Simply having been invited on a trip to Africa was like a dream come through. What I believe was the most meaningful part of this tour for me would not just be the long and nerve testing flights to the mother land, but the first school visit at Shashamane. There, I was greeted with love, but not just the “tourist-love” that one may receive simply because tourists are known to come bearing gifts, but in the smiles of the children, I saw that they meant it. This of course threw me off a bit and on several occasions it saddened me amongst giving me other mixed emotions: happiness, surprise, comfort. What I learnt from that particular experience is that no matter how many problems or challenges or hardships you face in life, never allow it to be a reason to preventing you from showing love to your fellow men and more so, never allow it to take your joy.
The tour would then continue to Kenya and then to Uganda. For a moment I thought it could not have gotten better than my stay at Ethiopia but Kenya simply blew my mind, mainly to see how developed the city is contrary to the images portrayed by the western media. Other positives factors of the trip would include the means of transport provided in Ethiopia as well as the hotel accommodation provided throughout the various stops. At each country I was privileged to build friendships and also hold conversations where I was able to get some of my questions answered, this time, from the source itself. It was impressive to see how the girl’s school in Kenya and the primary school in Uganda had prepared to welcome us with songs, performances, formal presentations and by serving local food. This for me was an example of their appreciation towards Shashamane Sunrise and its representatives in addition to a display of national pride.
In conclusion, I cannot forget what it meant to me as an artiste, thanks to Shashamane’s Executive Chairman, Dr Rene Zazou Williamson, several occasions while I thought we went out for meetings to discuss the global tour, he was also busy arranging to have me perform. Although they were all of course spontaneous and unrehearsed, I was able to get the audience involved and get the feedback that I always look forward to.