Words weaved together with rhymes and beats produce music. Music feeds the soul! When it goes to parties, it makes the legs twist and turn while the waist whines, sometimes in acrobatic dangle. There is so much power in music than one could imagine. We know also that music calms nerves, and recreate events.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital is popular for a number of reasons, one of which is its people’s fondness for art and creativity. They express these not just in paintings and designs but also in words; words couched in tunes, tunes blended with beats to produce good music.
In October 2014, music took to the street in this city. Ouagadougou’s calmness went to the grave as uncoordinated tunes, the type that makes you block your ears, rent the air leading to oust of the 27-year reign of Blaise Compaore. It was a phase in the city’s history that will, one day, be told in words captured in lyrics and flavoured with beat.
However, music is not off the street yet in Ouagadougou. It is back at work restoring city’s glory. Early this year, a Dance School in the city called everyone to come and have a feel of what OUAGADOUGOU had in abundance—it was a fete called the 3rd edition of the International Dance Festival of Ouagadougou (FIDO) where cultural wealth of Africa and Europe were presented in Afro contemporary dance.
If all that comes to your mind when you think about Ouagadougou is its last revolution, it is time you get updated. The city has since moved on. Not that flashes of the past and scars of the October wound are all wiped clean, but presently, the city is waxing stronger and doing fine.
Let me break it to you, Ouagadougou does not come as a typical capital city dotted with skyscrapers and numerous fanciful city attractions, but there is a spirit in the city that is both welcoming and promising. The youths are immensely creative, and ready to take their future into their own hands.
Ouagadougou! That name sounds like a line in rap music; some say it makes them smile, more or less confirming city’s reality. You know that feeling you have when you actually have so little yet you are so contented. Yeah, I saw it in the city. The level of happiness and optimism of the “Ouagalais”(residents of Ouagadougou) is a lesson to take home. There is also an impressive degree of friendliness, and a somewhat commitment to work! This is part of what you probably won’t pick up from the crisis-focused reports of modern western media.
I already said “Ouagalais” are hard workers, what I need to add is that these people also know how to unwind! The city is the home of some of the best African Cinema, Arts and Handicrafts! It will easily pass as the Capital city of Cinema in Africa as it hosts some of the leading events in African cinema.
Ever heard of The FESPACO (pan-African Festival of Cinema/Film festival)? This is where the event holds. For instance, in February 2015 Ouagadougou was at it again, hosting the rest of Africa in an entertainment fiesta called FESPACO, even the county’s President, Michel Kafando, was there. There is also The International Saloon of Arts and Crafts, SIAO, the Festival of Arts and Handicrafts that holds there every odd year, alternating with its Cinema equivalent.
What is more intriguing and interesting is that Ouagadougou is a cheap place to go and really connect to Africa—it will be best if you understand French though. Nevertheless, do not panic if you don’t speak French, the people are generally very honest and will readily help you out. Here is the icing on the cake: if you choose to go to Ouagadougou, aside being made to feel at home in the ‘Land of Upright People,’ you’ll find a lively capital and great wildlife spotting and return with bagful of tales!
Usifo Mike-Alvin is a creative writer with knack for budget traveling and adventure. He travels across Africa and reports for www.afrotourism.com