Inspired by Laba Art Festival 2014 when at the end of the night there was a campfire and no amplification. Artists sharing their thoughts and music, people listening, singing together as a group. So I’ve been thinking about how to distill the essence of what I do as a poet and a singer with an environmental message. Ife Unplugged is the answer. When I’m in nature I’m at my best. Surrounded by the natural elements of earth, fire, air and water I feel closest to my creativity. When i lived in London this is what i craved the most, to be able to be outside living close to the earth, observing her cycles in order to better understand myself. For 7 years a friend and I would organise an event called Ancestral Gathering. It was our attempt to spend some quality time in nature in community. It started first in our homes and when we became too many we searched for venues that could cater to our needs of communal living, outdoor space for activities and of course trees we could hug! I think we were successful in bringing people closer to each other and themselves. Through the process of organizing Ancestral Gathering it was possible to connect more with people when we are speaking and sitting close to one another, usually in a circle the energy once created continues to circulate through the people. We become co creators and initiators giving and receiving sound.
Sound has always been inspirational and healing for me which is why i make the music and write the poetry i do. I’m searching for connection, meaning and relevance. Today i read a quote from Wangari Mathai
‘All of us can reach a deeper appreciation of the fact that it is what is not human that ensures that we continue to exist. Without human beings, the creatures, plants and trees would flourish, but without those species human beings have no hope of survival. This is why in thinking about human rights we need to reach another level of conciousness to appreciate that these other species too have a right to their existence and their piece of the Earth’.
As the continent rushes towards ‘development’, infrastructure projects and consumerism, I want us to remember that we are all connected and the belief that the more we have the happier we’ll be is just an illusion.
The greatest joy is to love and be loved, share, laugh to sit under the trees and the sky, to see the beauty and appreciate all that nature has to offer us. To listen to stories and sweet voices. Nature is the only thing that sustains us and we must do all we can to preserve it. I firmly believe that if Africa goes the way of Europe, the planet will be truly lost. No doubt Gaia will thrive as Wangari suggests without us but we on the other hand cannot survive without her.
I look forward to welcoming you to Zion Train a beautiful community space filled with images of the continent and beautifully constructed buildings based on our Natural African Technology.