Recently I was blessed to discover Sona Jobarteh playing the Kora live with her band of equally talented musicians, I didn’t personally film until the very end of the concert because I wanted to be present. To give you an idea, I’ve taken this video that is much better quality from Youtube:
Not only did I feel the music incredibly profound, beautiful and emotional. The skills of all the musicians, the vibes, their humanity and their presence on the closing night in Toulouse were truly touching.
Sona spoke very aptly in French, a foreign language for her, during most of the concert. However, it transpired near the end that most of the attendees present actually understood English. That’s when she took the time to elaborate on her mission for future generations and the musical motivations she has inherited as passed down from her ancestors in Gambia.
It is always a pleasure to hear of people doing the essential work to help their communities break free and heal from the colonial damage that has been inflicted for far too long amongst all of our bloodlines. Regardless of the role that we may have played out in this lifetime, victim or victimizer, or mere ignorant profiteer… Whatever it is, however you see it or don’t, our DNA has been coded over the aeons via our warring societies with incredibly traumatic material.
This vital deprogramming and relearning amongst the people, the honouring of our past strife, creating space for it, as well as the rich beauty we have crafted in a world despite the twisted interventions of the ruling power structures, is essential for all people regardless of their geographical situation and heritage.
If you are interested in the work Sona Jobarteh is doing at The Gambia Academy (@thegambiaacademy) you can support her by attending her concerts and buying her music (sonajobarteh.com). Alternatively, you can donate to the vision at The Gambia Academy directly with your skills and time, needed supplies or even just financially via their website thegambiaacamdey.org .