Monday, January 31, 2011

African Fans

Nothing had prepared the Jackson 5 for the level of recognition and love they received when they were in Senegal. During the trip, Jackie commented that he had had no idea they had so many African fans, and that they were just like fans in the United States.

It's true. They played to record audiences who danced and screamed and applauded, just like American fans did. And wherever the Jackson 5 went, they were recognized. But they weren't so much mobbed as treated with reverence and respect. Here's a great photo of Jackie, stopping to talk with young fans in the market area.

And Marlon was a favorite with the young ladies -- and scorned by jealous boys -- at home and in Senegal.

But everywhere the J5 went, it was Randy who was showered with attention and adoration. Maybe it was because he was the smallest. Maybe it was his willingness to jump right in and learn the traditional dances. Or maybe it was an appreciation for his drumming. Whatever the reason, he was the only group member who was given a ceremonial robe at the end of one of their concerts.

In the photo to the left, he poses with a Nigerian student. From the expression on Randy's face, it looks like he is already tired of posing for photos with adoring fans. He just wants to get out and snap some pictures. But wait! Some of the student's friends also want to pose for a photo with Randy.

At the far left side of this photo, you can see just the edge of Michael, who is being completely ignored by the students who only have eyes for Randy.

Speaking of Nigeria, the only thing in my collection that's from Africa is a photocard from Nigeria. It measures 4 x 6 inches, and if you look closely, you can see it's actually a photograph of a poster that was once folded, and has been tacked to wooden planks of a floor or wall.

I absolutely treasure this item. It's one of my favorite artifacts, due to its origin. I sometimes wonder about the Nigerian fan who bought this card and kept it safely for so many years before it found its way to eBay and my collection. Even though Randy was not included in the photo.

1 comment:

  1. I bet Michael probably enjoyed not being the center of attention for a while!