Ethiopia by Rachel Unthank - Part 2
Another inspirational individual we met was a man called Melaku Belay. Melaku was a Sudanese refugee. His family was dispersed, and he ended up as an orphan and street kid in Addis Ababa. To survive he danced for tips at a music club, where he asked if he could sleep on floor. He managed to earn enough tips to eventually buy the club - an amazing feat! He is now a world famous dancer, performing with the Ethipiques, yet he always comes home to dance in his club and invest in the community.
We also went to Malaku's club and his dancers made our eyes pop out of their heads with their shoulder popping, neck snapping audacious moves. The next day we were treated to a rare dance workshop with Malaku, where we discovered just how amazing he was as we struggled to get our limbs to move in unfamiliar ways, although we all came out feeling miraculously lighter and energised.
I could go on forever about all the people we met and amazing music we experienced. Discovering the music of a different culture sets the mind travelling in new creative directions and makes you want to learn more. I think you always learn a little bit about youself when you travel, and for me it confirmed my own pride in our own traditions.