Fellow Africans, the commemoration of Africa Day, #AfricaMonth, may be a little different this year, as the world finds itself in the middle of a global health crisis. One that that has nations uniting in the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus.
You’ve most likely seen Stephen King’s famous quote—"If you think artists are useless try to spend your quarantine without music, books, poems, movies and paintings,"—somewhere on the social media streets, and it’s no lie.
Doctors, nurses, and essential services workers, have levelled up in a big way, and can’t be thanked enough. However, suicide rates would have probably gone through the roof by without some form of art in our lives. It has softened the hard knock from the quarantine life, especially music (for some of us). Whether it's been online house parties, poetic and encouraging lyrics or just drum & bass, gospel, jazz and blues; music has been, and continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.
Africa has a rich history that can be learnt from music and boasts several genres from afrobeat (think Fela Kuti) to bongo flava, chimurenga (think Chiwoniso Maraire), kizomba, kwaito, coladeira (Cesaria Evora) to isicathamiya, the list is endless.
Here are five songs from jazz to hip-hop, inspired by Africa and her people that are enlightening, inspiring and have just been giving us life.
Bongo Maffin – Harare
D’Angelo - Africa
Damian Marley and Nas – Land of Promise
Somi – Four African Women
Moreira Chonguica and Manu Dibango – Blues for Africa