help but clap and run and laugh and chase – a trance of motion in this span of space. It was a warm afternoon in a crowded mall, but time stood still for this moment.
It was abandoned and beautiful.