If you think Africa is a big concoction of cultural celebrations, you are right.
It is not a stereotype,
Africa is abundant, rich, and the pure embodiement of diversity, so here are 5 fascinating songs to prove it:
1. Camera Dans Le Coeur – Lokua Kanza, Democratic Republic of Congo
Pascal Lokua Kanza is a soul and folk artist who sings in several languages, including Swahili, English, French and Portuguese. The oldest of eight children, he has recorded 7 albums to date. Lokua’s music is an intonation of the nostalgia he feels each time he mentions the name of his county.
Sur la photo c’était parfait
As a listener, you will find yourself missing Congo’s quircky corners even though you’ve never been there.
Listen to Camera Dans Le Coeur and Meu Amor.
2. Nwêti – Mingas, Mozambique
Mingas is a Maputo-born singer whose voice is well familar with performance. Starting her career in Mozambique’s most popular radio station, she quickly began to incorporate musical rhythms particular to the Chope people, from the south of Mozambique. In 2007, Mingas celebrated 30 years of an eventful career, filled with collaborations with Africa’s most illustrious, such as Miriam Makeba, and Hugh Masekela.
Her music speaks to Mozambique’s melancholic tunes, serene vibrations and humble people.
Listen to Nwêti and A Va Sati Va Lomo.
3. M’Bifé – Amadou et Mariam, Mali
Bamako will never sound the same after you’ve lost yourself in Amadou et Mariam’s love affair. This Grammy Award-nominated duo mixes Syrian, Indian, Egyptian and Cuban instruments to compose the authentic afro blues that defines their music. Besides making amazing music, Amadou et Mariam inspire the young, blind and talented of Mali, and have served as ambassadors for the World Food Program. Their sound is a healthy mix of French and Mali’s lingua franca, Bambara, which will twingle in your ears.
Listen to M’bifé and Je Pense à Toi.
4. Ndima Ndapedza – Oliver Mtukudzi, Zimbabwe
Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi is Zimbabwe’s most celebrated artist, current UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Southern Africa and overall brilliant.
No African child can sit at the sound of one of his many greatest hits. We simply grew up eating breakfast with the remainders of last night’s moves from Tuku’s music. Oliver’s life work spans over 50 albums in Shona, Ndebele and English and the man is still rocking!
Listen to Ndima Ndapedza and Neria.
5. Sodade – Cesária Évora, Cape Verde
Let´s get one thing straight: Cesária did the barefoot thing first.
That´s it, if you think Adele is great because she takes off her shoes before performing, you need to go back in time and experience the presence of Cesária Évora.
She is the grandmother we will always be thankful for. Her songs are stories, memories and lessons that she’s compiled everywhere she’s been, and they speak to the hearts of all people, regardless of where they are from. Though she left us all too soon, her legacy lives through her soulful music, Stromae’s humble dedications and the ultimate words she engraved in Africa’s soil.
So this is my selection. Africa’s 5 finest, Africa’s tunes.
Enjoy the ride, and please, don’t press stop, because Africa never stops moving.