These Are My Friends: Yakuba

Yakuba was the Kambɔnluŋŋa, or Chief’s Warrior Drummer, for many years. Now he is retired and spends most of his time in his family compound behind my pal Kolbugri‘s shop. He has a bad back and can barely walk but he greets me with such joy every day and always mentions how happy he is that I am learning his language. The first time he saw me wearing a traditional smock he went into his room and returned to give me one of his own traditional hats to match it.

For his portrait he pulled out his old smock, drum, and rattler. He doesn’t have the strength he used to but he closed his eyes as he gently tapped the drumskin recreating the days of his youth.