J.J. Keki, founder of the Peace Kawomera Cooperative.
I figure my last post was a bit preachy, so we’ll go with something lighter this time.
In a serendipitous* turn, I heard Smithsonian Folkways (same folks who release the amazing Woodie Guthrie Asch Recordings – actually, anything from them is fantastic) are releasing an album written and performed by the coffee farmers of Mirembe Kawomera, a 1,000-farmer strong Fairtrade co-op in Uganda.
So this is cool. J.J. (quoted above) is a coffee farmer and a musician and Jewish. After 9/11, he was inspired to build peace in his own way recruiting Christian, Muslim and other Jewish coffee farmers to create the Mirembe Kawomera Co-op. The collection to be released on April 9th is a musical free for all of coffee farmers and their families. It includes guitar groups, women’s choirs and more all riffing on peace and interfaith cooperation and coffee and Fairtrade and all that jazz.
It’s important at any time when reading about the state of the world, the selfishness manifesting in the way that many treat the world, the tragedies and the frustrations to realize that there are also good things. The album affirms that and though I don’t know any of the farmers personally, this music is right. Plus they just produce a damn good cup of coffee.
Now once you pick up this album, there’s an amazing little roastery up in Fort Bragg, California, called Thanksgiving Coffee, that sells the Mirembe Kawomera coffee. You can get it delivered to your house. Put on this album. And do a small dance in the sunlight.
*Serendipitous because I work for Fairtrade International and had just been talking to Thanksgiving Coffee a bit ago.