Richard Doron Johnson

December 7, 2006

Hip Hop Harare to Bulawayo

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 10:21 pm

On December 5th We departed South Africa for Zimbabwe. I have to say we had a great experience there. If it was not for Bra X, Ismael Mohamed, and Tabago who knows how things would have gone but they were just like members of the band. Upon getting to the airport early to deal with the overweight we did run into some trouble getting the equipment on the flight but that is a given in this part of the world. When people see you are American they really try to take you for a ride and get all of he money they can out of you. After paying almost $1000 in overweight charges we were off to the next country Zimbabwe.
We had heard horror stories about this country and its president. So we were saying we hoped we made it out alive. Let me be the first tell you once again. Everything you hear is not all true. Since we have been here the people have been great. Every morning I still get up and run and site see with no worries. The very first night here we had a reception at the Ambassadors house.
Me and Ambassador Dell
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His house was seriously decorated and he was a nice. This is rare trust me!
We talked about the States and his new wife that is from Bulgaria. When I told her I had been there she went bananas and started asking all sorts of questions about her native city Sophia. Also at the reception were numerous journilist waiting to meet “AFAR.” After a two hour conversation with everyone there it was time to depart and get back to the Miekles hotel. This is the best hotel we have been in during this tour. It is really classy looking and has almost all of the immunities of home except wireless internet or high speed internet.
The following day was the longest day of the tour. This is how it went.

1. Wake up at 5am
2. 2. Run 10k at 5:20am
3. 6:45am leave for a tv interview on the biggest network in the country
4. 8am do a radio interview on the biggest radio station in the country
5. 9:30 do a 1:30min workshop on music and what Hip Hop is
6. Drive 30minutes back to the hotel to have an hour to eat
7. 1pm drive to the next workshop
8. 2:30pm to 4pm do a work shop on the influences of jazz on Hip Hop at the Music college
9. 5pm drive to the sound check for the concert
10. 7pm Opening band starts playing
11. We began playing at 7 30pm for 1:30min
12. Finish and pack up all the equipment at 10pm.
13. 10pm Go to Nandos (the local chicken spot to eat)
14. Get back to the hotel at 11:20pm

Then at 5am get a wake up call to get on a flight that is supposed to be at 7am.

This is how the longest day of the tour has gone but amazingly the best show of the tour was the show that night. It was all energy from the crowd and the Ambassador came with his wife and stayed the whole concert and said he loved it. Who would have known that he would have been singing along to our music.

Jahah comes through the smoke!
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Now on to today. After catching the flight to Bulawayo which was one hour we arrived to a much warmer climate.
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The first stop was our hotel which was a Holiday Inn. It is amazing too because who ever built this hotel made it look just like a normal Holiday Inn you would find in the United States from the inside to the outside. After checking in we went to the local dance school called “Amakhosi Culture Center for Performing Arts”. to see and discuss musical ideas with the locals. This was the most visually stimulating workshop I have been to in a long time.
A local dance is being demonstrated!
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Young man eating lunch!
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I was able to see original African dances by dance troops and I was able to see live music accompany it too. After making a few new Friends here we went to have lunch with some local friends of the embassy at a new restaurant in town. The food was pretty good even though it wasn’t traditional Zimbabwe food. Next I went to the library to get on line since I had about 4 hours to spare. By now the temperature was about 93degrees. Since I had not ran for the day I decided as soon as I got back to the hotel I was going to go swimming and that is exactly what I did. Later that evening we went to sound check for our show at 8pm. The concert was in a rather big hall that held about 1600 people. It is amazing how well people in this part of the world love us and know what we do.

After the show Marc signs autographs and the Jahah look alike tries to sneak out!
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They really appreciation positive Hip Hop with a message and look for that.
Jahah appears through the smoke!

The concert was a great success and ended right on time for me because by 9:30pm I was ready to eat. Once I arrived back at the hotel I was more than happy to order a whole large pizza and eat it all by myself!

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3 Comments »

  1. DJazz.

    Much love to the entire AFAR crew. Tell everyone whats up & keep up the tight work.

    Blessings from NYC my man,
    Mills

    Comment by Mills — December 8, 2006 @ 12:00 am

  2. 🙂 🙂 :-):-):-):-):-):-:-):-)(all smiles, and love).

    If the trip is half as thrilling as reading you guys posts…

    Like I said on brainmunchie, think momentum.

    I’m dying to know if you guys ran into Skinnie n Mad (the rapper who wanted to get down in Zimbabwe?

    Comment by Russell — December 8, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

  3. and oh.

    ain’t love grand!

    Comment by Russell — December 8, 2006 @ 3:00 pm


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