Friday, April 18, 2008

Accra's Night Pulse

It still happens, sometimes, that a group of callow Accraians glides into the streets, and sets the night to music. It is the same centuries-old spontaneous pulse which throbs on the softening city air, and spreads carnal tension through your rousing intimates :-). The fluttering, the cadence, ecstatic mood and fine, flirtatious rhythms carry a tuneful, mellow mood to the blessed listener. The music is Djama (I've not seen it spelt :-)

A sweet rhapsody it is, to hear them tell tales of love and war, bravery and treachery, beauty and folly in the off-beat pitch, held and dropped with careless aim in that mirth-provoking, amateur clef.

The strokes and beats are quick and strong, acoustically modulated to put the youthful tone in the muscle, and flatter the dancing body. They chant and yodel in absolute choruses and whispered descants; clapping their hands and twanging improvised instruments to create the sound of cymbals, drums, whistles, congas.

Even from afar, the rapturous accent makes it easy to imagine the deep-sea amusement. Going nearer, the music barrels around you on a surreal scale, and you’re sucked into the singing ... dancing ... perspiration ... giddiness. It plays on till early in the morning, and it does not cost you anything.


  1. This is nice, but it seemed to end at the beginning. You should consider developing it through.

  2. I thought so too, but it was live inspiration, and when the drums stopped playing outside my office window, it was time to drop the pen :(


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