South African artist Kwelagobe PO Box Sekele’s trips around Africa.
Where in Africa have you been? Soweto, Cape Town, Marishane, Swaziland, Lesotho, Kenya, Tanzania (& Zanzibar), Angola, Cape Verde, Burundi, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, DRC, Mozambique, Reunion Island and I’ve flown over the entire continent.
Why do you travel Africa? Because I’m already walking this continent, so I might as well cover everything. We were born to see the rest of this planet.
How is Africa different from other parts of the world you have been to? Africa is different. The people and the continent’s contagious soul make it special. There’s a certain mystery about our continent, stories and discoveries and every nation is here and they are going nowhere. Every African country I go to feels like home despite the language barrier. It’s creepy. Africa Is Eden.
Please tell us about your musical journey around Africa? My musical journey around Africa has so far been nothing short of fulfilling. From discovering Taraab to 400 year old Griot songs, the Mbira family and trying to get my head around 70’s Funk in Africa. I try to absorb as much as I can and store all the sounds in my memory bank so I can revisit them whenever I need inspiration and musical reference. I’m grateful and thirsty for more so I’m gonna go hang out with Griots in West Africa next year.
PO Box’s festivals The Santa Maria Festival in Cape Verde. The festival is on the beach, stage facing the sea. People play football on the beach, check out the fest and cuddle under throws on the beach at night, after the festival. When we there, we were the only blacks at the hotel. Check out http://www.capeverde.co.uk for details.
The Cape Town International Jazz Festival in 2006. Kwani Experience performed to a crowd so big, I couldn’t believe my eyes. http://www.capetownjazzfest.com
Sauti Za Busara Festival in Zanzibar was also a big highlight. It’s a 100% live African music fest set in an old fort, in one of the oldest towns on the continent. Kwani Experience rocked that crowd silly; people cried and couldn’t believe what they were seeing. We celebrated Mandela’s release and Mubarak’s resignation (11 February, what a coincidence). See http://www.busaramusic.org for details.
In June this year I traveled to Kigali Up Festival in Rwanda with Tumi and The Volume and got to sit face to face on a dinner table with Ishmael Lo, his band and Tumi and The Volume. http://www.kigaliup.com
The Cape Town International Jazz Festival; beautiful city, great festival, music music music music!!!