What am I do to in the world, by and for myself alone?
The music which was filled with the sound of life, pouring
into my hollow body like a stream of water,
made me slightly puzzled within the life given to myself.
Do you know what 'Mbira' is?
Mbira, or a thumb piano, exists in many African countries. Mbira is the name for thumb piano, called by Shona people in Zimbabwe. They fix flat iron sticks as a keyboard just like a music box, and play them using their thumb and forefingers.
The sound of Mbira is soft, as if it tickles you with a sweet-home memories.
Hope you are well in this cold weather, just before Spring.
The young man from Zimbabwe had a soft expression on his face. It is certainly an expression of his inner gentleness, and so was his music.
Africa Seminar is an informal study group which we had been continuing to hold steadily for some years by now. That Saturday was our special party to celebrate its 5th year. Instead of African restaurant, we have reserved a Latin American restaurant. Knowing each other well, it was a small relaxing party for us.
Then, with the guidance of mystical power, or simply by chance, he came; Reginald Chiundiza, an artist.
Since it was a kind of an academic group, we had a little different mood from that of simple Africa-loving people. However, his existance made this party of a little celebration slightly different than usual. With his inner softness like a spring breeze, the air was made soften in a very moment.
He is diagnosed with diabetes.
Born as an elder, bereaved of parents, he had been raising
his younger brothers and sisters.
He is a Mbira player, dancer, sculptor, and so and so...;
he is an artist by birth.
Guided by a lot of chances and mystical power, he came all
the way to this far east country, and trying to make people know more about those who are fighting against diabetes. Of course, through his Mbira, Songs, Dances and speeches.
Not only the your eating habit but also your physical conditions can be a cause of diabetes. And also, there are quite a few numbers of the diabetics living in
a country called Zimbabwe.
Of course, the disease can be cured by injection of insulin.
On the other hand, there are a certain number of people
that can not receive an appropriate treatment, sometimes
simply because of a financial reason.
So, there are things that Reginald wants to say.
To make people known more about a disease called diabetes,
that it can be cured by an appropriate treatment.
Getting rid of their prejudice.
No matter if he was diabetic, making them understand that
he can even laugh, enjoy music, dance, and satisfy his own life. So as other diabetics.
God has a reason to send him down on this world.
This comes from his own word.
His crystal clear inner heart makes him sound nothing
sarcastic at all, even though he mentioned God'd name.
So honest, gentle eyes, and cheerful expressions.
A lot of sufferings he had seen, or a death and diseases,
must have made his an angle-like personality to make him
gentle to all others.
He believes that everything is given by God with a reason.
He makes it into a music.
A soft sound of Mbira gets along with himself magically well. He makes sad things into such a bright full-of-light musics. It sometimes reminds you of home, entertains you, dazzles you, and it reaches deep into someone else's heart.
The man, is living a beautiful life.
He told me about a lot of things, as I was almost the same age to him. His beautiful clear eyes made me look into myself.
Couldn't help thinking;
What am I do to in the world, as myself alone?
Livened up by the music, everyone started to dance.
Everyone danced, the air reaches climax, as though
it was a happiest night ever.
A peal of music, and a peal of soul.
The room was filled with an African air.
I have simply imagined myself, in the future if it may come, listening to his Mbira in the night under the Zimbabwean sky.
So, it was a Saturday night.
If you are interested in Reginald's music, or want to know about diabetes, see: http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~hirao-k/reginald.htm
Thanks for reading all.
Maybe I should think about this matter a bit more
so that I might write about it better.
『Africanwhale's Freetime』【42】8th March, 2004
【written by】 Africanwhale (translated from Japanese)
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