Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dakar Meets Madison

Looking at the women sitting in front of me, and I was harkened back to weddings or gatherings in Mali (see photo below). Nope, these boubou-clad women were attending the African Festival in Madison.  

Dancer and Drummer
Dancing and drumming at a Malian wedding
An easy walk from my condo, I first took a peek at the booths - some clothing, jewelry, bags, handicrafts, and face painting.  With plenty of higher-quality pieces from Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Tunisia already in my apartment, I wasn't even tempted. I did hit the one tent serving Senegalese food. I was happy to see Chicken Mafé, Senegalese variation of one of my favorite Malian dishes known as Tige Dege. To round it off, I had an ice-cold drink made from the hyssop plant.

Mafé meal at African Fest
While I enjoyed my chicken Mafé meal, I looked around me. Similar clothing as I had remembered, but the iPhones and iPads were not part of my West African memories. The "technology" that Malians carried around in 2000 mostly consisted of battery-operated radios. No selfies in sight then.
Of course with most any Wisconsin event, there was ice cream available (note that the neighborhood Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream was one of the sponsors).
As the sun went further down the horizon, the clouds began to glow in various colors. In the distance, the dome of the capitol was framed with warm colors. What a beautiful evening for a concert, celebrating the music and dance from diverse places of the African continent.

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