I Am a Griot

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Villagers thrash sorghum for brew and other rituals. Our household invited the headman and other villagers for a collective thrashing of grain crops. Drums of brew frothed to the brim and the brew was sweet. Calabashes of non-alcoholic millet brew were non-drinkers. We all salivated from the pleasant smell of goat meat wafting from big pots. Young women and tussling girls scurried in all directions like at a beehive, roasting and making stews. Insults and scorn were to each other amid gulps of sorgum brew. Village delinquents and drinking imbecilic were the centre of attraction. A village standup comedy, everyone was equal at such gathering.Humour filled songs were sung one after another. I was raised by this vibe. I loved the rhythm.

“Hoto inorira heya ……..he heya ……..a  hoto

Inoririreyi ko?

Cherechedza mukadzi woumwe uchasungwa

Mangwana padare

Cherechedza mukadzi woumwe uchasunga.

Hoto inorira heya……………..he, heya ……….a”

Such humorous poetic hymn was magnified into a fat-song and jive. The verses were well-knit to reach the intended audience. Songs were always pregnant with meaning, exposing the rot of adultery and how such sins fail the community. April entertainment was not short of both wisdom and knowledge.  

Puberty liberated me and I carried my bag of consciousness, carried totemic praises, drumbeats sound, traditional songs, Zulu war chants and praises … and African history to the city.  

A Euphoria of car horns, musical cafes, rowdy and busy streets, political chants, motorcade wails, media wizards, streetwise consciousness further carved my consciousness into reality.

I Am Griot – a descendant of Rhythm and beat of ancient song.

May 2019 Mbizo Chirasha MONK

Example of lullaby:

NYARARA MWANA ( Don’t cry baby)

5 thoughts on “I Am a Griot

  1. Thank you Sophie and the MONK team for publishing this Essay and my poetry . Iam heartily touched . This is a great literary experience for me ,
    Mbizo Chirasha

  2. Truly, you are a griot!!! A most gripping tale of life’s journey. A depth only a participant would know with such fine detail.
    An incredible read, touching and teaching and taunting. Beauty in words with a divine undertone.

  3. Nancy Ndeke thank you greatly for the encouraging words. Iam quite grateful . I want to also thank Sophie Levy Burton and her team at MONK for publishing my essay in this illustrious publication. Together we rise . Aluta Continua!!!

      1. Dear Editor . Iam so glad to . Call me I will reply . Send me I will go . Teach me I will learn . Tell me I will do . Meaning that Iam well ready to work with you . This publication has lifted my soul and greased my brains for better writing . It was a great and positive challenge . Thank you greatly Madam Sophie Levy Burton and your esteemed Team . Together We Rise ,


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