#tbt: ethiopia & the magic of music


Five years ago this week, I landed in Ethiopia with several writers and journalists, on behalf of the ONE Campaign.  As I was going through the photographs I took while I was there, trying to pick a suitable one for today's throwback post, I was struck by how much song and dance featured on that trip -- on all of my trips to Africa, really.  In Kenya, Ethiopia and Malawi, many of the meetings that we had with various schools, medical professionals, farmers and even dignitaries began and ended with song and dance.  It was brilliant, since music has the ability to transcend language and culture, bridging any difference and forging connection.  And in every instance, you could just watch it happen before your eyes:


I wanted to share these photographs as a reminder of the magic of music -- after this week's terrorist events at a music festival here in the United States, we need the reminder more than ever.  

Despite everything, we are interconnected, friends.  Our souls know this on a visceral level.  And music can show us how.


Soundtrack:  Cocoa na Chocolate, featuring 19 recording artists from all over Africa, and sponsored by ONE.  I love this video because it epitomizes the unity and joy that music can inspire. Click here or the image below to watch and listen. 

(The participating artists are: A.Y. (Tanzania), Bufallo Souljah (Zimbabwe), Dama Do Bling (Mozambique), D'Banj (Nigeria), Diamond (Tanzania), Dontom (Nigeria), Fally Ipupa (DRC), Femi Kuti (Nigeria), Judith Sephuma (South Africa), Juliani (Kenya), Kunle Ayo (Nigeria), Vusi Nova (South Africa), Liz Ogumbo (Kenya), Nancy G (Swaziland), Omawumi (Nigeria), Rachid Taha (Algeria), Tiken Jah Fakoly (Cote d'Ivoire), Victoria Kimani (Kenya) and Wax Dey (Cameroon).)