I was at the Botanical Gardens just outside the University of Papua New Guinea attending this barbecue or a party of sorts. There were quite a good number of people there, a fair portion of which were from the Western Highlands Province.
Anyway, here I was standing with these Kange gentlemen sharing a joke when suddenly one of them – who if I can remember correctly was a Jiks Opr – broke into song and boy, he could sing like a Country & Western star alright. He had all his twangs and dips and rises down pat as his lyrics rode on the steel guitar like a pro who just rode in from El Paso with his fiddles aflutter.
“Eat your heart out, Digicel Superstar” I was thinking with a smile, all taken by this display of brilliant artistry by a Western Highlander, a Papua New Guinean – my own countryman. Hell yeah!
But when I looked around not even a single one of the people standing around bothered to bat an eyelid, much less pause for an appraisal as he belted out one sick number after another. I couldn’t help but notice this obvious lack of interest. “Hang on. Didn’t you people just see and hear that? This IS a Country music sensation from PNG in the making!” But I did not want to break the flow so I held my peace and dismissed them from thought.
It was then that my alarm went off and I woke up with a start, just in time to hear Diamond Rio fade into denouement on the radio.