Wednesday, 22 January 2014

j'ai toujours jeune

back when i was wee, one of my french teachers was a guy called moise from cote d'ivoire. we were a bunch of pasty scottish kids from a small scottish town and we'd never seen anyone like moise before. he took our spectacular ignorance in his stride. have you seen a lion? no, a monkey? i live in a big city. then a pause. does it have skyscrapers?

and he spoke beautiful french. even now when i hear a west african french accent it puts me back into a deeply content place in my childhood memory. thanks to moise and those few brief lessons we had with him my view of 'africa' would never be the same.

in those days, tho slightly later, being the time before internet and the like, getting your hands on african music, any music that wasn't western music, was tricky and relied on both luck and finding a decent record store. it must've been in one of these i first came across papa wemba and from there the sapeurs.

i loved those guys. and maybe yes, there was a time when i had a sapeur-lite phase in my life. so i was very happy to see the above mini documentary. okay, maybe the sapeur life isn't quite as it's portrayed but taken at face value - peace, respect and a healthy desire for dressing up? we could all do with a bit more of that!

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