The Shadow of a Leader (Song)

Today’s song was created in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire by a team of Bete musicians. I continue to be amazed at the Bete’s use of vocal harmonies as a dominant feature in their music. (Many cultural groups in West Africa use little or no vocal harmony at all).

The biblical story of Jeroboam

Today’s song, “The Shadow of a Leader” is drawn from the biblical story of Jeroboam from 1 Kings chapters 11 & 12. Jeroboam was a leader who began well but then when became fearful he became a “big boss” type of leader. This song reminds the listener that the shadow (influence) of a humble leader is large, while the shadow (influence) of a “big boss” leader is small. If you listen closely, you can hear the name, Jeroboam used throughout the song.

Today’s song repeats a core story from the first training module from an innovative leadership development curriculum by Freedom to Lead. This curriculum, called The Garden Project, cultivates competent, Christ-centered leaders through story, symbol and song to unleash their potential for impacting local communities with the whole gospel. The use of indigenous songs helps to cement this training into the local church culture. In addition, the songs themselves are a common way for local communities to store important information so that it can be remembered word-for-word.

For you drummers and scat singers out there – check out the djembe (drum) solo with vocal improv at 4:06 and 7:03 and the nice half-time transition into the final ending.

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