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Jeremeeh Kousse collections: Tales from the Savannah 16.

By Jeremeeh Kousse.

Jeremeeh Kousse is a playwright. A griot and a comedian.
He is also a crypto researcher.

From his collections: Tales from the Savannah 16.

In a village 450 kilometers from Conakry, Mamidou Séni Koutché, the last griot of a lineage stretching through Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and the ancient Ashanti Kingdom, prepared to share his wisdom. He was renowned for his storytelling, weaving together tales of love, disappointment, heartbreak, tears, sadness, and betrayal. Today, a group of university undergraduates from the capital, studying literature and comparative studies, had come to listen to him. They were eager to hear the words of a living legend.

Griot Séni began by addressing a common misconception: African literature is both oral and written. He emphasized that their ancestors wrote in symbols a sophisticated form of communication long before the Gothic script emerged in Europe. He then delved into his main theme, explaining that the universe is governed by love and relationships, drawing from the ancient wisdom of Egypt, where he claimed all Africans originated.

He spoke of the “triangle of love,” an age-old concept describing three pivotal loves in a person’s life:

First Love
“This is the sweetest love, experienced in adolescence,” Séni explained, his voice softening with nostalgia. “It’s intense and consuming, making you feel inseparable from the other person. Yet, it often ends abruptly when one partner relocates, leaving the other heartbroken. The pain feels like a deep hole in your chest, and it drains your energy. Despite its intensity, this love is often dismissed as childish, though it is true love in its rawest form.”

Second Love
“The second love comes after adolescence,” Séni continued. “By this time, you are more in control and reflective. You might look back at your first love and see it as immature, but it was genuine. The second love is a learning curve. It’s less consuming but more significant in your personal growth. Relationships at this stage are fraught with friction as you and your partner are still discovering yourselves. When this love ends, it feels more devastating because you chose each other consciously. It teaches you more about your desires and boundaries.”

Third Love
“The third love,” Séni’s eyes twinkled, “is the one that finds you. It comes when you least expect it and stays forever. This love is not forced or sought after; it just happens naturally. It is the culmination of all your experiences, bringing with it a sense of completeness and enduring companionship.”

The adolescents listened intently, captivated by Séni’s eloquence and the depth of his insights. His stories resonated with their own experiences and aspirations, bridging the gap between ancient traditions and contemporary life. Through his narrative, they gained a profound understanding of the complexities of love and the timelessness of human emotions.

As the sun set over the village, the young students felt a renewed connection to their heritage and a deeper appreciation for the wisdom passed down through generations. Griot Séni’s tales would stay with them, guiding them through their own journeys of love and self-discovery.

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