• Shy Davis

Dance Africa and the African Bazaar. My Memorial Day Weekend

I had a GREAT Memorial Weekend. It is in fact a time to reflect on the lives lost. But we tend to forget that at times don’t we? After a quick prayer to all those military families that lost a love one(s) I was ready to grab my pocket book and get my BAM on!!! I’ve been to the Bazaar many a years ago. BJD had taken me and I loved it. After a few years, I always thought about it but couldn’t remember when it was and BJD didn’t remember either. Last year Nikole mentioned it and I was ready for it…sorta. I went and I was bedazzled! Ah man I just LOVE the diverse cultural African experience that you are immediately immersed in. *picture me dreamy eyed right now* I wasn’t prepared at all for all the vendors that were there. I remembered having a great time with BJD but obviously I didn’t remember. The biggest issue was I had very little cash and didn’t get to buy some of the things I absolutely loved. I did pick up a few items for the girls (BJD and Nattydread) and a few things for myself. I was determined that I would be better prepared this year by including it in the budget from last year (yep I have an excel spreadsheet of my budget for six months at a time. Organized, yep that’s me). So for months it sat there…waiting to be spent. I’m sorry let me back up for those of you who may not know what I’m talking about. The African Bazaar occur every Memorial Weekend. It’s the time when Dance Africa (I’ll speak more about that) performs and both events occur at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). The performance is inside BAM of course and the Bazaar outside in the parking lot area. There are over 300 vendors that come from all over the world and they gather in this parking lot area to sell their goods. You’re hit with African, Caribbean and African American goodies and food.

This year with my $100 in my purse I was ready to shop. Ahh man I realized quickly that I needed way more than that. There’s this one vendor (her name escape me at the moment) that have so many lovely self-handmade items. One that caught my eye was an amethyst crystal bracelet (was actually thinking it would be a perfect gift for Nikole). The amethyst was a large cluster and wasn’t tumbled (I’ll write a separate post on crystals) and was held together by copper. Such a beauty but it was a $100 and she had others that was $300. Bummer. I shall be increasing the budget for next year. You know how folks buy diamonds and hardly, if ever wear it, it’s just to own, that was me with that bracelet. *sigh* Anyway I ended up buying the hair jewelry and that lovely goddess bracelet on my hand from her. You can see them in the pictures above. It was time to eat and I had jerk chicken with macaroni pie (remember I mentioned I forgot I wasn’t to eat cheese and ended up tossing it) that cost $10. That’s a beat over the head but I didn’t bat an eye because I knew that that’s how it goes at these events. I walked around some more and saw a couple items for the girls. I saw those two rings, love them, especially the ankh and snagged them for me. Last year I bought an ankh cuff earring from the Bazaar so it was nice to find an affordable ring. Picked up a couple bracelets (yes there are more than two bracelets in the pic but when it comes to us Jamaicans, a couple means more than two lol). Saw so many interesting stuff. I don’t know what was better the items or the people. Seeing my dreadlocks brothers (*swoons* someone please find me a dreadlocks man!) and sistahs; natural hair sistahs; African braided hair sistahs and the bald sistahs! Rocking their bald heads. Just to see all these diverse Black People together walking around repping their beliefs by the clothes and jewelry they wore while walking strong, tall and PROUD, shoulders back and head up with confident strides made me feel proud to be BLACK. Made me proud of my ANCESTORS! I was at home and walking among family. If I start talking about chakras and crystals around most people I know and maybe even a few of you readers may raise an eyebrow. Not there. I was at home. Different vendors had crystals on display and spoke about their healing capabilities. There were so many booths that were advertising holistic healing and it renewed my faith in my Life Purpose. Enough about that. Don’t want to bore you. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t just for Blacks. All races were there soaking up all the energy and buying things and loving it. Definitely check it out. It’s every Memorial weekend, from Friday to Monday. I loved it so much that I went again on Sunday. LOL! I didn’t buy anything this time only food. Only because I was tapped out. $100 gone but well spent. Well spent. Dance Africa: *deep sigh* *bows head* Loves, I don’t know how to describe what I experienced. It was my first time there. Again I had the money in my budget for tickets for me and a friend. I checked every week starting in March to see if the tickets were on sale. Finally when they were I made sure to cop two tickets for as close to the front as I could get. We were in the 5th row. Hehehehehe. Dance Africa is the longest running African festival in the world. Yep, world! It’s now 36 years. I can spill a bunch of facts to you but I won’t. It’s a must see performance. This year the focal point was Zimbabwe and…I don’t know…I just don’t know how to describe it. Every time I think to describe it words fly out my head or don’t come at all. Thank you Nikole and Ms. Royalty for telling me about it. My friend that was with me was floored. She never experienced anything like it. I knew I was in for a treat as I used to do African dancing and performed at the Restoration Plaza and a few other places and even solo in Prospect Park. I LOVED IT! I can’t wait to do it again. However, I wasn’t prepared for what I experienced during those 2.5hrs. At one point we laughed so hard that tears were streaming out our eyes. The standing ovation that the Umkhathi Theatre Works dancers received was well deserved. The entire show was great but that performance was GREAT! Drumming, singing, and using their feet as musical instruments and humor all at once. I mean COME ON! That’s INCREDIBLE! Chuck Davis, the Creative Director did a wonderful job selecting this year’s crew as I’m sure he does every year. So folks next year, I would love to run into you there or for you to tell me you passed through. If you fly down for some partying make some time and check it out. For my local folks it’s a MUST see! Better than any block buster movie you’ll EVER SEE! You are not allowed to take pictures at the Bazaar nor at the performances so sorry. However, I snagged what you see from the BAM website and from google images. Chat with you later. I owe you a few posts so bare with me I’m slowly catching up. Stay Blessed Loves!

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