You know the deal:
Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata, ain’t no passing craze
It means no worries for the rest of your days
It’s our problem free philosophy, Hakuna Matata
Timon and Pumbaa rocked out in THE LION KING (1994). I was just a youngin’ and did not realize there were places, I could go, where that phrase was used in conversation. Well this past month, ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY took a production trip to Tanzania! As Swahili is the national language, I heard “Hakuna Matata” over and over again. The first time, I burst into song – to little response. Subsequently, I resisted the urge and just hummed along in my head.
For two years now, I have been fortunate to produce a film about young African students at one of the U.S.’s premier technological universities. In Tanzania, we followed our student, Sante, on her first trip home in 2 years. The reunion was emotional and we learned how Sante’s accomplishments have affected her family and her community in Dar Es Salaam – when the film is complete, you’ll learn too! It’s amazing how one person’s achievements can inspire so many. Arthur Musah, Director/Producer, posted his takeaways from our trip on our production blog. His experience with Sante and her family have caused him to rethink his definition of home.
While our time in Tanzania was brief, much was gained from the experience. On a small-scale, I realized how dependent I am on technology (cell/internet service was spotty) and on comforts like hot, running water. Truth be told, I have been terribly spoiled. On a larger scale, I gained perspective on how a different culture interacts, loves, copes, and creates. Hands down, I’ve never been to a country with more welcoming and sincere people. Folks, we’d never met, went out of their way to make sure that we had housing, food, and transportation. There wasn’t a single day we weren’t invited into someone’s home and, as such, life for conversation, a meal, or tea. I returned from Africa wanting to take on the positive attributes of the Tanzanian people, with a greater understanding of how others perceive my actions, and more thankful than ever.
I hope everyone has an opportunity to have such an adventure!