There are many sounds in Africa — goats bleating, horns honking, touts yelling, and generators chugging. However, there are a few sounds that are distinctly African that I love. The first sound is what wakes me up every morning — the symphony of birds right outside our bedroom window. It doesn’t seem to matter which country our bedroom is in, right around sunrise the chorus begins and then swells as more birds join in. Then during hot season, or Europe’s winter, thousands more birds migrate to eastern and southern Africa to escape the cold. They add to the morning serenade making it a grand concert that brings such a delight when welcoming the new day.
Another sound is that of people singing. Malawians are famous for singing in four-part harmony in their churches. This isn’t limited to just formal gatherings though. Just Saturday evening, while driving into the country, we passed two open-bed trucks full of passengers and both sounded like choirs singing. This is common in Malawi. They love to sing, and they are not ashamed of singing out.
The third sound is that of African drum beats. Having heard this as a child every Saturday night when the village across the way had their dances, now hearing the syncopated drum beat makes me feel at home. Emphasizing the off-beat or counter-beat, the drummers make the homemade drums and bongos seemingly come alive. The rhythm can get very complicated yet seems to vibrate through your bones.
There is no other place quite like Africa with sounds that capture your heart and imagination.
TAGS: Africa, birds, drums, singing, sounds CATEGORIES: Rhonda