Mozambique Musings – Xibelani Dance

Mozambique Musings - Xibelani Dance

International boundaries of a country is not that important when it comes to Africa. Here the groups or tribes often spread out across two, three or sometimes several countries. This applies for the Tsonga people also as their presence can be felt across South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Mozambique.

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Oromian Dance of Ethiopia

Oromian Dance of Ethiopia

Whenever you visit a new country there are chances that you can get a culture shock and I did get my fare share while my East African tour of 2007. During an International conference I came across a group of dance performers from Ethiopia, consisting of male and female participants along with backup vocals and musicians it was a treat to the ear and the eyes.

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Mesmerizing Masai Mara

Mesmerizing Masai Mara

In 2007 I had the wonderful opportunity to attend World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya. It was a life changing experience for me to meet so many people from different parts of the globe. For few days Nairobi became the capital of the world. When someone travels to Kenya then the words Masai Mara always comes to their mind. A trip to Kenya would be incomplete without visiting the great Masai Mara game reserve for a true African Safari. To my luck there were some safari organizers at the World Social Forum venue and I had already negotiated a one night and two days package for 200 US $. This would including pick up and drop to and from Nairobi, safari, entry fee, lodging and food. I was picked up at 8 AM from my guest house. Luckily I was the first one to be picked up so I secured the priced front seat. I had done my breakfast at the guest house and since I knew that the next meal would be lunch so I had stuffed enough food inside me for the long journey. My luggage just included a few clothes for a night’s trip. Rest of the group members were picked up from different hotels and by 9.30 AM the minivan was ready to head towards Masai Mara. The group was a mixed bag with Brazilians, Americans and of course good old Indians (mostly Guajarati). Within an hour we left the bustling Nairobi town and were now in the real Africa. The roads were good so the journey for the next couple of hours went smoothly.

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How the (Red) cross saved me in Africa

Held at Gunpoint

Africa as a continent is a Pandora’s box, you never know what to expect next. I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Kenya in 2007 to attend World Social Forum 2007 with the theme “Another world is possible”. For me it was my first experience of the continent. I had mostly read about Africa in the novel Chander Pahar (Mountain of the Moon) by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay where it was described more like a dark continent with wild animals roaming all around. To me I always imagined Africa with these in mind thus was awestruck with the stark contrast in the living standards. Basically in Kenya or rather whole of Africa you have two class of people, rich and poor. Middle class is non-existent thus you see people in the streets sniffing glue to stop the hunger and also find people in their convertible Merc’s.

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