The Film as a Source of Inspiration

Posted: July 14, 2012 by phermc10 in Personal reflection

The title of the film has two parts as ‘Keita’ and ‘The Heritage of the Griot’. What is the connection? ‘Keita’ is the family name of the royal kings of Mali where ‘the Heritage of the Griot’ is related to the bard responsible to tell stories and teaches. The connection is reflected as Djeliba Kouyate recounting the history of the name of the schoolboy Mabo who does not know the origin of his name and who his ancestors were. Djeliba is the only person who could do that for Mabo. We need people who can help us connect with the past. Without knowing the past, we do not know what kind of future we are building or whether it is better than the past or worse. Our pasts are packed with glories that have been destroyed by colonization.  Generations after that period are hopelessly disengaged from their pasts and lose their future in a dilemma.

Griot Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate teaches us a lesson through the epic: kings have prescribed destinies just like men, and prophets who predict the future know it. Kings map out the path to the future, where griots are depositories of the past. Whoever knows the history of a country can read its future. I feel that it is our duty to learn the past and invent the future based on the accumulation of knowledge at present. They do not happen or exist separately nor they can. Some traditions are to be maintained as steps towards a better future.  We still do not know whether we are born kings until we determine to find out.

Nowadays, griots work to foster youth education, sustain old cultures and build peace and mutual understanding among different peoples. Their focus includes helping young people to develop skills in communication, social and arts and thus they can exercise their talents and imagination and generate their own works that reach the audiences.Some interesting websites to refer are http://www.angelfire.com/pa5/kotc/ and http://wichitagriots.com/.

Thal Sandy Tun

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