Moussé

Senegal

This is is 
Moussé Dramé (1974)

Country of origin 
Senegal

In the Netherlands since 
1998

Lives in
Bos en Lommer

Profession

Djembe teacher

First impression of Amsterdam
D
ynamic and good organized

Misses
24 hours a day music. In Senegal everybody make music always and everywhere. People are watching or playing together.  In Amsterdam you need a permit; in this respect,it started a little dulling in Amsterdam.'

Favorite spot
‘My own studio: Djembé Dramé. First it was a empty hutch, which I gave with my students a make-over with pretty colors and canvases. It feels like home here, I feel Africa.'

Would like to
'Teach the royal family djembe class.'

Senegal in Amsterdam 
‘The Amsterdam Roots Festival in the Oosterpark.’

“I came here for love. My Dutch wife, Turid, was in Senegal to dance. I am a Griot; a musician born and raised in a musical family. When I saw Turid for the first time I was immediately blown away. She spoke our language and I immediately felt that she understood the Senegalese code. It was only later that we began to have feelings for each other. It was a Friday evening and I was taking her to her home, and that was the first time we kissed. When she went back to the Netherlands we kept in contact and I realised that I had been bitten by the love bug.


We got married and decided to live in the Netherlands together, with the idea that if the Netherlands didn’t work out we could return to Senegal. I found our initial period in Amsterdam great! I knew straight away that I liked it here and wanted to stay. Since then we’ve had three children and have opened an Africa music and dance school. My oldest student is seventy five years old, but I also teach children and everyone in between. From Italians to Swedes, but mostly Netherlanders. An Australian woman came here recently who had been living in Amsterdam for two years, who told us that being with us was the first time she had ever felt like she belonged somewhere. Music is the reason. Through music I want let people see Africa through different eyes. Africa isn’t just poverty and sadness, it’s also positive and jolly.

We return to Senegal every two years with a student group to see where dance and music originate. We guide the group and prepare them for a different pace of life. When you’re in Africa, just waiting can bring you some wonderful experiences. In Senegal, you take the time to speak to the fruit seller as you are waiting for the bus.

In the Netherlands, everything is planned for a certain time. 1 pm is 1 pm and not ten past one. In the Netherlands I am punctual. If you want to get things done, for example in your business, you need to be. I always leave for work thirty to forty five minutes early so that I always have time to have a chat with my neighbour. In Senegal it’s just not done, telling an acquaintance you can’t talk as you have to rush off somewhere. I can’t just say, “Hello” then walk away. It doesn’t feel right. Which is why I plan an extra half an hour for socialising. I have a chat with everyone I meet and in this way the entire neighbourhood knows me. I think even the Dutch need this, even though it’s not their usual behaviour, as everything’s so busy, busy, busy.”

88 people in Amsterdam have the Senegalese nationality

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