Inanga: A Song of Survival in Daughter’s Rwanda

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Transcending individual differences, music in Africa has proved to be more than just a collection of notes and the production of sounds. Throughout this past semester, Professor B drew materials from West, East and South Africa to demonstrate the powerful ability of music to bring and bind people together. Consistently exemplified throughout African history, music has served as the unifying link between generations. In the documentary, Inanga: A Song of Survival in Daughter’s Rwanda, a family’s dedication to the preservation of the inanga instrument is explored against the backdrop of the Rwandan genocide. Deeply embedded in history, tradition and culture, inanga reveals the primary function of music in Africa. Though it is an instrument specific to Rwanda, it shares many similarities to variety of instruments scattered across the continent. This certainly emphasizes the undeniable function of African music in sustaining unique cultural practices. The story of inanga is told through the narratives of Sophie Nzayisenga and her father, Kirusu Thomas. This highly significant stringed instrument was originally exclusive to the male gender until Kirusu shared his talents with his children. At the age of six, Sophie learned to play the inanga and quickly gravitated towards her musical heritage. Following in the footsteps of the male generations before her, Sophie began to read, compose and perform the music of the wooden instrument. She utilized the talents of her father

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