Listening to Africa Through its Music

After my best-friend (partner) and I presented our papers at World History Conference in Beijing, we took the time to visit historical landmarks. One of the places we had the opportunity to visit was the Great Wall of China. As we ascended to the breathtaking 7th century ancient construction, a fellow tourist noticed that we were black in the sea of hundreds of Chinese people he introduced himself and we got into a conversation about our research and culture. Before we went our separate ways, the fellow traveler asked us to suggest African musicians that we think represent the continent in its “true” sense. That conversation inspired me to compile a Pan-African sampling of musicians. African music flows from ancient wells of wisdom and pure entertainment. These musicians give us a wonderful representation of the Black world: past, present and future.

So how, you might ask, did I select the artists?

  • Respect for musical predecessors (Ancestors) and local traditions
  • They do not restrict themselves to the language of their colonizers (e.g English, Spanish etc) instead they speak and make good music in their native African language
  • For those in the diaspora they have always look to the motherland (Africa) for inspiration (Afrocentric)
  • They promote unity amongst Africans and people of African descent globally
  • They are deep thinkers, and have maintained pro-Black consciousness in their work over the years.
  • Entertainment at its best!

I hope they inspire us all to not give up on our dreams, to not forget where we come from, and to always pay respect to our Ancestors who made the way for us. Enjoy!

1.Thandiswa Mazwai ( South Africa )
thandiswa_paint

2. Sorie Kondi (Sierra Leone) url

 or

3. Rokia Traore (Mali ) url-1

4. Salam Diallo ( Senegal)

url-2

5. Simphiwe Dana (South Africa)

url-3

6.King Ayisoba (Ghana)

KingA-Mai-Staunsager

7.Fatoumata Diawara (Mali)
Fatoumata-Diawara-a27496609
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFzItUctMf8

8.Lonnie Plaxico ( African America)
6170_138693175637_4274857_n
http://www.lonnieplaxico.com/home.html

9. Sherifa Gunu (Ghana)
521635_283170978466191_883059386_n

10.Chiwoniso Maraire ( Zimbabwe)

url-4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhTg13iXSMM&list=RD09gx_mpQBRHMw

11. Wally Badarou (Benin)

url-5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhtiKtLPsRI

12.Suzanna Owíyo (Kenya)
249512_10150201463199432_7254522_n
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbccuKHYyCg

13.Teddy Afro (Ethiopia)
Teddy_cover2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZURkGvHNjOA

14.Cheikh Lô ( Burkina Faso)
url-6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv5QLN8T4fg&list=RD090zoagR8fupo

15.Sona Tata Condé (Guinean Conakry)

img1354961196
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9X9hAeWbTs

16.Geoffrey Oryema (Uganda)
Oryema_KonzertMainz_130301
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKD1fAKh8IU

17.King Sunny Ade (Nigeria)

© Variety Playhouse

© Variety Playhouse

18.Doussou Bagayogo (Mali)
Doussou+Bagayoko+DoussouBagayoko2

19.Khadja Nin (Burundi)
Monte+Carlo+Television+Festival+2007+Day+4+hOM02iE3T2Xl

20.Tunde Jegede (Gambia)
url-9
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPf-0NqisJI

21.Ngoné Ndiaye Guéwel (Senegal)
url

22. Dobet Gnahore (Ivory Coast)
Dobet GNahore at the Pritzker Pavillion on July 8, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IdzL0top7s

23.Joaquin “Joe” Claussell ( Cuba)

url-2
http://afrocubanlatinjazz4.blogspot.com/2011/05/joaquin-clausell-caribe-usa2011-320kb.html

24.Kasai Allstars ( Congo)
url-3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my7-WqbCWw8

25.Mamou Sidibe (Mali)
58526907

26.Konono No.1 ( Congo)
konono3

27. Jill Scott ( African America)

JILL-SCOTT

28. Semini aka Batman ( Ghana)
2652_154252420723_5666341_n
or http://nigeriansounds.com/archives/16228

29. Baloji (Congo)

url

30.Erykah badu (African America)
Erykah-Badu-BET-Honors-2013

31.Saida Karoli (Tanzania)
saida

32. Lupe Fiasco ( African American)

url-1

33.Ndiolé (Senegal)
ndiol%C3%A9-tall-1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ofh0b0eV5k or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C9FBW9IOEk

34.Estelle ( Afro British)
url-2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUuEYM9vjlw

35.Lauryn Hill (African American)
main

36.Coumba Gawlo (Senegal)
url-4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lti0MYpMDFQ

37. Nas ( African American )
Nas-rap-u01

38. Seun Kuti (Nigeria)
Clipboard08
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YED4sf6b9r4&playnext=1&list=PL93E52EB8F92A9738&feature=results_main

39.India Arie (African American )
India-Arie
http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zbn7Khv8zM

40. Natalie Stewart aka the floacist ( Afro British)
thefloacist2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0s5sERqf0M

41. Obour (Ghana)
obour

42. Mestre Gildo Valu ( Afro Brazil )

43.Oliver Mtukudzi aka Tuku ( Zimbabwe)

1-Oliver%20Mtukudzi%20&%20The%20Black%20Spirits%201%20-%20Photo%20By%20Tafadzwa%20Mukiwa_8x10

44. Ringo Madlingozi ( South Africa)
showpic

45.Pibo Marquez ( Afro Venezuelan )
l
or http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyeNOf5DXzk

46. Orquesta Baobab (Afro Cuban )

picture-4

and countless Africans influence in Latin America

or listen to more Rumba here:http://www.myspace.com/orchestrabaobabofficial

or

47.Jimmy Cliff ( Jamaica)

© Katy Batdorff

© Katy Batdorff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIqLsGT2wbQ

48.Patience Dabany aka Josephine Bongo aka Marie Joséphine Kama ( Gabon)

Patience Dabany

or

49. 2face aka Innocent Ujah Idibia (Nigeria)
2Face-Excuse-Me-Sister

or 

or

50. Idylle Mamba ( Central African Republic )
5514009903_e7863e99e6

51. R.Kelly (African American)
url-6
www.dailymotion.com/video/xfu6yf_r-kelly-medley-live-2010-soul-train-music-awards-bmf_music#.UQ0nfHPjnp4

52.kojo antwi ( Ghana)
Kojo-Antwi

53.Kareyce Fotso (Cameroon)

Esperanzah2011_3429

54.Richard Bona aka Bona Pinder Yayumayalolo ( Cameroon )
Photo02 0021

55.Mounira Mitchala (Chad)
l-1

56.Alexio Kawara (Zimbabwe)

A1-1
or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoUtifgMsfo

57.Stevy Mahy (Guadeloupe)
394777_415654265186099_1420979358_n

58.Lokua Kanza ( Congo )
l-3

59.Blitz The Ambassador aka Samuel Bazawule ( Ghana/ African American )

Blitz De Ambassador u

or

60.Aida Samb (Senegal)

url-8

61.Lopango Ya Banka  aka “House of the ancestors ” ( Congo)

url

or

62.  Elivava  aka Tina Mensah  (Ghana)

4264698393a8724403295l

elivava-productions

63.Akua Naru ( African American )

©Foxysoul

©Foxysoul

64.Tiken Jah Fakoly  ( Ivory Coast )

tiken_jah_fakoly-african_revolution-front

Giving thanks to Mwari/Kwap Luh (Shona and Yotti/Bali for “Creator”) for blessing Africa with so many wise and gifted voices.

Amenrah! Ashe!

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2 thoughts on “Listening to Africa Through its Music

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