Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rafael and Matthew vs the AIDS Epidemic

It was a Sunday and my Malawian achimwene (brother), Beston Tebula, was my passive guide as I explored the streets of Blantyre. Achimwene knew that I wanted to be open to anything that we stumbled across and anything that came our way.

Rafael and Matthew walked up and it seemed clear that they were hawking pirated DVDs. But we were wrong. They wanted to sell us a CD they had produced -- a CD of a song they had written and performed. Why buy a CD, I said to Achimwene, when we can have a live performance.

"Ask them if they'll perform for us."

I hardly had time to whip out my little digital camera when they began singing. Here's the song:

Of course, I was unable to appreciate the lyrics. The next day, I somehow rigged up a way for Achimwene to hear the music through headphones while I recorded him translating it. You can see that version on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITKVs1yF5eY. You can read more about Beston (Achimwene) Tebula earlier on this blog. We remain in touch and I've promised that we'll spend time together again -- either in Malawi or in California. When he comes, I want you to meet him!

Anyway, the lyrics turned out to be remarkable. It's a song about the "enemy" that has invaded their little country -- AIDS. It's about corruption and it's about spreading the word to young people to protect themselves. As they say it, nobody else is going to look after them.

Sometimes we think we know the motives of strangers.

Usually, we're wrong.


Beston Tebulo said...

Don, this indeed is a wonderful job you are doing.Thi isn't an easy way to achieve.You are designated to achieve a goal in life that is unique- taking interest in matters that really help people of all walks of life to a destination of knowledge and prevention of preventable things.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing finer than a curious mind. I hope the message these young men are attempting to spread will spread faster than the disease that is striking down everyone around them.