Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Keita laughs

Well, I spoke too soon. If there is one thing that makes Keita laugh –both his Father Christmas belly laugh and his irresistible giggle- it is a good old African MISS competition, and here he is not alone: this tickles my funny bone too. So we settled in happily the other night watching MISS INDEPENDENCE Congo Brazzaville  having stumbled by chance on the live broadcast from the myriad of African channels.
I used to be a fan of the Miss World Competition a long time ago when it was still broadcast in the UK where I lived. There was the European Song Contest and then there was Miss World jostling each other for no 1 position as the funniest yearly television spectacle on offer. And now those goody-goody feminists have removed Miss World from most northern European countries. Oh, well fortunately there is still Africa. There is something about the way these girls mince down the catwalk which is priceless. When I mentioned to Keita that I felt girl number 9 bore a striking resemblance to our Mohammed at the library (which was a absolutely true) Keita laughed so much that I saw a tear running down his cheek.
It dawned on us that we had actually watched this broadcast a year ago and we had witnessed the crowning ceremony of MISS INDEPENDENCE 2014. That event involved an incident with the First Lady Madame Denis Sasun Gesu who is the ‘godmother’ of the event. When the reigning Miss Independence 2013 stepped on to the stage to hand over her crown to Miss 2014 she was given the microphone and it was of course expected that she should say how very much she had enjoyed her year as reigning beauty queen and perhaps that she wished her successor the best of luck. But no. She pointed accusingly to the First Lady and said ‘She promised me a car but she never gave it to me!’
Now this was riveting live TV indeed. Nothing happened for several seconds and the packed hall was silent as the grave. The First Lady was shaking her head angrily.
Then the master of ceremonies managed to gather his wits and suggested soothingly that there must be some mistake while Miss 2013 refused to budge from her position. She was now relieved of her Crown and bundled unceremoniously off stage.  This year the First Lady clearly mindful of last year’s debacle forestalled any controversy by personally handing over the keys to a new car to the lucky new Miss 2015.
And what else? Well there was  the Sevaré hotel siege and hostage taking which I have not mentioned at all. It was of course a disaster and a tragic event and it did put off our Phd student Imri from the University of Chicago from coming to stay to study in the library, but only for a day or two. I guess in the end he thought that statistically his chances of survival in Djenné might be similar to his chances of survival in Chicago?
Keita has left for Segou and I will soon follow inshallah.


Blogger Tabor said...

America has become one of the most violent countries and yet we are always cautious when traveling to forieign lands. I am not a fan of any "beauty" contest with its emphasis on body parts but if they have a "handsome" contest for 20-something males, I might just watch.

3:45 PM  
Blogger David said...

Priceless - a parody couldn't be as funny by the sound of it. And, as I last wrote, I do love Keita's rich basso laugh.

The Sevare incident was horrible, but what can you do other than live your life as if the worst won't happen? And, yes, it does amaze me about American fear - of so much.

The worst certainly happened in Palmyra. I am still feeling sick having just heard on the World Service of IS's executing and displaying the body of the 82 year old man who had devoted his life to looking after, and then defending, the great ruined city. Mankind can't get much lower than that, and the lower - child abuse - is already happening there.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Susan Scheid said...

Laughing is always good! You remind me that one of my legion of cousins was (long ago) Miss Wisconsin in the Miss Universe contest. I do find beauty pageants the most peculiar, and they get even more peculiar when there is an effort to be more substantive.

5:49 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Thank you all three for your comments. I have now joined keita in the ill ranks and I leave tomorrow for bamako. They only know how to treat two diseases here:malaria and typhoid. I have now been treated for both those and I am not feeling too hot. ..

4:36 PM  
Blogger Pascal et Monique said...

Nous sommes désolés pour ce retour bien mouvementé au Mali. Prends bien soin de toi et de Keita. On attend de meilleures nouvelles bien vite. Monique et Pascal

8:18 PM  
Blogger David said...

O weh! Could it be a recurrent bout of malaria? Keep us posted when you feel up to it.

12:12 PM  

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