a newsletter of the
St. Louis African Chorus

Vol. 5 No. 4
Fall 1998



In This Issue

Cover: Bokulaka ‘listens’ to what the blima (spirits, among the Ekondas of the Congo) have to say. AMC ‘98 Concert at the Sheldon

Conversations with Mor Thiam
(Feature Article 1)

1998 African Music Conference Revisted

African Music in Social Context
(Feature Article 2)

Calendar of SLAC Events

the Voice of African Music
Fred Onovwerosuoke
Art Director: Wendy Hymes
Marketing: Asmeret Bezabeh
Contributors: Wendy Hymes, Anicet Mundundu, Kopano Mpuang, and Christo van Rensburg
Design: African Music Publishers, University Copiers, Etc.

For subscription send a postcard to: the Voice of African Music
634 N. Grand Blvd.,Suite 1143
St. Louis, MO 63103 USA.

(314)652-6800 Fax:(314)652-6444


Bokulaka.jpg (15246 bytes)

Conversations with

Mor Thiam

 the djembe drum legend shares insights on the popularity of African music in the United States and beyond

(Feature Article 1)

of the Sage


Mother is supreme.

We say that a man is the head of the family and that his wife does his bidding; that a child belongs to his father and his family and not to his mother and her family; and that a man belongs to his fatherland and not to his motherland. And yet we say Nneka - Mother is Surpreme
Why is that?

You do not know the answer?

So you see that you are a child. You are a great man in your clan. But you are still a child, my child. Listen to me and I shall tell you... Here’s one more question: Why is it that when a woman dies she is taken home to be buried with her own kinsmen? She is not buried with her husband’s kinsmen. Why is that?

You do not know that either!

Then listen to me:
It is true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother’s hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland.

Your mother is there to protect you... That is why we say that Mother is supreme!

Nneka is adapted from Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, published by Heinemann.