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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Abeng Interviews Quai54, Paris Creator Bah-Pna Dahane (Part 2)


Interview by Kaya Omodele @TheAbeng

Read Part One of This Bah-Pna profile here

"This tournament was first and foremost a celebration of Blacks at its best on the French soil - a country that owes its freedom to the blood of black soldiers from Africa, America and the Caribbean." ~ Bah-Pna Dahane

Bah-Pna, Ralph 'Big Poppa' Greene and rookie Anthony William Parker

@TheAbeng: Greetings, Bah-Pna. Your reason for keeping the Quai54, Paris tournament a creation and production by Blacks was very Garveyite in principle. What was the biggest challenge you faced in respect to maintaining this goal?

BPD: Hi Kaya. No one knew it was based on Garveyite principle. That was a secret I kept within myself. With French people, you have to be subtle like them. Now after all these years they look back and realize that they had the impression of controlling something. Like Mandela said. "Lead them from the back - and let others believe they are in front."


@TheAbeng: I see that hip-hop was a big influence on you. And, you said you listened extensively to Bob Marley's Redemption Song while planning the marketing campaign for the Quai54. You ever listen to dancehall reggae artist like Capelton, Sizzla, etc.


BPD: I listen to everything. Music is music, but the music most associated with basketball is hip-hop. I am not a very big fan of hip-hop per se. It's a music that has lost its core due to mercantilism. It became less educational and [mostly] entertainment. Today's hip-hop has killed black culture.



@TheAbeng: You have a point. By the way, did you know that the second verse of Redemption Song are words from a Marcus Garvey speech: "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery...?"

BPD: I guess most of us grew up with Bob Marley's song and learned a lot from Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X's life as well. Malcolm X, who, as you know was a Garveyite, his father was also a Garveyite and most of Malcolm X's teachings were from Marcus Garvey.


@TheAbeng: Yeah, Man. So, which authors have you been reading lately?

BPD: The last three in December were Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chinuah Achebe and Toni Morrison



@TheAbeng: How can we get young brothers and sisters in the black Diaspora to place more value in books (reading) than bling and sneakers?

BPD: It should start at home and we must learn what delayed gratification is all about. Bling-bling and sneakers is a way to be accepted because most of us are lost. Most of us blacks from the Diaspora are losing our roots and essence of being African and proud; therefore we fall into consumerism. We are willing to pa $200 for sneakers that cost $5 to make in China but wont put $20 in a book that will awaken us. Now we wake up and we see that those same Chinese, who make the $5 Jordan that Blacks are lining up to buy, are on the continent controlling our economy...


@TheAbeng: Jah Bless, Bredren. I thank you sincerely for this reasoning and your time.

BPD: Thank you Kaya

If you didn't read the first the first part of this interview catch the Bah-Pna Feature Profile here 



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