Aaaaahhh, have you ever had that feeling of missing something or someone from your “natural habitat”? It usually happens to those who somehow move to a different hood, city, state or overseas. Well, that has happened to me again. Here I am in Aotearoa!
Since I moved here in October 2015, I had had no contact with my Brazilian culture or Brazilian people. That may sound a bit odd, but with a busy student life and lots of plans for my future in NZ, it simply did not happen. But, like a gift sent from the Gods, I got my first job in NZ and together with it a Brazilian work mate, Karla Egypto. She invited me to see her playing her instrument, surdo, in a Samba group. I had never heard of AKSamba and never thought I would find a “bateria de escola de samba” in Auckland. I was completely shocked when I saw the band. I could not ask anything more than to be filled with the magic and energy of this vibrant rhythm from my beautiful country! And what a special group of musicians from all over the world! My thought was, REALLY? I had goose bumps during the entire time of that gig at Aotea Square on a beautiful afternoon.
I went to see the group practice on the following Monday evening and from that day on I started practicing with my chosen instrument, the “agogo“. I have never skipped one practice since then! How amazing is that?! I had traditionally participated in all Carnival gigs since I was a little in my mom’s home town, Esmeraldas, near Belo Horizonte, the capital of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. And now I am part of this amazing Samba group here in Auckland, bringing me back to my origins, making me feel closer to my culture and filling my life with the joy that is rhythm, colors, happiness, friendship and love. All this here in our beautiful Auckland, Aotearoa!
With a couple of important gigs on my ‘portfolio’; Women’s March on Washington (Auckland) and Brazilian Day Festival 2017, it seems I will not miss a single gig and be part of this addiction that is samba and carnival!
AK Samba “rocks” my world!
Paulo Henrique Rodrigues de Souza aka PH