I did not come here to sing

I did not come here to sing

But he does sing, anyway. Unexpectedly. The band leader called him out, and up.

We are in the company of greatness! Please, Mr. Ambolley, please come and join us on stage.

Lounging in the back, chatting with friends under the stars. He’s sitting quietly, not wanting the extra attention. Perhaps just a jaunt to hear some HighLife, an evening out, without fanfare.

But when you’re a living legend, you don’t always get to take a night off.

I’m going to take it in a different direction tonight

Stage, fronting trumpets, drums, bass, is a familiar spot for him. You can tell. A majesty, he moves with the beat. Because it’s part of him.

Football may be life in West Africa, but music is heart and soul. Wander any neighborhood, in any town, and you cannot escape it. A reggaeton beat fuels your step. Hip Life giving you bounce. Gospel down the way. And always, drums. Volume turned to eleven. We all dance. We all sing.

Ambolley, forefather of HighLife, humors us, treats us to a song. And his voice, all deep and sugar. Ad lib, improvisation, all soul, all magic.

Some in the audience know him well. Others, first time. But everyone, in a matter of moments, knows. We’re in the presence of greatness. Of legend.

He did not come here to sing.

But as the beat washes us, we’re sure glad he did.

Published by Radutti

Teaching in Ha Noi, screwing things up daily but surviving to write about it. ...everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

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