Morocco – Sun, Sea + Capoeria !?

Morocco – Sun, Sea + Capoeria !?

2013 after returning from the Native Sun Tour

3574_371369199634014_949900497_nI was so inspired about the by the experience of touring as independent artists, I also recognized, I had a lot of changes to make on self. The changes were important so I could truly capture the essence of my being. This required some self-reflection and making a commitment to myself, I would not travel unless this work had been complete. I’m ecstatic with the transition so far. Sunday 18th 13:33pm. I’m sitting on a cloudy beach looking out to the sea, as a surfer is dislodged off his board.

agadir-beachThis is the 6th Day of my “break” and yesterday I had the fullest day of holiday that compelled me to write. My formula for travel avoids the hotel experience, with its sanitized version of the country. I love to travel in a way that connects with people within the limits of my language, country of origin and time.

On this occasion, I really wanted a break from work but more importantly the physical space of the may project, which also is my home. Leaving the space of this occasion felt like a betrayal, as if I was removing the umbilical cord. I was also aware, of the passing of 2 elders. I’d become so enmeshed in the space, I felt anxious about leaving. However this feeling, was the same reason I had to refresh my environment. 2015 is going to be a great year.

I use travel as a metaphor for life or more apt, a reflection of your journey in life. The people, places and experiences you encounter are usually a reflection of self its no surprise to see so many wanting a comfortable trip abroad.

The 1st person I converse with on my departure is a gentleman who works in oil, wanting to leave the business to pursue his passion, which is NLP.

Within the hour it feels like we known each other intimately covering topics such as family, politics, community and culture. The likelihood of me seeing him is remote. However I’m meting more people that I know in the corporate world leaving to pursue their passion. I’m also equally aware the converse is also true. Due to my tiredness and his will to work. Our conversations draw to a natural stop? In short, he is really excited to read my book saying I should do more talks about my journey so far

The hotel is a plush 4 stars I’m fascinated to know what a 5 star looks like. The only requirements on this holiday were beach and sun. I was pleased to say after settling in. I did just that.


Day 1 – Trained, Read, Sun Bathed

Day 2 – Eat, Internet in my room + Day 1

Day 3 – Became restless + Day 1 + 2

Day 4 observed someone playing capoeira on the beach + Day 1+2

Day 4 is when the magic started. My observations concluded that he was an acrobat but as each moment passed. I knew it, capoeira. I also forget to mention, the other stipulation of the holiday was the opportunity to physically train.

I observed him for another 30 mins before moving closer and closer, as he repeated his moves over and over again. It was obvious that he had been playing for some time, I estimated at least 4 years. He was oblivious to my presence. I hoped at some point, he would have noticed me, so I could converse with him. However even as his finished training he was completely absorbed. I decided to introduce myself.

Capoeira like music, is a portal to the other worlds. Although our conversation was sparse, I learnt his name is Youssef and he has a teacher whom taught him capoeira. We exchange details and begin to play. Having watched him, I knew he was a better player, added to the fact that I have trained sparsely for the last 4 months. However I also hoped he was slightly tired from his previous expression. We played for about 30min; his style was gentle which in turned encouraged me to become more expressive. The confident capoeira was called Youssef and he could have played for another half an hour but I decided to call time, he also acknowledged he had his full of martial arts today. We confirmed details to ensure they were correct and off we went on our separate ways.


As night fell, I relaxed in my hotel room, with a satisfaction that the universe had guided me again, ensuring I needed everything on my trip. I started a conversation on FB with teacher called Dhafer Hafidi, whom true to the spirit of capoeira and African hospitality, arranged to meet at a local hotel. As I would be training in the evening I decided to switch up my routine. Ironically we never connected. Should I have improved on my communication? Should have I written his name down? On return I discovered in my FB other messages a change of plan.

The following day he promised to collect me to ensure, we met. I waited outside the hotel. He arrived slightly than he suggested, it was expected. I already sensed he had a big heart; he appears to be doing so much for his community and capoeira. He arrived in a big brown Mercedes Benz; his smile was warm, genuine and authentic. I hopped into the car, and we made our way to the other side of town, where his classed took place.

10689712_733382080080938_4867712329758291494_nIn the front seat, right hand side was a young women called Fatima, one of his students. We talked gender politics, economics, religion, food and of course, capoeira. I’ve not been to Brazil, yet one thing I’m certain and the thing I have consistently seen throughout my years of travel. People that have the least, give the most and their appetite for learning is the greatest.

