This has been a challenging week for so many. I feel inadequate in expressing my grief and outrage at the actions in the USA and the systemic racism that continues in many parts of the world, including Canada. I have aligned myself with African culture for more than 30 years; learning, benefiting and exchanging. Longtime connections have resulted in deep friendships and very special family ties. I know my privilege allowed me to engage in the first place. I naively thought in the beginning that it should be possible for all music cultures to be shared among all people. I still believe that. But maybe not so naively anymore. I have made missteps along the way. I continue to learn from my friends and teachers in the global Black community, and reflect on the work still to be done. Those meaningful relationships have sometimes been messy, confusing and challenging but it is in that engagement where the real gains happen. Our lives have been transformed through knowing each other.
Today would have been the last Baobab concert of our 25th and final season, with the wonderful Kwasi Dunyo at the Gboba, leading more than 100 performers in celebration. The sadness I feel that something so vibrant and dear to me is ending, in an unexpected silent chapter, is somewhat comforted by the fact that the whole world will never be the same. We can hope and work for something better to replace it. We must. Thinking of our whole community today. Kahti xo