the empty set

A West African storytelling Sunday afternoon

The sound of silence by ManfeíƒÂ¯ Obin

Almost a year ago day for day, I wrote about the enchanting Moroccan tales of Hamed Bouzzine and how we all got wrapped up in them. Yesterday, it was two West African storytellers, or í¢â‚¬Å“griotsí¢â‚¬Å“, that brightened up my Sunday afternoon.

Part of the festival í¢â‚¬Å“Le Monde des Griotsí¢â‚¬Å“ organised by the Ateliers d'Ethnomusicologie, ManfeíƒÂ¯ Obin from The Ivory Coast and FraníƒÂ§ois MoíƒÂ¯se Bamba from Burkina Faso were invited to share their stories with us.

I have always loved having stories read to me, so I am a prime candidate for these kind of events. The venue takes place in the Alhambra, a beautiful theatre close to a hundred years old full of past glory and warm vibes. Another favourite of mine.

The show was in two parts, ManfeíƒÂ¯ Obin leading in, followed by FraníƒÂ§ois MoíƒÂ¯se Bamba and Moussa Sanou attending the music (awesome). They all gathered at the end for a final storytelling, singing and dancing. Moussa is an awesome musician.

They painted the Alhambra with their words, filling the air with bright images and sounds, unfolding vocal rythms and rhymes that echoed far back in the hall and though your memory cells.

There are no bad words, only bad interpretations

Festival Le Monde des Griots

There is a kind of magic in the way they lay their story down, capture your attention, make sure you are still listening. Then slowly lead you exactly where they want you to be. Throw in some humour and wrap up with simple words of wisdom.

Although we all hear the same words, we all heard a different story, resonating in a unique manner according to one's experience, worries, happiness and outlook on life. We all went home with a little something more, a little richer, with a sparkle glittering at the back of our eyes.

í¢â‚¬Å“Si tu es pressíƒÂ© d'avoir un enfant, íƒÂ©pouse un femme díƒÂ©jíƒÂ  enceinteí¢â‚¬Å“

Listen to our stories. Our words might reach your brain, their meaning might reach your heart, at which point they are yours to tell and to share. In your way. That's the way stories live, evolve, spread.

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