When this girl is not blogging, be sure she is extremely busy. I have tried to create time to blog and read blogs from other bloggers in vain. For the past four days, its been a chaotic lifestyle, spending less than 4 hours of sleep, but ain´t complaining at all, nope, it is all for a worthy course.
Having been to Denmark twice before, in Skagen, Aarhus and Hirtshal (by the ferry terminal) I still longed for a chance to get to Copenhagen. I love to visit different places, compare lifestyle and basically more important for me, to simply observe people! One thing I immediately noticed with Danish people, they are more friendly. Yes they are, they smile at me *(maybe at everyone) every where, (though plastic smile, that fades away in 2 seconds) however, that for me still feels good, especially if you live in Norway where you seldom get any smile from strangers. Remember most Norwegians believe are shy, so they do not dare smile at strangers, Danish people do.
One of my friends in Norway, just sent me a text and she confirms my findings “Do you know that Denmark is my second home country? People are more friendly there than in Norway -but according to my exroom-mate who lives in København -the friendliness is only superficial… unlike us, this means that when Norwegians are finally getting friendly -then it is more serious ;-)”.
Many Norwegians have always reminded me, it is quite hard to make friends in Norway especially as a foreigner, but when you finally get a friend, you have a lifetime friend. It is at this point that I say, Tusen Takk til alle min venner.
I am attending the 17th edition of WOMEX (The World Music Expo) at København, Denmark. When an opportunity presented itself that I could attend the whole expo, I took the chance whole heartedly, knowing that it was going to be a busy week, extremely tiring, but worth every minute of my careerlife.
“This is the final edition in Denmark after 3 exciting years in a capital renowned for its multitude of fashionable cyclists in particular, its devotion to design and eco care in general, plus repeated appearances on Forbes´s lists for quality of life and much more”reads an extract from the Womex team.
I must commend the organisers of this event, the colour, glamour, organisation it is just superb. I have had such a great opportunity to be able to tour the Danish Radio City, which I am informed it is on of the most magnificent media houses in Europe. On getting there, together with my colleagues we were received by one of the long serving radio journalist who took us through the security checks.
“In this building, you will not be mistaken for imagining that there are more security personnel than journalists” said Jan. I agree based from what I saw, however, we have had a smooth time since then. Attending the World Music Workshop, was quite an event for me, especially when there were quite a number of issues discussed to do with African musicians and their future as far as copyright and payment of their rightful dues is concerned. Finally, I see success from a far, cross your fingers African musicians!
Then, time to attend the World music opening ceremony where Hungarian Heartbeats gave an electrifying performance, an exciting wide-ranging concert programme created especially for WOMEX. That plus other speeches marked the beginning of sleepless nights for WOMEXicians.
Indeed it has been. The programme is fully packed with showcases (short concerts and screening) Expo (a showplace for companies and institutions as well as a meeting place for delegates) Concerts (where different musicians from different countries present live performances) and of course a networking opportunity for everyone attending.
“The world brings its music to Copenhagen, with a whole palette of global sounds dedicated to curious ears. WOMEX 11 presents musicians from more than 50 different nations, about as many different genres, and even more stories to be told.” Says Andres Laursen, Chairman of WMF Cph.
Of course as a Kenyan, I am very happy to have met some African Producers, musicians and their managers, among them Mette Louise and Makadem of Kenya whom I got a chance to do an interview with as well as Mzungu Kichaa, *(Crazy Whiteman) a Tanzanian of Danish origin as he says. “I feel more African and I like it that way, though the truth is I am Danish.” He is of course crazy, he speaks in Tanzanian accent, uses sheng (Nairobi slung) and asks me if we could do my interview in Swahili probably not caring if my audience understood Swahili or not. He he he!!
Just a glimpse
This is just a glimpse of my first few days here, I am documenting down everything though I am not sure if I will have time to blog everything, but I will try hard if you allow me to sleep at leat 3 hours everyday till WOMEX comes to an end.
I am loving my adventures here, among them the Danish food, absolutely amazing, the Metro experience, (this special mode of transport that runs electronically, good to mention, there is not even a driver) the best invention in the world and that makes Norwegians and other developed countries green with envy, *(I saw how other people talked about it), now you can imagine what that makes me feel as a Kenyan, and of course pretty aware of the traffic situation in Nairobi. But you know what? One love, no hard feelings, one day, Kenya too will be there! (maybe in 100 or even 200 years to come.)
By now, I must take a break into this, I am extremely tired and got to catch up with other errands. By yesterday 5pm, I had to leave the arena, in search of new shoes, as rationally as I can be, I brought with me two pairs of high-heeled boots and three days later, I almost threw them by the roadside. I realise it has been tough moving from one place to another as if I had not imagined this, so you can be assured, I got myself new shoes, very very flat. So I will manage to keep abreast with every happening, I promise to update you.
“It is my hope that you will spread the word that Copenhagen is an open, unprejudiced and generous city, worth getting to know better”, wrote Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen.
My heartfelt congratulations goes to Hugh Masekela from South Africa, one of my best African artists. On Sunday afternoon, unfortunately I will miss this, he receives the WOMEX 2011 Artist Award with a tribute from Francis Gay, my new friend from France.So on behalf of all Africans, WOMEXicans, we are proud of you, you are a legend Masekela!
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” ― Maya Angelou