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  • Keith Scott

The Best Laid Plans…

Sometime plans go astray: nowhere in the world more than in Africa. Things just happen and everything you planned to do goes out the window. Having lived in Zambia for 10 years I am well aware of this.



So my plans went astray. I had planned to do a class on Poetry in the Hebrew Scriptures with my students. Pascal, the Rector of the University, however, interrupted those plans by inviting me to an event for the opening of the Academic Year. It was hosted by another university but representatives of all the Universities in Bujumbura were present, as was the Minister for Education. It was a big event and, like a lot of big events in Africa, it was very late in starting. It was, however, well worth the effort. Burundi is famed for its drummers. There is a deep and old tradition of drumming. In Kirundi the word for “drum” is also the word for “throne”. The most sacred of drums was only ever taken out of its secret place when a new king took his throne in the ancient, and current, capital of Gitega. While I can’t claim to have seen and heard the most sacred drum I did see and hear the drums of Burundi. The government has restricted drumming to special occasions, so one does not often see the drummers. I was well and truly impressed. The sound and the accompanying singing and dancing was spectacular.



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