GREAT FINDS!How much did you pay for those records?
GREAT FINDS!How much did you pay for those records?
GREAT FINDS!How much did you pay for those records? All the ones pictured came from a lebanese businessman, I bought them for the equivalent of 3 and 6 US Dollars. When buying from Africans, I usualy pay the equivalent of 10 to 20 bucks for Funk and Afrobeat in good playable condition. Other stuff that looks interesting but would be of no DJ-use for me, I pick up cheaper. I've never walked away from a deal without the other person being extremely happy, most times they have money in their hands that a teacher or a doctor would have to work a whole year for. I'm very far from making a fortune here on the back of other people's misery. I only try to get records for as cheap as possible if I have to deal through a middle man who will pay the OG owner pennies or has already bought them for close to nothing. Nothing wrong with hustling a hustler. You also have to count everything together: fuel costs, paying for one or two guides, Hotel, food for everyone, then I always give bonuses to guides if we come up with nice finds, after that last trip to Sierra Leone, I bought both of them a 50 kg sack of rice and a large canister of red palm oil.
Is there any way Strutters could help African dudes out by buying African raers direct? Like a $ to help African peoples for raers program? I tried this with a lady from South Africa, and her email skills were lacking. Is this a bad idea?
Yeah man, I knew about the extent of corruption in essentially every African country, didn't know about the illegal fishing off the coasts, but that makes sense. I was talking out loud about possibilities. I often feel unsure about donating money to charities based on most of my experiences and knowledge of charitable organizations. I'd rather give peoples the money directly, So yeah, that's a pickle, and I know if I was in your situation Frank that I'd feel as disillusioned as you say you are. Some day it'll all make sense.
It's not like there are any record stores you can go to...digging here normaly works something like this:You get find guide. This is the key because if your guide fails you, you will have a miserable time, not find any records and loose money. Your guide then screens the town with or without you for subguides. The subguides are connected guys who don't have anything better to do and know almost everybody in town if not directly, then indirectly. These subguides then, if you're lucky take you to places where there are records. most times that's private collections as in Freetown, where I bought a big stash of 45s from an old sailor who in the 70s was traveling up and down the west african coast and bought records wherever he went on land. 45s were most convenient to carry and store so he concentrated on that format. Other times you get lead to defunct "recording studios". "Recording studio" in Africa means a store with a wide collection of records where they recorded mixtapes for customers. Most these places went out of business and it can be quite hard to track down their stash nowadays. This means that you pay your guide, usualy several subguides and then you pay the owner of the records. At the end of the week (not day), if you've handled things correctly and also had a good amount of luck, you have some great records and have probably spent around the same as when going on a buying spree on eBay and diaspora. I still considder myself a beginner when it comes to african music but I have hopes that the overall knowledge and threreby the value of these things will rise with time.Now about "helping people out":I've been living in Guinea for little over a year now and I have to say that I already got really disillusioned... don't get me wrong, there are some western aid organisations around that do amazing work and things definately would be much worse without them. But the real problem is not lack of western help (at least not of the humanitarian kind) but an enormous amount of everyday corruption.Now when you guys hear "corruption" you think of the kind of corruption that we have in the western world that from time to time gets exposed in a big scandal (writing this, I wonder if that's still true and if not our leaders have learned a thing or two from third world governments). Corruption here is a way of life, it affects every relationship, citizen and government, employer and employee, salesman and customer, friend and friend, sister and brother. No -really! I could name multiple examples on all mentioned levels but then I'd still be typing by tomorrow.Africa is not a poor continent. Africa is very rich. As Fela once said, considdering the natural resorces of the continent, every single African should be a millionair.Guinea for example is a small country, about two thirds the size of Germany and they sit on one third of the world reserve of Bauxit (that's the stuff needed to make Aluminum) in addition to that they have uranium, gold, diamonds, iron and copper ore. Yet the mayority of people can't even afford to buy food. On top of all this, Guinea has 4 meters of rainfall every year. Germany, where it already rains a lot has 0.8 meters of rain per year. Guinea's soil is exremely rich and people who know about these things say that there could be no better land to grow rice. Guinea culivates rice that is very tasty and of very high quality. But nobody can buy to buy it. Local rice is considered a special treat for those who can afford it. Everybody else eats imported rice from China, Pakistan and Thailand. The quality of the imported rice is horrible. Before preparing, you have to wash it at least three times with clear water (most households don't even have that kind of luxury, regardless of the huge ammount of rainfall, the government can't manage to deliver it to the houses or shacks, if they do, it's a milky broth that's mixed with I'don't-even-wanna-know.) The president has been in power for 23 years and is (noone knows for sure) 78 years old, at the moment positioned in an expensive swiss hospital bed and waiting to die (again, noone knows for sure). A few months ago, he had the idea (it's questionable that it will happen though) to turn over his position to his son who's gained infamy buy making some money at the side by dismanteling the once pefectly functionable railroad system of the country and selling the rails to the chinese for scrap metal (or maybe in exchange for crap quality rice the chinese won't even feed theit dogs because they like to eat those and therefore don't want them to become malnurished)(this was a cheap tasteless joke and I already apologize to every chinese reading this but I'm halfway drunk and dead tired)What the fuck am I writing here?Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that it should at least be considered that Africa's problems are not lack of western help but western help can in some cases make it easier for unable governments to further exploit their land and people by relying on help organisations to fix things for them or at least keep the lid on it.Who knows the answer? If there would be some thing like unity amongst african nations and if there would be governments in power who would know their jobs and would work for their own people and not into their own pocket. Maybe then the one or the other "super power" in the world would have to worry.Around the corner from where we live there is a huge fucking palace. Looks a bit like Disney Land and a bit like absolute tasteless marbeled insanity with gold colored colums and a whole bunch of expensive SUVs always parked in front. Once I asked a local friend who the owner was. He said "oh, that's a big businesman, but you know, he can't even read or write so he always needs to have one of his wifes sign papers for him"Guinea's sea has a lot of fish. A few months back, on one day (one day alone) a Greenpeace vessel brought up around 70 huge fucking fishing ships, I'm talking swimming factories which produce and deepfreeze shit into fishsticks right there on the spot out of whatever their gigantic nets manage to pull on board. These ships were all operating illegaly, most had their names covered up, some were japanese owned, some korean, some italian. Shit maybe even some krauts, it's already been a while, if you want to find out, look it up yourself.Okay, I'll stop this rambling now before it fully gets out of hand here.Funny, just as I'm typing this inside the hotels internet booth, the restaurant's waiter shows up and tells me he has some records I should have a look at.To somehow make any sense out of all this. If you want to donate money, the world food program is always a sure bet. I have a friend who works for the GTZ a german help organisation that does very good work and doesn't waste funds. If you want to help and also get something out of it for yourself just come and spend some time here. Support small local businesses by eating and buying at tthe right places and showing respectful interest to local culture.Even if there's a whole bunch of typo's, I'd be damned if I read all this shit correct.