Friday, February 01, 2008

Didier Awadi and his latest album 'Presidents of Africa'

There's an interesting interview with singer Didier Awadi, on political activism and his campaign for a harmonious continent on Cafe Babel.

The Presidents of Africa album, released in January 2008, brings together contributions from African rappers and aims to emphasise the historic heritage common to Africa and the need to unite the continent.

Behind this album, a painstaking task, not only to gather together so many rappers from all over the continent, but also to collect the written records and the video footage of speeches by African leaders that he weaves into different sections of the album.

Among others, these include the very poignant speeches of the first man to become prime minister of Congo in 1960, Patrick Lumumba, who was assassinated in 1961. Joining him is Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, often considered the African Che Guevara, also assassinated in 1987.

...‘Some say that we don’t have a sense of history and memory in Africa. With this album we will make them think again…’ jokes Awadi, referring to the speech made by the French president Nicolas Sarkozy during a visit to Dakar in July 2007.

The speech was very controversial, mainly due to the small phrase stating: ‘the tragedy of Africa is that the African man has never really entered history.’ Awadi then shows us one of the videos from the album, which incorporates archive images from the day of the discovery of Lucy, the name given to the skeleton dating back around 3.2 millions years and unearthed in Ethiopia in 1974.


V-Grrrl said...

E's parents were living in the Congo during the revolution. Very scary time. The children were sent away to Brussels and they stayed on thinking it would "settle down." His father,a small plane pilot, crashed under mysterious circumstances. His mother was left scrambling, working two jobs, trying desperately to find a way to get enough money to be reunited with her children. E's grandmother had a chicken farm in the Congo and lost everything.

In the U.S., I have art from the Congo...

Di Mackey said...

I didn't realise it had been so bad, v-grrrl.