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André’s story
3rd November 2009

Okay, so here I am, since quite a while now actually, Manu has asked me (and he’s right) to write a report. Big problem because : I haven’t kept notes, I have not kept a logbook for example : rise 7h45, looked at sun through the curtains, in the next room breakfast is underway. I can’t do that and I don’t want to!

All that I have kept is the very best, the “substantifique moelle (the very substance, it’s backbone) as Rabelais said, now I’ve impressed you…

Well, everything started pretty badly, I had trouble obtaining my visa ( I got the documents wrong). The trip to CDG with lots of overseas travelers, at the airport : I already felt like I was in Africa because I was waiting with a group of people from Burkina Faso, and so we got talking, and sometimes it’s a small world…the guy responsible for the group of young musicians was no other than Baba’s neighbor (our Baba from Bobo dioulasso).

The adventure started with a capital "A".

At Lomé :
I was welcomed to Guy’s place, live in an African’s house : a dream to learn and know better, and with Essy and Pialo, I was really spoilt.

I saw heaps of people ( a friendly handshake thinking of Yao and Guy’s son, I’ve forgotten his name).

I’ll pass on the breakfasts and the dishes, but I keep engraved in my memory the laughter and smiles of these friendly people and their brotherly hugs.
I live separately from the other « Iovos »due to a transport problem, but I came here to discover Africa and it’s Africans, so I was happy.
Now I have become the body guard of my friend Guy, a game between us. Thank you Africa, thank you Guy.

Presentation of the school, I’ll pass on that.

I almost forgot : the motorbikes, millions of motorbikes all over the place.
And also the religious gathering places and many prayers.
So, the lessons : I am a percussion student, it was disappointing to be alone with Jacques Gavor who did his very best to help me discover his music…I had a bit of trouble sometimes. Sorry Jaffé, I haven’t been able to look after what you asked me for yet, but I promise you I will.

In the school courtyard each lesson rang out with a different melody.

I was lucky to be accepted by Mark (from the Adido Tradition Jazz group) and by Jacques, I rehearsed and played with them : pure happiness, thank you to the musicians and dancer.


We went on big trips to the inland and I discovered what I was waiting for : people, green countryside and big waves with “Iovo, Iovo” as if signs of recognition and belonging.

We saw many people in the villages, parents, friends of neighbors, expressions…thank you, I keep down inside me like a treasure, all these moments of generous sharing.

However : I was afraid, yes afraid, during the car rallies through the villages, if ever a child…phew! It’s okay, everything’s okay.

I haven’t told you everything but I remember well the taste of the brochettes we had in the outback, even if you have kept the recipe secret.

See you soon!

André the "Iovo"