Airbus Africa Community Forum 2019: The Beats of Africa!

Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.

African Proverb

Airbus is a diverse and multicultural company. So if you look long enough, you will always find someone who has similar cultural and social background.

What is the origin story of the AIrbus Africa community?

Being in Airbus in Toulouse, France, I used to nod and smile to every black person I will see on site. They will nod back to me and smile. We will say “Hello” to each other and that was it.

We both felt awkward and then moved on to business as usual.

Then Valerie Manning and Yves Yemsi initiated a monthly “Friday Open Launch”. The principle was simple: book a huge table at the restaurant in Toulouse, and every person who has Africa in their heart can come and join. This was back in 2011.

This is how we started connecting to each other at another level.

In 2017, we formalised the creation of our Airbus Africa Community (AAC) with the intention to have one flag for us all, to focus our energy as one body and mind.

We didn’t know at the time that we were what is called an ERG (Employee Resource Group). We will join the Airbus internal network of networks: The Balance For Business network led by Jane Basson and Susan Breton.

Our mission is to plant the seeds for Airbus in Africa through education, mentorship and to be used to give a unique insight to our company and help change the narrative of our beloved continent.

In 2018, we organised our first AAC forum with the sponsorship of Dirk Hoke and we were blessed to have Ellen Fischat as an external keynote speaker.

In 2019, we had our second edition of the forum, sponsored by Armel Djeukou and Fadimatou NOUTCHEMO SIMO as an external keynote speaker. And it was amazing.

I was honored to host the event. And I wanted to be a lion telling my African story.

My parents are from Korbe, a remote village in Guinea (Conakry), and are pulars.

I was born and raised in Dakar, Senegal where I was speaking Pular at home, Wolof in the streets and French at school.

I have always been interested in words and telling stories.

So for the AAC Forum 2019, I wrote and performed a slam, especially for that event.

It was my first slam in English.

And I would like to share it with you here below.

“Sama” means “my” in Wolof, the unofficial language in Senegal.

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

I woke up one night, I saw your fight.

In the darkest light, with your black shield, you were my knight.

You never complain.

You never show no pain.

Not a day in your reign, have you ever dropped one rain

Of tear. I fear not when you are by my side, dear Mama!

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

Red is the clay of your skin. Cassius Clay

A.K.A Muhammed Ali is your best play.

Red is the sun rising in your savannah. Hallelujah!

When I see the red tracks they leave behind,

With their trucks full of your black blood,

The red dust they scatter, turns my heart into ebony wood.

My eyes try to cry.

To my despair Mama, my tears have left me only with sorrow to find, dear Mama!

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

You gave them your heart, Mama!

They shredded it into pieces.

You gave them your flesh, Mama!

They ate every bit of it with no rest.

You gave them your land, Mama!

They divided it to build their masterpiece

You gave them your soul, Mama!

They try to suffocate you with it behind their walls.

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

Breath, breath Mama, breath!

No one can dim your heat.

Inhale their polluted air.

Exhale your best heirs.

I hear you, Mama!

The drumbeats of your joy are heard by my herd.

None of their beasts can reap the beats of your art.

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

At the dawn of this new era, your bit is flawless.

Fear less Mama Africa, because blessed is your flesh.

Fear less Mama Africa, because we are fresh!

Fear less Mama Africa, because we are diverse!

Fear less Mama Africa, because you are our universe!

And we won’t miss a bit of it, dear Mama!

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

Mama Africa, sama Africa!

I can hear the beats of your heart!.

Mama Africa, sama Africa

Mama Africa, sama Africa

My Africa!

I would like to have an animation of this slam to share it with young people.

So drop me a message if you want us to collaborate.

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You can read my previous article on What were the results of your last BITE test? (Medium)

📖 Griot 🧙🏿‍♂️Mentor 🦄 Intrapreneur 💪🏿 Entrepreneur