Geoffrey Oryema is one of my favorite singers from the African continent.
Geoffrey Oryema (April 16, 1953 –) is a renowned Ugandan singer/musician. In 1977 Oryema was smuggled across the Ugandan border in the trunk of a car after the assassination of his father, Erinayo Wilson Oryema, who was a cabinet minister while Idi Amin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idi_Amin had come to power. Today his songs keep alive the languages of his youth – Swahili and Acholi and return to the lost country – the ‘clear green land’ of Uganda. He has been living in exile in France and has become an internationally recognized singer who has participated in some of the most important music events which aim to raise awareness and funds for human rights, especially for the African continent.
Three of many of my favorites by him are posted here for your enjoyment/reflection……even if we cannot understand the words, we can perhaps, feel…….
The first song, entitled ‘Solitude’ is a one of the most beautiful to me, and expresses the contradictions of solitude in sadness and relief.
The second song, ‘Lapwony‘ is a song which presents a scene of children on the playground and classroom, who asks where the teacher is. The undercurrent of this piece is that the teacher has been exiled, taken away, disappeared, fired, killed….. They ask, ‘where is teacher Lapwony? This is a live performance at the Live 8: AFRICA CALLING -2 event in July of 2005 in the UK http://www.efestivals.co.uk/festivals/womad/2005-live8/.
The last song is mostly in the English language and is entitled ‘Bombs are Falling.’