On August 4, 2009, Côte d'Ivoire icon, Tiken Jah Fakoly performs in front of an enthusiastic crowd during Montréal's annual FrancoFolies music festival. Even though the rain fell for much of the concert, the crowd stayed and swayed to Tiken's politically charged, reggea vibe. Africa is more free when Tiken sings. And when Africa is more free, then so is the rest of the world.
On the way to Kabo village west of Juba, Southern Sudan, notice heavy plumes of black smoke rising from the horizon. "it's probably charcoal manufacturers," someone offers as an explanation from the back. We drive closer and can see the flames in the distance. This is no isolated, controlled fire.
During the rainy season, elephant grass grows to a height of about two metres and covers the land. the grass is harvested and used to thatch the roofs of traditional houses. We are months into the dry season and it is common practice to burn excess grass before the rains come.
In the video, there are hundreds of hawks weaving through the smoke ahead of the fire, swooping down to the ground and capturing the multitude of rodents escaping the flames.
For more about Southern Sudan, visit: http://southsudaninfo.net