You take what you have
I found this wonderful movie on Kwami Gyan on my hard drive yesterday. I so clearly remember when Kwami Gyan built this drum kit, where he collected empty cans of tomato sauce, was looking sticks and I made a full drum kit itself, with both cymbals and bass drum, I’m still impressed! To take what you have and be find new ways to use it, is something that all kids usually are very good at and in Ghana I think you can recognize it even easier, there the toys are limited and the children often have to use their imagination to create their own toys. A big difference regarding things, like toys for example, is that the children in orphanages always have to share everything, there is nothing that is “mine”, everything is for everyone, I think this makes the children play more together and create things together in a different way. They learn from an early stage to share and not put so much weight in that “this is mine, this I will have.”
I remember that Kwami Gyan was drumming on his drum all day and during the school the day after a large group of curios children getter around this new invention. All the kids at NABI love music, singing, dancing and drumming, they use music every day; they sing when they are clean when they play and when they are cooking. The music and the dance is very lively throughout Ghana, it is often that there is a radio on in any sheds or houses along the road at full volume, people sing along and often someone walking by spontaneously start dancing in the middle of the road. The music is in their bodies in a completely different way than what I experience in Sweden, everyone can move to the music, from two years old up to eighty year olds. In Ghana, there is no taboo in singing when you feel like it or suddenly take a little dance, it’s a celebration of life and the day, giving and spreading joy in all corners of Ghana. Something that I think we, at least in Sweden, should learn from, the music puts a smile on the lips, gets people to gather and relax, release tension and for a moment you can live in the present. So next time you hear some rhythms, why not do a little dance?