June 29, 2019

Kunta Kinte, I found you!

I found you

Whenever I find something, usually in the context of looking for the source of a computer bug, I tend to say the same quote:

"Kunta Kinte, I found you."

Kunta Kinte was the ancestor of Alex Haley. Haley had traced his ancestry all the way back to that of a young man from what's now The Gambia, who was seized by slave traders, brought aboard the Lord Ligonier to the Americas, sold, and lived out his life as a slave.

Seven generations later, Alex Haley, the writer known for The Autobiography of Malcolm X, searched for his ancestry and wrote about it in the book Roots, which was adapted into a highly popular pair of TV miniseries.

I watched all the episodes of the first miniseries, and bits and pieces of the second. I did watch the final episode of the second miniseries, where Alex Haley went to the Gambia and heard confirmation from an oral historian of his great-great-great-great-grandfather. He checked his notes and yelled out with joy:

"I found you! Kunta Kinte, I found you!"

I made a gif of that very scene at the top of this post. I almost instinctually say that phrase whenever I find something that takes a long time to find (and that happens in software development a lot). It's my go-to-phrase for a successful search.