The birthdate of an African tribe

Here, in Africa, our birthdate is not counted from the day when we were born, nor from the day we were conceived but from the date did our mothers think of us. In our tribe, when a woman decides that she’ll have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, meditating, until she hears the song of the child that wants to come. After she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who’s to be the child’s father and teaches it to him. When making love physically to conceive the child, they devote some of that time to singing the song of the child as a way to invite it.

After conceiving, the pregnant mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the song to welcome it to the community.   And then, as the child grows up, the other members of the village are taught the song. Should the child hurt itself; say by falling, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or maybe the child does something wonderful, or goes through puberty rites, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.

There is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.

We recognize that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little awkward at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.

                                                        Peace & Love

                                Compiled and slightly edited by ~Ojara~Image


About ojarapadot

I am a self-proclaimed community writer and reader from Uganda. Also,I am an immobile;tetraplegic to be specific,not that it matters,but most importantly I love to read about people,their culture and hang around with children. Children are easy and great to live with because of their honesty and imagination. God,family,friends,my suction pump,my mechanical bed,my wheelchairs and good health are the things that keep me going daily. Peace,Love and Freedom.
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11 Responses to The birthdate of an African tribe

  1. Thank you, this was beautiful. If my mom and dad dreamed up a song for me, it’s discordant and sad.

  2. rosco says:

    How much thought is put into the songs?

    Are they just choruses , or melodies repeated or full songs with instruments involved.

    • ojarapadot says:

      Depends on the composer(i.e the mother of the child to come and what she’s heard from the child to come; not forgetting her music aptitude; I suppose). They are usually not songs with full instruments involved. On average choruses and repeated melodies But as I said in the beginning,it depends on the mother of the child and the child to come. If you have watched one of the comedies from Africa- “Mr Bones” and heard the kind of songs sung during traditional gatherings,you could have heard similar melodies/choruses to such songs. I hope you find this answer helpful,thanks.

  3. Georgina says:

    Thank you for sharing this truth. Such a beautiful story. It has touched my soul.

    Love & Light

  4. Rose Fox says:

    Thanks so much was trying to figure out how to keep these positive stories coming in to my news feed. Shared both stories would Love to keep doing so… You’ve touched my heart today with your stories; soon the stories will touch more from sharing 🙂 Keeping the faith we can turn all people back to Love… Love is the answer ! Peace

  5. Tom McLeod says:

    Are you still “reading and writing”? Would love to see more from you and your unique perspective. My wife grew up in Jinja and went to boarding school at “Rift Valley”.

    • ojarapadot says:

      Dear Tom,

      Great to know your wife grew up in Jinja and went to “Rift Valley”.
      For me, I come from the northern part of the country, ie Kitgum district.
      I haven’t been doing well enough to do much reading and writing of late.
      Even so, I am getting better and looking forward to sharing more stories.

      Warm regards,

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