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18 Feb 2007 23:59
Intro: Deep voice, in an English accent: “There is a beautiful valley, Kumbayaa, in a primeval forest, above the hills of Ixopo-on-Mara, where elephants, for millennia, have come to eat rich minerals on the cliffs. This was before they found the diamonds.
Now, greedy black miners-poacher-mercenaries came and ruined everything â€¦”
Synopsis: The elephants of Kumbayaa are noble and timeless, they do not have petty rivalries or jealousies.
As the elephants walk towards their annual licking ground, ancient drums warn, acacias tremble, all the world music of African indigenous deserts gathers momentum, as all the indigenous peoples of Africa, watching the movie, are sending desperate ancient musical text messages to the elephants, saying nooooo, noooo. Don’t gooooooo.
But, alas, the elephants are timeless people. They trumpet their message back to the rest of the timeless people: “Ancient brothers, we will face our fate with dignity. You will understand, you timeless noble peoples you.”
The red sun sinks, the elephants stand together in a circle, performing an ancient ritual—silhouettes standing over Ixopo-at-Sunset, as the narrator (called Attenbara by the indigenous peoples) speaks in a deep voice to the world. Crickets scream in disbelief.
In the blood-red sky of the morning, they look down from the craggy cliff, upon the squealing, money-seeking mercenaries, their shanty-towns and wild screaming markets, and the bad poacher/miner people—and start to descend. The bad poacher/miner people turn and start to giggle gleefully, as bloodlust and money screams.
Flashback: The miner-people were once a good indigenous people, but became bad after eating of the fruit of school fees, plastic bowls and pocket radios. In 1890, a colonial conservationist, called Sir John—or named by the elephants, PHRUUUUUU! The Saviour of Kumbayaa, a man with a deep and throbbing voice boomed with surround sound anger at the miner-people, “Leave, fools! Leave the gardens of Kumbayaa!”
The miner-people heard, they fell to the ground with fear and ran, leaving behind their ancient artefacts, their skins and hides, the rock paintings and happy evenings dancing nobly around the fire. As they fled, they could hear him booming, “What happened? He said, you were once such a noble and subsistence people. I helped you!”
The miner-people started farming cash-crops, trading, poaching. Then one day, Leonardo visited them and told them that their old homeland, Kumbayaa, was really King Solomon’s mines. Sir John’s Blood Red Diamond was found there â€¦
In the early red dawn, the elephants descend.
Machetes and guns start to whir and pump, the elephant matriarch falls, and from the distance, we hear the clip clop sounds of a horse. It is Bob, riding cowboy-style, hair flying in the wind, shooting noble bullets, behind him, while on other horses are: Bono, Angelina, Madonna and from cliffs and trees, all of Africa sings, Kumbayaa in all their languages, the chorus rises to the hills. ET stands up to dance, all the indigenous people are now in a chorus, a Ladysmith Black Mambazo chorus, as Bob Geldolf, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, confuses the dirty miner-people by throwing United Nations food parcels on the ground.
A giant, wild miner-person (Djimon Hounsou) leaps above Bob, about to bludgeon him with his cash register, and from the hills, Leonardo shouts the world, “Oh Lord! What have I doooooone!” and shoots the irate cash-register-bearing leader of the Kumbayaa Miners Association.
All nature is silent, as Bob stands slowly and lifts the elephant queen in his arms. She puts a loving trunk around his neck. He walks up to the stone brick government office at the foot of the cliffs of Kumbayaa, and places it at the foot of the corrupt African politician, who opened Kumbayaa for trade. Violins. The man stands, his head has bowed down in shame, for he had forgotten that he was a timeless and throbbing and noble person.
Sorrowful and caring Leonardo brings a Canadian company to Kumbayaa, to show how sustainable mining is possible. They save 300 elephants by investing in satellite phones, laptops, radios and a team of trackers to save the elephants.
So as not to further corrupt the miner-people, the Canadians will extract, mine and export the blood-red diamonds of Kumbayaa, and start a small fund to help the miner-people learn how to make bags out of tourist bottle-tops and recycled tinned food containers.
Leonardo will start a community empowerment organisation, and take a wife among them, and advise them to be true to themselves, and not deal with the nobility-polluting people who make world music records out of timeless peoples. Africa, again, has been saved from itself.
Read more from Binyavanga Wainaina
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