There seems no rush to start the class, despite the presence of several students. There is no stress, no rush. The building is humble, consisting of two levels and a terrace which I never had the opportunity to view. The class starts and the energy reflects that of the teachers. The stretching I manage but find the moves more challenging. After an hour or so we complete the class and head outside into a forecourt to form a roda. Having seen all the students play, I’m cautious. I’m not sure what it is about martial arts. Is it as someone described, “ I have a big presence” or as my capoeira name suggests, “The spirit enters”.   I always appear to play the most advanced students, today is no different.

I discover that my partner is one of the longest serving students. Having not played capoeira for some time, I immersed myself in the memory of last game when I was at my most playful. It was magical, which seemed to last an eternity. What was special about the class, group and teacher is their embodiment of the spirit of capoeira. There ability to play and sing, homage to the history, there humility was very reminiscent of the group in the UK called Awakened Spirit Even with the constant interruptions of a drunken man, the joda continued.

Let the circle be unbroken.

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After my game I was tired, although I was offered another opportunity to play, I know how unfit I was and how mistakes can enter the game, I declined as the other students continued for another hour or so. They could have played forever.

I’m tempted to stop the blog at this point but it seems premature. So let me transport to the next highlight of the day, the evening where I perform TRU (Trees R U). From the capoeira class and roda, we ate at a local restaurant then headed to a underground music venue.

From the outside looked like an everyday side entrance to a building, descending downstairs everyone was squeezed into venue on the floor with cushions its called Jazzawiya

10360390_1068096596539392_658215961268878162_nI noted a huge graffiti murial of Akala to my right; I knew I was in a great space. The 1st act …was my favorite, having seen gnawa musicians in the UK. I was aware of this genre of music. True to form the magic continued, the music was ancestral. Without dismissing any other of the groups, I think the energy would have been sustained, if the 1st group were last. They were a tough act to follow. With this in mind, I persisted to remind a few people I would like to perform a piece in closing. I knew I had to bring the energy a full 360. After much chaos of trying to translate my verse into Arabic, securing some musicians. I encouraged the sitting audience to rise up and wave their hands like trees. The band kicked in “Plant More Trees so that we can breathe”


KMT’s Freedom News

So this is my 1st Blog Post. Although I appear to be as busy as ever. This year has provided me an opportunity to explore what I really love to do and who I am. Perhaps a deep and philosophical question for my 1st entry Prof but despite how much I had achieved I really did not reached the essence of my expression of creativity yet.

Last year, I was prompted to write more after composing blogs for Native Sun whilst we toured Sudan, the USA and Mexico. More recently MAMA D an elder and volunteering at the May Project Gardens is guiding me on this journey Its really amazing after all my years of caring and supporting so many people, to now have people actually seeing my essence and give me a nudging in the right direction and very often a helping hand.

Writing in the later form, I have found this more challenging. I constantly have to look within to write about me.

What has become apparent is the healing process of every part of my expression.  I’m recording my 4 tracks E.P called Fear of Green Planet © and spending more time at home; in the garden which provides me with a great opportunity to reflect and metamorphose

At times I’m slightly overwhelmed by the task of maintaining the may project gardens.  I have doubts whether I had made the right decision to steer the project in the direction to make the project financial self sufficient, not reliant on myself to generate revenue, as I will not always be present. There has to be a balance of maintaining the garden (earth care) my well being, my home (people care) and fair share (business and finance) each permaculture space will different but I would tend to think resources and finance will be the most dominant themes for those living in city environments especially as for the 1st time in world history its predicted that 50% of of the world’s population live in urban environment and this is set to increase. Irrespective whether this is completely accurate, there are very visible signs in London of housing growth replacing green land, open spaces or historic buildings.

Letting go and enjoying the space, observing nature has been a wonderful inspiration and a constant reminder of the strength, resilience and cycles involved in completion or evolving. One Sunday after a couple of hours pottering around the garden, I finally got to spend time with my neighbor who moved in next door to me in December. Despite our apparent separate lifestyles, our conversation revealed so much in common. Both of us grew up in poor backgrounds (polish police aren’t no joke!), having very traumatic family upbringings. (Our stories are those of 1000’s and millions of people across the world simply trying to survive and making a better life for us). He works very hard providing economic stability to his close friends and family I understand his passion. I’ve worked hard all my life doing the same for people, often neglecting my own well being, times are changing, I’m finding a better equilibrium.

The purpose of this blog is to highlight the challenge of wanting to be Green in a City.  There exists a real opportunity for alternative lifestyle, one which is more in keeping with the land. Working with nature, technology, resources and people are all available to move away from the existing model of us as city folk as only consumers, which places a premium on the basics of living such as food, water, shelter and heating. Yet the my voice and the countless of others that would be reap the most benefit from these transition are not the voices that are heard or define the way the city’s are greened, they are not the voices of power, they are not the voices of privilege. They are not the voices of women, voices of color, voices of marginalized. The voices that need to be in the forefront of any green movement that really wants to change.