a newsletter of the
St. Louis African Chorus

Vol. 6 No. 3
Special Edition 1999



of the Sage

Thoughts on this
United Nations’ Day

Oh my friends, the Somali language is very perplexed - anxious, like many African languages;
The value of its words and expressions gagged
by its own people;
Its very back and hips broken,
it weeps with deep sorrow...

- A paraphrase of Mohamed Ismail Garce, Somalian poet

"The wealth of a common global culture is [will then be] expressed in the particularities of our different languages and cultures -
very much like a universal garden of many-colored flowers.
The ‘flowerness’ of the different flowers is expressed in their very diversity.
But there is cross-fertilization between them. And what is more, they all contain in themselves the seed of a new tomorrow."

- Ngugi wa Thiong’o,
Kenyan writer

Eni and The Magic Sea Creature

Eni’s father searched the land to find a thief, a hunter, and a sailor.

Guided by the sailor, the party journeyed to the sea creature’s home...

The Magic Sea Creature was sleeping,- Eni was also sleeping,- when they arrived. "Keep still," the medicine man whispered... He blew a bubble of colored water, to deepen their sleep. He motioned to the thief, and the thief neatly removed all the charms and amulets from the waist of the sea creature. On cue, Eni’s father carried his daughter on his shoulder. Quickly, they took her to their boat and sailed home...

Not long after the sea creature woke from the deep sleep. When he realized what had been done to him, he reached for all his magic, but they had been stolen! So he swam as fast as he could. But just as he raised his head to grab and sink the boat, the hunter shot him.

Eni’s body became human again, and father and daughter cried- tears of joy.

The party arrived home safely, and the whole village merried for seven days.

Eni, who in the past wouldn’t mingle with eligible men danced with every-one. She had learned a great lesson: pride, indeed,  goes before a fall...

- Adapted from a Camerounian legend. VOAM, 1999. All rights reserved.

Princess NINI

The people, their music, their cultures

Old issues of the VOAM
Volume 6 No. 2
Volume 6 No. 1
Volume 5 No. 4
Volume 5 No. 3

In This Issue

Eritrea: The people, their music, their cultures p.2

Conversations with leading musicians p.3

Eritrean cultures and lifestyles p.4)

Tigrigna 101: Conversational Tigrigna - p.5

Cover Photo: Nini Mebrahtu, a local Eritrean immigrant, and volunteer for the St. Louis African Chorus

Calendar of SLAC Events

Live! at the Sheldon
First CD of the St. Louis African Chorus

Editor’s Note:

In commemoration of 1999 United Nations’ Day (October 24), the Voice of African Music recommends the following books for supplemental reading:

by Philippe Wamba

ii. COAL TO CREAM by Eugene Robinson

the Voice of African Music Editor: Fred Onovwerosuoke
Art Director: Wendy Hymes
Marketing: Asmeret Bezabeh
Contributors: Wendy Hymes, Christo van Rensburg, Kosi Adom
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.
Tel:(314)652-6800 Fax:(314)652-6444
Email: voam@africanchorus.org