Somewhat lost in all the recent good press for Zieti has been the best news of all! After five years of living off the grid in a region that was completely decimated by violence during the recent turmoil in Cote d’Ivoire, Zieti’s c0-writer and musical director Laurent (at left in the picture) has finally re-surfaced and returned to Abidjan, safe and sound.
He has moved in with Narcisse and his family to help manage the shipments of musical equipment, and to lay plans for Zieti’s future. We are all anxiously awaiting word from Cherif that our second shipment has arrived (any day now), everything has cleared customs and is ready to be collected at the port.
Once Laurent and Narcisse have everything in hand, we will take stock and decide how best to utilize these new resources for the future of the band and their community. Laurent has suggested we partner with local NGOs in their home region of Doukoue, and use the gear to help establish a Guere cultural center there, a place where Guere musicians can develop their rich traditions and offer some form of cultural healing after all the recent chaos and despair.
We can’t think of a more beautiful plan, and will certainly support whatever they decide to do, as long as Zieti is together, making music, and helping others in their community do the same.
Stay tuned for updates on the shipment as events unfold…