Yesterday was Labor Day in the United States. On last Saturday's show Guy explained why the observance of Labor Day is held in September. Everywhere else in the world Labor Day is celebrated on May 1st.
History of Labor Day (Wikipedia)
He also discussed the song Mwana Mboka by Les Kinois. Funny story behind this song One day when Guy was setting up his Myspace he tells me his nickname is Mwana Mboka. I thought that was so interesting. A day or so prior to that I had found a Les Kinois song of the same name. Loosely translated it means 'child of Africa'. Guy talks about being very proud to be Haitian. And that despite his being wholly absorbed into Ngungwa culture to the point where he says he was accused of lying when he told people he was Haitian, he never stopped being Haitian. Listening to the lyrics to Mwana Mboka I was able to understand exactly why my father's childhood friends gave him the nickname Mwana Mboka. Even as Haitian as he is, he is very much African.
For me growing up both Congolese and Haitian in America has been an effortless juggling act for me. I have to credit Guy for that. Seeing him go effortlessly from Kreyol to Lingala (two languages where attitude is just as important in getting your point across as grammar) subconsciously showed me people from different parts of the world are not as different as we would like to believe. We may speak differently, eat different things, etc but at the end of the day as soon as everyone is speaking the same language you realize you were saying the same things all along. As Black people I feel there are great opportunities to be had by uniting with different cultures other than our own. I feel that we will find that among us our cultures are not so drastically different. If you are around another cultures long enough you can adapt to them and appreciate the differences as well as similarities.
Speaking of which tying in with Labor Day is a celebration (which actually has nothing to do with Labor Day) which has the Caribbean representing their cultures/nations while appreciating all the others present. Every year people representing every corner of the Caribbean gather on Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway to celebrate the West Indian Day Parade. Several different cultures which stem from one source: Africa. In Brooklyn yesterday (In Brooklyn everyday lol) there were various expressions of Africa on display. Children of the Africans who were enslaved and scattered across the West Indies, who despite slavery created their own cultures. Though they are different there is a very strong similarity across the board that is undeniably the stamp of Africa.
Only some Children of (enslaved) Africans are fortunate to go back. Guy aka Mwana Mboka was one of them. This week I will continue with his story as he told it on last weeks broadcast.
I will leave you all with the song Zouke Zouke by Pepe Kalle. To me it is a perfect blend of Zouk and Soukous and ties in with the subject of Africans appreciating each other's culture.