Baba Olatunji

When I was first preparing to the leave the US for Africa,  I had the pleasure of working on a biography of the legendary Nigerian drummer, Babatunde Olatunji.  One afternoon Baba and I were together and I was explaining to him my plans for setting up a Yoga Studio in Bamako, Mali and offering free classes (my wife Tama is an experienced Yoga teacher).  Baba who was on kidney dialysis at the time became very serious and clear and said, “Do not give anything away for free.  People have to pay for it.  Africans have to pay for the classes. ” At the time, I didn’t understand what he meant.  What was the harm in giving something away for free to people who don’t have economic resourses?  Now I understand.  Everybody has something to offer or exchange for something they need or want.  There is value and sustainability in that.