"The roots don't depend on the tree. The tree depends on the roots." / "As raizes não dependem da árvore. A árvore depende da raíz."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Questions for Clara: An African Woman in Capoeira

1) What is your name? Where are you from?
My name is Clara Ekeke. I was born and raised in Cameroon, in Central West Africa.

2) How long have you been training capoeira?
I have picked up an interest in Capoeira many years ago. I finally decided to train Capoeira Angola about two years ago.

3) How do you think your background influences your approach to capoeira, if at all? 
I believe that Capoeira Angola has allowed me to reconnect with my ancestry . Being born in Africa, there is a certain respect for the way of the Ancestors. This translates in my training of Capoeira as a profound respect for the “rituals” that are part of the game.

4) What has your experience been as an African woman in capoeira? 
It has been very beauty full so far. The playfulness, respect for oneself as an Angolera really resonate with me.

5) What do you think of the concept of Capoieira Africana?
I believe the vision of Capoeira Africana is one I can align with. I believe that there is an African view of the world and this provides a platform for that voice to be heard, as long as it (the platform) remains neutral and true to its mission of promoting dialogue.

6) What role would you like to play in the capoeira culture 10 years from now?
Well…I’d like to have improved my skills for sure! Besides that, I’d like to learn as much as possible about the history of Capoeira - minus the politics - and be able to share the true essence of those lessons with the younger generations. I believe that we all have a responsibility to pass what we know along in order to preserve the beautiful art that is Capoeira in general.

7) What else do you do outside of capoeira?
I am very active in my Faith organization (I have been practicing Buddhism with the Soka Gakkai International for the pas t 14 years). I am currently enrolled in school pursuing a degree as a Holistic Helath Practitioner. I am a Certified Life Coach and Hypnotherapist as well as Yoga teacher. I enjoy the Arts greatly (reading, writing, music, perfomances…).

Thank you Clara for sharing your time and perspective with us.