Centuries before the first slave ships started supplying labour to the American south, Africans were being sold as slave-soldiers for India. Their descendants are the least visible part of the African Diaspora, but today in India are tens of thousands of people of African descent known as Sidi’s and most of them have lost touch with their roots. They have lost any knowledge of African languages; don’t know where their ancestors came from or why they settled in India. The only remnant they retain of their African lineage is their music, song and dance which includes musical instruments and performances that are a derivative of African Goma.
“On 22nd September, the Sidi Gomas, a group of Sidi musicians from Gujrat, India will make their inaugural performance in Kenya, possibly the country from which their ancestors originated,” said SAMOSA 2012 Festival Director Ms Farrah Nurani. “These African-Indian sufis have maintained their cultural link to Africa through ritual dances and music, and their performance at the Alliance Francaise will showcase a cultural interconnection that contributes to Kenya’s unique triple heritage,” she added.
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