Teaching About Peacemaking Through Song
Today we’d like to feature a song from Freedom to Lead International®‘s (FTL) most recent trip to Bamako, Mali. It is here where indigenous musicians developed culture specific songs to go along with FTL’s leadership development module on Peacemaking.
“Avoid the Slippery Slopes,” says the lyrics of today’s song. And just what are the slippery slopes? The slippery slopes are two natural responses to conflict: “to fight” and “to take flight.” However, these are responses that a wise leader needs to learn to avoid. Instead, a good leader will seek the narrow path that leads to reconciliation. FTL’s The Garden Project curriculum uses the image of a muddy path with steep, slippery slopes on either side in order to teach leaders the difficulty of navigating conflict and moving toward resolution (see below).
This team of Bambara musicians from Bamako, Mali created today’s song to remind leaders to foster an environment of peacemaking, to face conflict wisely, and to work carefully to seek reconciliation while avoiding the “slippery slopes.” The repetitive, catchy melody enables this song to quickly become embedded in the memories of Bambara leaders.
This Bambara music team was fascinating to watch. They would sit in a circle for hours working on lyrics and melody. Then in mid-afternoon they would suddenly appear in the makeshift recording studio and announce that they had four new songs to record! Great attitudes, leadership, musical experience, and talent! Today, you, too, can experience this music by viewing the video below. Watch out, though! This song has an infectious groove!
Engagement Regardless of Literacy Level
Through this innovative curriculum from Freedom to Lead International®, indigenous Christian leaders vigorously engage with carefully selected stories, symbols, and songs to develop critical leadership competencies regardless of their literacy level. Among storycentric people, these stories, symbols, and songs become organically embedded into local ministry cultures, making the lessons easily reproducible for new generations of Christ followers and church leaders.