Would You Buy Your Past? - Bikozulu
8 months ago, 23 Jan 13:30
We now have bluetooth and microwaves we can control using our phones yet we continue to crane our necks looking back at the past. The allure of the past seems to seduce us, keeping us enticed. We listen to soul music, we wear afro wigs and fashion – if you look around – continues to suffer from the hangover of the past. We want old vintage cars with a clutch and manual gears. Hell, push-to-start ignition is back. As brighter and more imaginative people stay up burning the famous midnight oil to make our lives better with technology, we still longingly look back at the old. We desire age. We can’t let go. The past is a temptress with a comforting shadow that grows longer with time. Our past seems to catch up with us in adulthood. At a glance it seems that we want things from the past but in essence it’s the memories we seek. We want to feel what being young felt like. All of us. We want to go back to the time when we knew less because that came with audacity, courage, a backbone. And this is why I have been looking for that courage in music, in a vinyl turntable to be precise. Those old, old ones that smell of the 70s, made by the hands of men, not the jerky arms of technology. Three years ago I went to interview some guy for a magazine article and this contraption I speak of was sitting there in the corner of his study. He was one of those trusting people who leave strangers alone in their living room confident that they will not touch anything. I’m the kind of stranger who touches things when left alone in a room. Since I’m not the serious kind of journalist who writes questions down the previous night in preparation, I didn’t have anything to pore over as I waited so I walked over and ran my hand over the formica body. She was an old hag with a great deal of personality left. She had had many years of singing in her lungs but she still looked ready to belt a tune if challenged. I pushed the bottom edge in and out rolled a stainless steel radio from the 70s, the type with big-knob dials. As I bent over studying her closely my subject entered the room, toweling his hands. (OCD?) “It was my uncle’s,” he explained, not offering a handshake (Definitely OCD). “He was a football and music fanatic. Nothing meant more to him than football and music.” “How did he die?” He was standing next to me and we stared down at this vinyl player, like it was a casket holding the remains of his uncle. “When Franco came to Kisumu in 1986 they couldn’t contain the crowd, everybody wanted to get into the stadium even though it was already full to capacity. People came from as far as Uganda and Tanzania to watch the maestro. ...
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