While little girls dreamt of becoming doctors or lawyers..perhaps even great mommies from their experience washing and dressing up their dollies..I was quite busy practicing to be something bigger…a superstar of course!! Thank you very much.
At the age of 10, I discovered my calling. If you needed me, I was the girl wiggling her waist to the sounds of the ngalabi or destroying her thumb(nails) playing what was called the “thumb piano” an instrument I played while the rest had pun pipes, xylophones and I don’t know what else.. The ‘symphony (yes I insist it was one) was easy on the ear too if I do say so myself. Our trainers knew what they were doing.
I vividly remember Miss Kanago, the then choir teacher whose behind was uhmm…sufficient. I knew this even at a young age. She was really well endowed. When she walked, you had to notice as she titillated her behind as if she had a mental beat. Wait, what was I saying? Yes…the music.
I can’t say I had the best voice ( I think I got soprano slots simply because I could make my voice high pitched effortlessly) or that my dance moves were out of this world..but I think that the passion I have for things that matter was first tested at this point of my life. I genuinely loved what I did.
We got into inter-school competitions and often made it to the finals at National Theatre which was just a stone’s throw away from my school. Oh how I looked forward to these days!! Once we came second and I cried for hours. I could not imagine how we were beaten. We had given it our all.
In P.7 when the teachers seemed a little laid back about inter class competitions, I decided to bring this wealth of skill and knowledge(yeah right) that I had built up those past years into life. My stream performed the best folk song and baksimba-Nankasa dance you could ever see..Yours truly even had to have a ‘female husband’ when the boys were playing hard to get for roles that needed their ‘expertise.’ I recited a poem that sadly I can’t even remember. I think I like that old me better-
It is believed I turned my focus away from books to feed this love for the arts. I am inclined to believe this but then again, mistakes have to occur for lessons to be learnt, no?
Fast forward to High School.. Either I was shy or it was low self esteem but I could not picture myself on stage.. Those days teens performed to the sounds of Missy Elliot or Sean Paul and Mwiri boys tried to woo us with Boys to Men and Jagged Edge. Was I also going to go up there and ‘shake what my mama gave me?’ I think not.. ‘A’ level brought with it some courage but I’d become a skeptic..maybe I am just a nice local girl who’s just into local music:)
Whereas they say University years are the ones that help you discover yourself, I think I had pretty much realised who I was by this time. My love for music took a new turn. I discovered rock music and became a bit of a lunatic when it played. Both soft and hard rock had different spots in my system. The bands became an essential part of me.
Rock musicians have a certain deepness that I can liken to an artist who passionately strokes his canvas as he envisions the masterpiece yet to unfold. You feel it in the strumming of a guitar or the tempo of the drums but most of all in the melody of the lyrics.
My friends and I religiously listened to “Touch fm ” and took the
long trip to Kampala so we could scream and jump at Steak out’s Thursday rock night. The boda boda ride from the stage back to hall always felt like winter in Africa…goodness! But we went back anyways
My denims and all stars can tell that story better;) Those were amazing days..youth, energy,friends and fanta/alvaro heights.What more could a girl ask for?
The other genres also remained in my life in their own special ways. I have come to realise I can stand almost every kind of music…and if I don’t know how to dance to it, I will still force it.
The other Eureka moment was that I did not belong on a stage, back stage maybe? I thrive in open space, screaming and dancing like no one is watching..literally.*smh
I am that embarrassing friend who sits at the back of your boyfriend’s car and remorselessly sings along to Adele even if I know I can’t hit the notes like she does…That girl who will dance in the taxi park if I hear ‘uhmmmm uhmmm uhmmmm’ (a.k.a tell you say)..who may knock down a bottle or two when ‘madtraxx‘ get down plays years after its release..In short just stay away from me if you have anyone to impress and there is music close by:p
One person who gets as high when a song he loves plays is my very own brother, Barns. Earlier this year we were at a hang out joint in Kigali and a friend remarked ‘you two dance alike’..Obviously I was enraged. I am already in denial that we look alike and now you want to bring up something personal like dancing?!!(P.S: I am not YELLING!)
So this year on his birthday,I met him at a bar I shan’t mention…because well, I do not know how I even find myself there. No, it isn’t a kafunda and they don’t grow illegal herbs in their back yard(or do they?)..The bar and I just have bad blood..but the music was on point.
Anyway, so he was with his friends and I was joined by mine and there was a lot of merry making in many forms…but there was this form that seemed to be the cherry on top. It is a dance move that you simply need to see for yourselves.
Now I have experienced first hand what damage this dance move can do and in Kigali it is already described as ‘doing the Barns.’ We on this side of the border are still trying to aptly coin a term for it.
See, he( the ‘bawse ‘ as he’d probably like to be called…not) acts like he is just going on with his business calmly dancing and then out of the blue, wait for it…”a gunshot”.. The gun shall be cocked in different ways, over his head, right below his waist, at the side…gosh..!I can’t do this dance justice in words.. Anyway, it is pretty addictive and you will probably find yourself compelled to bring out your ‘inner gun.’ You either need to see this or we shall put up a you tube video because….like I said,words just make me sound like a poor narrator of an Action movie:(
My friends kept ‘shooting’ days after…and when I think about it I can’t help but smile. This move is certainly a show stopper.
So, as this love affair of mine continues to grow, I hope that I shall one day dance salsa in South America or the waltz in a real ball room, perhaps watch an orchestra or dance away on a beach in Jamaica…but until that day..I am pretty sure that music and dance will still follow me…or I will follow them…
As for the drama..What? Isn’t life’s drama enough?