Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sidiki Conde

Today my school had a very special treat... SIDIKI CONDE! Who is Sidiki Conde you may ask (I know I did). Sidiki is a dancer, singer, and musician from Africa. However, unlike most dancers (and singers and musicians too), Sidiki contracted Polio and lost the use of his legs at the age of 14.

Polio, or any contagious disease, was considered to be bad luck so Sidiki had to go live with his grandfather in a remote village in Western Africa. Upset by the fact that he wasn't going to be able to participate in the Coming of Age Ceremonies if he couldn't dance, he taught himself to dance ON HIS HANDS! Since then, he has formed a group called Tokounou All Abilities Group that travels around the world singing, dancing, and playing music for children and adults encouraging them to overcome any adversity life throws at you.

His performance was nothing short of AMAZING! I have never in my life seen someone so truly happy with how they are despite what could have been a debilitating disability. He spoke to the students about loving yourself the way you are and not giving up on your dreams just because people think you can't accomplish them.

The translations of two of his songs particularly hit me and I'd like to share them with you.


In this world we are many different people We are fine
Some people have no eyes, we are fine
Some people have no ears, we are fine
Some people have no voice, we are fine
Some people have no legs, we are fine
Some people have nothing
Some people have everything

We are fine.


I know you carried me twice:
Once when I was a baby
and again when I could not walk
Thank you Mother
Mother do not cry and do not worry
I am going to make you happy
I am not handicapped
Handicapped is in the mind I can sing and I can dance

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