This CD NDA'A NDEM is part of "MESSAGE TO MY PEOPLE" (NKEUH AH MBOUH LAAH), a musical collection by Kengmo. The music of each release is played on authentic musical instruments made of selected pieces of nature by the healers and wise people in Cameroon - Central Africa. NDA'A NDEM is so far the latest and the best of the entire collection because of the special attention that was given to it at all stages of its completion.
English translations for each song are included in NDA'A NDEM (CD & Cassette) with the intent of building bridges and addressing everyone: those who understand my native language, and those who do not. It invites them to make sure they preserve and pay closer attention to their roots and their environment. One of my intents was to make this CD & Cassette a good resource for parents, Music professors, Teachers and Students.
It is so easy these days to get distracted by all kind of flashy artifices and subject ourselves to so many unhealthy things, just to fit in. Through my work, I chose to stand up for you, our children, and myself. NDA'A NDEM is once again a way to remind us from my heart, this valuable fact: A very important root of our world musical diversity is becoming more and more endangered.
By acquiring NDA'A NDEM CD or Cassette, you are empowering me and through myself thousands of people and young people in Cameroon and abroad to preserve the authenticity of the most culturally diverse country in Africa.
In Cameroon my home country, a proverb says: "Drop by drop, the raphia plant is always able to fill up Ntou'uh the large container with good wine by day brake." If you pay close attention to NDA'A NDEM, it might bring positive surprises in your soul and spirit. Let it play and watch people display all kind of reactions while children dance on their seats, or around you. Put yourself or your children to sleep with this music; it might bring positive and peaceful energy in your room and help you rest better and be ready for tomorrow.
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Produced by Kengmo for M.T.K., a project of BAOBAB INTERNATIONAL
All lyrics by Kengmo
Kengmo comes from Baleveng, a village of over 45 000 (Forty five thousand) people in Cameroon. Kengmo's father was a member of the Royal "Council of Nine," which made him a guardian of his people's traditions before his untimely death. Kengmo received a traditional upbringing, complete with appropriate initiations and rituals, in preparation for succeeding his father on the Council of Nine. His youth was enriched by hearing the elder's wisdom shared around fires at night as well as during daily activities. Some of his most important "schooling" came through songs, proverbs, riddles, music played on handmade instruments and dancing.
In 1970, Kengmo left his native community to work professionally in theater. From '77 to '82, he was a member of the National Cultural Ensemble of Cameroon, which toured Africa, Asia and Europe. In 1983, Kengmo founded his own dance company, Le Baobab, which had many tours in France, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.
Since 1991, Kengmo has been professionally based in the United States, though he returns frequently to Cameroon to recharge his spiritual and familial roots and to fulfill his leadership responsibilities as part of the Council of Nine.
Kengmo has taught " The Wisdom and Philosophy of Central Africa through authentic music, stories and dance" in courses in Africa, Europe and the United States. His USA teaching experiences include: St. Mary's College of Maryland-1996 - 2000, American University (Washington DC): 1999 - 2000, Howard University (Washington DC): 1992 - 1994.
Inspired by daily life and traditions of Central Africa, Kengmo's work reminds us of our connections to each other and to the earth. It feels joyous, rejuvenating and liberating.
Cameroon is called "Africa in miniature" by many because of its great cultural, ethnic, and geographic diversity. It is located on the west coast of Central Africa. More than 240 languages are spoken. The people born into each language group share a rich history, with age-old customs, beliefs and cultural activities that distinguish them from other peoples.
Kengmo has visited many of Cameroon's distinct communities, working with the elders (the guardians of the past) in each to learn and to help preserve Cameroon's music, dances and stories. This is especially important today because Cameroon is quickly changing under the influence of the Western media, politics and economic dominance. Kengmo is convinced that the West would benefit from respecting Africa's traditions and from learning more about them, so he works full-time to preserve and share Africa's rich heritage and to serve as a welcoming door for any one or any community interested.
Over the last nine years in United States, Kengmo has taught classes, toured and performed over 2500 programs for children, young people and adults from all walks of life. His work has been welcomed by audiences in various Theatres, Universities, Festivals, Museums, Parks, Community & Recreation Centers, Corporations, Healing Centers, Summer Camps, Libraries, Kindergartens, Elementary, Middle and High schools, Prisons, Juvenile homes, rehabilitation centers and Senior homes.