Friday, September 11, 2009

Mama Africa

In Cape Town, Long Street is the spot for nightlife. We headed down on Thursday night in search of live African music. We found it at a bar called Mama Africa. The band was rocking when we got there and the place was packed. For a few songs we were smashed against the cigarette machine but then we saw a Scottish couple sitting at a table on the front row with two open seats. We asked them if we could join. We were among the band as they continued to jam on large wooden xylophones, a variety of drums and a horn section. The Scots couldn't have been nicer as we talked to them during a set break. The band returned and played more traditional songs along with some Marley and soul.

We can only imagine that each night they pull an unsuspecting tourist on stage to make them dance and look like a fool. Tonight, it was going to be different. At first, the small lead singer asked the Scottish girl to come up but she declined. Temple could barely contain her excitement as she knew she'd be the next choice. She eagerly accepted the offer and was quickly on stage in between two men she was easily a head taller than. The music started and the three began swaying back and forth. Soon they started putting Temple through the paces. Each new move they showed she was right in step, looking as if they had been practicing for weeks. I wasn't surprised by this but everyone else couldn't believe their eyes, especially the band. The moves got more challenging and complex but Temple didn't missed a step and if she did she'd freestyle an even better move.

As I sat there watching her dance it took me back to the earliest moments of our courtship, how amazed I was by her moves, spirit, and laughter. I tried to put myself in everyone else's place seeing this amazing force for the first time. Like I was at Deborah's wedding and 18th Street Lounge, everyone was smiling ear to ear.

For a second it felt like the song would never end, but it did. The place went wild. And after a few bows Temple made her way back to the table. The amazed Scot said with his jaw on the floor, "you've done that before!" Temple's dance instructor came over to give her a hug and told her "most nights I do that for me, but tonight that was for you."


foster said...

What a loving tribute to the wonder that is Temple dancing!

Addie said...

That is so tender!! I know that girl can dance...she gets it from her mama!!

biddy said...

That's why they called her "the Dancer" at Pace! I wish I could have seen it1 what a blast!

Mary Moore said...

Let me weigh in and say she gets some of her dancing skill from her daddy too.
Clay, your sweet description really made this evening come to life. Again your trip experiences are sooo amazing, love, mary