Ukuhamba ukubona

‘Travel opens your eyes to the wonders of the world.’

Tambo Tambulani Tambo Memoirs

16-21 July 2012

The joy of growing small things begins here, not with this memoir but from a special place of realization that we can’t always be looking for big things. Connecting with dissimilarity, with the unusual, looking for those moments no matter how small that can make one look at the world better and differently understanding that the world too is watching one has to be, sometimes, an x-rated conscious effort.  Small things like how a mosquito, small as it is, can make one totally change the way they relate with the environment.  One can’t always go around stinging everyone they meet…you must not miss the point here, I have beef with the mosquitoes of Pemba for making a feast of me alright but I learnt a lesson from them too.  Sweet moments of impact!

I am grateful to The Prince Claus Fund for making my travel possible to reconnect with the Tambo Tambulani Art Camp & Festival, further reinforcing relations with more artists as well as cultural practitioners from Pemba, Maputo and Nampula.  It was a week of diverse high levels of energy with music, theatre and traditional dance taking centre stage.  The interaction of poetry with other art forms during the week culminated in a poetry evening curated by Mahiriri Ossuka and myself, a beautiful evening of story-telling, word and sound collaborations marking the end of the festival.

My height of inspiration was meeting two artists who are part of the Anavenchia band from Nampula, who taught me to free my mind completely.  These two disabled musicians displayed a charismatic performance, taking to the stage and in no time the audience was up on their feet dancing to their spirited performance.  Here was another lesson too, unfortunately there will be no lines to read in between.

Trying to soak in the culture of Pemba, the beauty of the place and the warmth of it’s people I found myself torn and mended in different patches.  This journey was cathartic in many ways than one, bringing my spirit back to me from wherever it had scattered itself.  Much love to my new found Pemba family Angela Collet & Andrade Guarda for hosting me during the festival, I more than felt at home.  Apathani & Mahiriri Ossuka, thank you for the amazing collaborations, I will cherish every moment shared with you.

What do you say to this kind of love?  I would go back there any day without thinking twice.

I felt this overwhelming spirit of oneness.  Art employs no cartographers I’ve always said, those who seek to draw maps on the land of humanity, they don’t exist in art for art is a universal language that speaks to anyone and everyone.    Poetry found me here seeking to walk beside me like we used.  I had ditched him because of his betrayal, allowing himself to be used and abused by strange lovers who proclaimed to love him yet all they wanted was what he could give them.  Now we are in sync, lovers holding hands to the ends of the earth.