Posted by: thebluemusicblog | July 3, 2011


I had been to Africa several times, South Africa, Senegal, Kenya. I had scratched the surface of a fascinating continent. I wanted to dive deeper, see more, learn more, reach more profound depths of understanding.

There is no better way to learn about a country than through friends. As a YMCA leader I have the great privilege of counting to my friends people of so many different nationalities. My closest friend from Africa is Carlos Sanve from Togo, and now I was on my way to his homeland for the first time.

It was during a meeting of the Executive Committee of Africa Alliance in Nairobi many years ago that Carlos jokingly was introduced to the meeting as the Black Panther of Africa. Next speaker was me, and I could not resist introducing myself as the Pink Panther of Europe. For years Carlos and I have   exchanged e-mails under these Panther pseudonyms. How I later came to be the Prophet and Carlos the Mask, is a completely different story, which I promise to tell some other time, if you choose to sit an evening with me at the camp fire….

Let me also finally introduce to you my best traveling companion and best mate on my journey through life, my one and only wife, Ingunn. I am not going to become too private in my Bluemusicblog, but Ingunn deserves a proper introduction. While the perspective of applying for the job in Geneva came up a couple of years back, Ingunn was having her own very interesting career in crime prevention in the city of Oslo. We had long walks and even longer conversations before we came to a conclusion. It may sound strange, but it was Ingunn’s decision finally that I should apply for the job. And so, when I was successful, moving to Geneva meant giving up her career. Being a strong personality, she was mentally prepared, and now she is using all the new opportunities of this situation to develop personal projects. And from time to time to accompany me on travels along the NEW WAY.

On the long flight from Detroit to Paris we spoke about Africa. Ingunn always had had a dream of Africa, and this was her first travel to Africa. After a few very tired hours in Paris, we flew on to Lome, the Capitol of Togo. At the airport the Black Panther of Africa was waiting for the Pink Panther of Geneva, and the Pink Panther’s wife, eager to smell Africa for the first time.


  1. Det var himla roligt med Pink phanter!!!
    Lyckliga du som har Ingunn att dela ditt liv, och ibland dina resor, med. Jag är säker på att hon verkligen trivs som fisken i vattnet med det hon gör, och kommer att göra, i Genève. Jag tror att det kommer att bli en fantastisk tid även för dig, Johan Vilhelm.

  2. Gracias a nuestro Secretario General por permitirnos conocer algo más acerca de su vida y de su forma de vivir la ACJ a través de sus experiencias personales. Quedamos expectantes ante las próximas aventuras del dúo conformado por la pantera negra africana y la pantera rosa europea, disfruten mucho este tiempo junto con sus esposas y que Dios los bendiga.

    Un abrazo,

    Gerardo (YMCA of Peru)

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