Name: Cecilia Addy
Occupation: Helps at mother’s fruit stand
Cecilia is a young woman I met at shrine one Sunday. Because we were sitting in the shrine area I didn’t have any recording equipment, but I wrote down details of our conversation as we went along; they are summarized here.
Cecilia is from the village of Akatsi nearby – but she does not come to Apetorku in Dagbamete every week, she only comes when a member of her family is visiting which might be once every two or three months. She is here today with her mother, who made a promise last year that if Cecilia’s brother Rupert would pass his University exams she would sacrifice a chicken, which is what she is doing today. Cecilia decides to come to the shrine with members of her family even if she doesn’t have anything of her own to talk to the gods about because she thinks it is good to spend some time in the shrine and she likes the songs and the dancing. Cecilia doesn’t know how to play the drums – she knows the songs and can sing them but she has never been allowed to play, even at school when they did traditional song she danced instead. She likes dancing because it is fun, but she thinks it might be fun also to play the drums. Her younger brother Thomas is 17 years old and he often gets to play supporting drums or bell in performances in Akatsi. Cecilia likes hiplife and highlife music but does not have a way to listen to them at home, but if they are playing on the radio at the shops she enjoys listening to it. Cecilia hopes to get married soon and have a home so that she can be comfortable and find a better job since she has some education and can read. When she has her own children she wants them to learn their traditional songs because it is something that their grandparents do and it is important to learn it so they know. She thinks even the girls should get a chance to play drums because if fewer and fewer people are going to know how then it is better that everyone should know so they can teach their sons. She doesn’t think that traditional music will disappear but she thinks that many young people like her brother who leave the village will learn so many new things that they will forget that their music is important and they will not teach it to their children.
Interview by Mackenzie Gordon on August 8th, 2010