Excerpts from Word In The Belly Of The Word (Finah Misa Mule)
KUMƐ KƆNTƆ KUMƐ:
WORD IN THE BELLY OF THE WORD
By Kewulay Kamara
I must have been about ten years old in 1964 when a blue Opel truck appeared in the town of Kabala in Northeast Sierra Leone where I was going to school. Most of the trucks, especially if they were commercial, had and still have the name of the person who owns it, and their place of residence painted on the vehicle. The owner’s name, Karifa Finah Kamara, was written on the truck. But there was something more on the truck. On this blue Opel truck, the owner put down: "Karifa Finah Kamara, "Ferensola."
Ferensola was the original, mythic land of the Kuronko people. In this Colonial era in Kabala, the sign made people begin to remember what Ferensola was at a time before colonialism. They began to take some pride in being Kuronko.
Badenya is dedicated to community-building, globally, through the mobilization of Africa’s most expressive cultural resources such as spoken word, music, and dance to inform, educate and entertain. It utilizes the presentation of African arts as a community building and bridge-building tool.
Badenya presents a series of quarterly “Badenya Che’ ” events in 2020 (“che’ “translates to “heritage” in Manden). Each presentation addresses an important genre of West African performance and features a specific tradition in West Africa, such as Jaliya, Jimbe drummed dance tradition, Congolese Dance, and Sabar.
UNESCO x Badenya
Badenya Festival (1996-2000)
The Badenya Festivals featured New York-based performers alongside major artists from overseas, including the Senegalese sabar drummer/dancer Doudou N’Diaye Rose and the late South African singer Miriam Makeba.