Rock under the mango trees


An interview of Roland Pickl and Helio D by Pierre Dufloo on the phone
SEED = Sustainable and Effective Economic Development
Wednesday, the 23rd of april 2008, 1 pm

Hello Positivos, where are you ?

Roland : Hello Positivo ! Helio and I are in the car right now, on the way to Mungoze. Antony is with us, he is our SEED project manager in Mabote, Govuro, Inhassoro and Vilankulo. We brought the guitar.


What for ?

Roland : To sing with Mozambican ladies making baskets with the help of SEED project, part of CARE program. SEED activities include livestock, horticulture, handcrafting, micro-enterprise, village savings and loans development.

You sound very excited… 

Roland : Yes, our partnership with SEED is going well. They also have interest in HIV communication. It all started on friday and saturday’s annual celebration of Vilankulo. We ran activities, played two concerts and recorded one song.


Where did you play first ?

Roland : In the center of the city, next to the main basketball court, under the shade of mango trees. On friday, we played HIV songs in the morning. 300 people immediately came and participated in the show. There were games with the loop machine, interviews concerning SEED agricultural project, CDs and carimbas to win when answering questions, handcrafting activities. We played again in the afternoon, dressed in funny clothes. Andreas filmed the event.

What about saturday ?

Roland : We set up the studio under the trees again, and recorded the official song of Vilankulo in marrabente style with house rythm in the back. We were surrounded like the meat in the hamburger, bread was on both sides, about 20 people participating in the song. One woman had a baby in her arms, we can hear him in the song. We were asking : what do you like about Vilankulo ? And people were rapping their answers.


No concert ?

Roland : Yes. There was a Vodacom event attended by 3000-4000 people and they called us by surprise. We hurried up and jumped on stage in funny clothes again, the sound of a chinese gong in the back. People loved it, we could see they were amazed. They went crazy when I did my dancing show. We were the first band playing live in such an event, it made a big difference. Organizers were thankful for the positive message.

What else ?

Roland : On sunday, we brought the Vilankulo song to the radio and checked local DJ’s beats to work on a radio program. The beats were sounding old, so we decided to make our owns.


Which radio program ?

Roland : SEED is launching a radio program every sunday to promote its activities. They want a SEED theme song, 20 jingles for activities and traditional singing recordings from the field.

It sounds like a lot of work…

Roland : It is. On monday, we did brainstorming and interviews with the legal health department and SEED workers in the market of Vilankulo. We learned a lot about SEED agricultural micro-projects and prepared our work for the next days.

What are you doing now ?

Helio : We travel in the country and ask farmers : how do you feel working with SEED ? We memorize and record their most positive answers for the choir, keeping the rest for the song’s body. Then we drum in a local style and sing together. Yesterday, we were in Nova Mambone and made two songs, recording also cows and goats from the roundabouts.


No HIV message ?

Helio : Yes ! At lunch break, we went to the secundary school of Doane to give an improvised 20 minutes concert for children. We played ‘Eu nao tenho medo’, ‘Uma noite de prazer’, a song about the school, and then let the children play with the machine. The director told us it was the first HIV-related event this year.

Great ! What’s next ?

Roland : Today we’re heading to Mungoze to interview handcrafting ladies. Tomorrow we’ll go to Mabote, where there will be a generator to use the recording equipment.

Will there be further collaboration with SEED in the future ?

Roland : This is a great project, we are learning a lot at the moment and will be glad to work again with SEED. Most importantly, people are happy to participate. They say life conditions are improving in their communities, therefore our message becomes very positive. Plus, even if they are not children, they are never too shy to sing. We always come to the same conclusion in Positivo projects : everybody can sing. I might repeat myself, but this is true, I love this conclusion.

4 Responses to “Rock under the mango trees”

  1. 1 constância

    hey helio and roland, we really enjoyed your music here in vilankulos n miss u guys, when are u payin us a visit again???

    tons of hugs and kisses

  2. 2 Roland Pickl

    hello constancia, i hope you invite us soon again, then its our time to come…

  3. 3 Raul

    Hey Roland!

    Wie geth’s?

    It looks like really cool and interesting stuff you are doing in Mozambique.

    I wish you all the best in your project

    big hug


  4. 4 Roland Pickl

    oi raul, bom ovir de ti. foi muito tempo. um beijo para ti e 2 para tua irmà..

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