I wrote this post in 2010, immediately after visiting Cesaria at her home in our native, Sao Vicente. She had just woken up from a nap. Like most Kriolus, I miss her everyday and I thank her for bringing our tiny island nation to the hearts and ears of the world. Rest in power, Cize.
The coolest part of my day was going over Cesaria Evora’s house and sitting by her feet while she was talking to me and my sisters. She asked about our family background for reference sake (she knew my family since we live so close). I was able to walk around and see all her platinum and gold albums as well as pictures and awards that she’s received throughout the years. I asked her if she could live anywhere (besides Cape Verde) in the world she said, “right here in Cabo Verde, LOL!” She looks healthy and seems to be resting….although I wish she would quit the smoking. Later that afternoon I also listened in quietly on my sister’s conversation with internationally recognized artists, composer Vasco Martins and painter Tchale Figueira. They discussed art, music and cultural identity as it relates to their own personal art. Tchale lives two doors down from us while Cesaria lives about a 2 minute walk!
So I was complaining to my husband that I didn’t want to go to the night clubs while I am home anymore because all they play is foreign music like european techno or Angolan Kuduro with some spotting of Cape Verdean or Antilles zouk. It becomes the same mundane crap every night. Can you believe the clubs don’t start popping until 2:30am here in S. Vicente??!! I am not saying I am old or nothing but dang, where can I go to find some decent danceable music around 11pm or midnight? On the positive side, it’s very easy to go to the local hotel or bar to listen to local and international artists play live traditional music. That is a treat that is on the rise here in the city of Mindelo. I think more and more, our culture is appreciated by our own people. I was starting to think that only foreigners appreciated our music and culture. I guess we were waiting for the international stamp of approval…or something!