The Way You Make Me Feel: My Ode To Highlife

This is about the third time I’m reading over this post in the space of six months. It still has the same riveting effect on me and on everyone I have pointed in it’s direction. So, this time around is time to archive it in my personal blog.

Afrocentric Confessions

He came close, like danger.

And nearly stole my heart, nearly snatched it out of its pulsating cavity.

But he didn’t use his hands. He used the lazy groans of a steel guitar, psychedelic whines of wah-wah pedals and funky synthesizers to hypnotize me. They call him King of Juju. They call him Sunny Ade.

Long before the juju king, I soared in an affair with South Africa, where I splurged breaking dawns with Hugh Masekela’s feisty trumpet solos and Miriam Makeba’s sultry croons. I was South African—Xhosa on the weekdays, Zulu on weekends…dancer always.

Frivolous rendezvous with Congolese makossa and rumba left me giddy and gloating and blushing and bubbly and desiring more. Soukous Stars, Koffi Olomide, Werrason, Papa Wemba, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Kanda Bongo Man, Awilo Longomba…I knew them all in one fanciful blur. They’ve kissed my palms, held me square on my shoulders and one by one…

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Author: ifeadedeji

I am a graduate student in African Studies at the Center for International Studies, Ohio University where I work as a research assistant and Editor of Africa@OHIO Blog. I hold a bachelors in political science, and use this space as a container of my thoughts.

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