Courtesy of KeruBo
Video still from "Hakuna Lolote"
Vermonters continue to make art inspired by the coronavirus pandemic. African folk/jazz artist KeruBo
recently unveiled a new song and video, "Hakuna Lolote." The song is specifically aimed at members of Vermont's African and New American communities, particularly those who claim refugee status.
Sung in both Swahili and English, "Hakuna Lolote" has a simple, relatable message: "Nothing at all … will tear us apart."
Irene Kerubo Webster, aka KeruBo, co-directed the clip with her husband Michael. He wrote and recorded the music for the song, with additional piano from jazz pianist Peter Krag, who died of an apparent drug overdose last week
"Our local African community, mostly made up of refugees who have experienced serious trauma related to wars in east Africa and Ebola virus, and who are experiencing language challenges, have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," Michael wrote in an email.
The video, shot entirely in Winooski, depicts locals enacting the various touchstones of the COVID-19 era, such as proper hand-washing and social distancing. It features members of Vermont's African population singing, smiling and dancing, as if to say joy and positivity won't be extinguished during this trying period.
"Hakuna Lolote" is part of the Clemmons Family Farm's ongoing "A Sense of Place"
project. The Charlotte-based nonprofit organization's multifaceted initiative began in 2018 with a grant from ArtPlace America
, an NGO that seeks to integrate arts and culture sectors into community planning through creative placemaking.