Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Immigrant Avenue & Fela Kuti

This is Fela Kuti, a passed musical genius from Nigeria doing 'Water has no Enemy'. He came to mind when I was out shopping today and overheard a couple of typical taxi drivers slobbering down their Latee Coffees and moaning about how the 'f*cking Africans (sic)' were taking over their jobs.  I was listening to this through one half of my MP3 player at the time.

Thankfully, they didn't use the 'N' word'...

It may be kind of true that 30% of city-centre Dublin cabbies come from Nigeria these days, but at least you can ask them to turn off Sh*te 104 on the radio, and put some good music on - most of the guys can whip out a Fela or King Sunny Ade CD in seconds.

My thinking/experience is that if you show the slightest bit of interest in someone else's culture, then you may get some respect back.

From hundreds of trips, I have only had 4 bad experiences with Nigerian cabbies - one insisted on playing religious instruction CDs, two tried it on with me (invitations which I politely declined but took as back-handed compliments)  and one went on a wild visit three times around the Harcourt Street vicinity.  I got out and paid immediately on all occasions.

In the whole, I have had nothing but good laughs with taxi drivers from the new sides of our community in recent years.

Just wish that those dinosaurs would get over it...

Oh yeah - it would be great as well if RTE could put a believably representative immigrant family in Fair City. I know they had a Nigerian family a while back, but in the couple of shows I saw, the 'actors' looked like they were heavily sedated and had wandered in to the wrong place, expecting to do some contract cleaning. I think they did the same thing with poorly-written Eastern European characters who were usually all villanous by nature.

Alternatively just invent a new show.They could call it 'Immigration Avenue', 'Romanian Road', 'Lithuania Lane', 'African Avenue' , 'Polish Place', 'Filipino Flats', 'Chinese Close', 'Generally-Latino Square' or something along those lines...

Just throw some stereotypical Eastern European navvies and Roma folks with poor accordian skills into the plot and we'd really have an award-winner.

Anyhoo, I jest a little - just going to dig Fela for now.

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