What a mindblowing story, this DJEKI.
Djeki is a musical tale form the southern parts of Cameroon, part of the tradition of the Dwala-people. This is musical theater in the world of oral literature.
When Djeki is performed there is a storyteller, there are musicians, there is an participating audience. I imagine a village-scene, at evening when darkness has brought people together for one evening of entertainment. The warmth of the day is hanging in the trees. The full moon looks down upon the village. The storyteller calls for participation and attention with the words: “Engingila ye!”.
When I read this book all the time a movie was displayed in my mind. So many images, so many colours, so much motion.
This story that is related in this book is based on performances by Tiki a Koulle a Penda. This storyteller hails from the village of Bonaberi, he learned his art from Bony a Young. The recordings of the performances date from 1972 – 1987. First the stories were written down in the local language Pongo, later translated into Dwala, next to French. The Dutch translation is based on the bilingual edition (Dwala and French).
The protagonist of the story is Djeki la Njambe Inono. He is the hero. He is a man of extra-ordinary powers. So were his father and grandfather. the parents of Djeki are Njambe and Ngrijo, who were extradited. His parents have a difficult relationship. Djeki turns out to be a man of many colours and ages and abilities. The story defeats a world of time and space.
To me this tale is a highlight in story-telling.
Djeki. Een muzikale vertelling – 2000 (Bibliotheca Africana)