Wake up America – Globalization Manifested Musically in the Kitchen

The other day I walked into the kitchen to find some African beat music cranked up by our teenagers.  Much to my surprise, I was able to understand the non-English lyrics … it turns out that the song was recorded in London, in Chichewa, a Bantu language spoken in Malawi where I served as a Peace Corps volunteer many years ago.  The artist, Esau Mwamwaya, from Mzuzu, the town I taught in, found his way to London, ran into other musicians and doing what musicians do, they jammed and produced some great music – that teens in College Park, Maryland with no direct knowledge of or experience in Africa found on the web and circulated among their friends.   Tom Friedman says the world is flat – hot and crowded – lets add that the world is connected in ways unimaginable even a decade ago…

Esau Mwamwaya

As you might imagine, I was more excited about this than our teens – for me it’s a personal manifestation of globalization, for them it’s just cool music in the same vein as MIA and Amir Diab.

Check out the links below to see what they’re listening to…

The Best from The Warm Heart of Africahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVIchuL6geo

MIA – The Sri Lankan Tamil phenomenon of Slumdog Millionaire famehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__HQGvSqZ5I

Amir Diab – Arabic music with an electronic flair http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VN_uEYzDY0

Then, as leaders, lets ask ourselves … what do the younger ones know that we don’t … how might we understand them and the world around us better if we explored that?

bob devlin
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