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Africa: Dancing to soccer moves, Maasai Hip Hop and laughing at wealthy Americans

My name is Steve Ntwiga and this is my first post at Global Voices Online. I will be trying to fill a small part of Obi's huge shoes as I post on bloggers and sites that cover African music.

From soccer moves to a dancing sytle

Lets start with Teju Cole at Modal Minority who looks at drogbacité. This is a new dancing style coming out of Abidjan based on the football moves of Didier Drogba, an Ivorian soccer player who recently won Africa's Footballer of the Year award (that's soccer for those of your who may be in North America).

Teju writes:

The first real explosion of this was in the months leading up to the World Cup, when Drogba’s brilliance steered the Elephants to an unlikely first-ever berth in the tournament. Around that time, the dance style known as Drogbacité emerged in Abidjan, nominally based on Drogba’s moves, and it was soon followed by dance tracks specifically dedicated to it.

The post includes a track, Boucantier, that is representative of the new type of music emerging around the dancing style which is taking clubs in the Ivory Coast and West Africa by storm.

Remembering the Godfather of Soul

Matsuli has a video of James Brown's 1971 performance in Kinshasa to mark his passing in late December.

As a tribute to the recent death of James Brown, matsuli music brings you his legendary 1974 Kinshasa performance. This was part of the “African Woodstock” musical build up to the Rumble in the Jungle fight between Mohammed Ali and George Foreman.

The death of this music legend was also noted by Ray at AfroBeat Trainspotter with a link to James Brown's page on Myspace.

I go chop your dollar!

In the meantime, Dibusse Tande at Scribbles from the den examines 419 cyber scams. He writes about a popular song, I Go Chop Your Dollar, which ridicules wealthy Americans and Europeans who fall far these scams.

About a year ago, Nigerian artist, Nkem Owoh (aka Osuofia) released a song titled “I go chop your dollar” which ridicules Europeans and Americans who fall for these scams. Although the song is a satirical happy-go-lucky number, it immediately became the unofficial 419 anthem – and its provocative lyrics virtually started a race war on the Internet:

Oyinbo* man I go chop your dollar,
I go take your money disappear
419 is just a game,
you are the loser I am the winner.

(Onyibo* means a white person)

Musical journey

Finally, a (belated) link to some bloggers who posted end-of-year rounds-up covering music from some African perspective.

Soundroots.org, a site that never fails to educate and entertain has a fantastic world music mp3 collection to bid 2006 adieu. It includes some hiphop by X Plastaz, a group from Tanzania, which fuses Maasai traditional music and urban hip hop and Konono #1 of Congo whom I have blogged about in the past.

Matt also has an end of year recap post – 2006 Rewound podcast – that contains the African tracks that listeners liked best in 2006 on Matsuli. But hurry as it will disappear soon. I also carried an end-of-year round up reviewing the most popular tracks on ntwiga.net for 2006.

The 3rd Annual Kenya Music Week was this last December in Nairobi with the theme “Music Piracy = Poverty”. The event featured an exhibition, talent show and performances from some of Kenya’ top musical artists and was a huge success. Kenya Music Week is an annual event organized by PHAT! Music & Entertainment Limited and Triple P Kenya Publicists who are working together with the aim of “developing the Kenya Music Industry into a professional, transparent and profitable business”.

Count Reeshard at no condition is permanent, has a post on Pamelo Mounk'a from Congo Brazaville, which focuses on his release “No.1 Africain”. Pamelo Mounk'a is an African musical legend who performed with such greats as TP OK Jazz and Les Bantous de la Capitale, a Congolese national institution before breaking out on his own.

Best Ambiance has a link to Jon Kertzer's January 1st Best Ambiance session at at KEXP radio featuring music from a host of African countries (including Zimbabwe, Madagascar, South Africa, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mali, Algeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, and Congo in just this one session) for you to listen to online or download. The session includes some great highlife – a musical genre characterized by the use of multiple horns and guitars that came to popularity in Ghana in the 70s and 80s, which is experiencing a popularity revival around Africa.

Radio Palmwine

We are closing with Radio palmwine. Emeka Okafor's Timbuktu Chronicles links to Radio Palmwine, a new online radio station service that aims to to increase the establishment of Nigeria and African Diaspora music worldwide.

RadioPalmwine's vision “…is to increase the establishment of Nigeria and African Diaspora music worldwide, and also to provide financial support for talented struggling artists and industry professionals representing such countries. We are developing strategies to help emerging musicians from Africa, cross over the barriers of the conventional music, arts and entertainment industry and take advantage of the emerging digital marketplace for global entertainment…”

The RadioPalmWine website also carries 4 feature stations that are profiled on the front page and also allows users to download tracks.

5 comments

  • hey steve, welcome to gv!

    nice post, i especially liked the scam story and can relate – my spam folder is loaded with them. i can’t imagine how poeple get scammed though. i watched the video you inclided from abc, very informative…but will it really put a dent in the scamming?

    making fun of greedy westerners is a shot in the arm…and as you cited, it is explosive…in poland the media is burning with the case of a guy from cameron whom knowingly infected dozens of polish women with HIV over a 7 year period…have you heard about it?…this whole ‘gotcha’ attitude could backfire for the scammers….

    Thanks for the kind welcome and comments.

    The scamming will probably go on in some new form when the scammers figure out a new mechanism for trying to make a dollar since the 419 is pretty much tapped out now. But that is just my take on the topic. What does everyone else think?

    Interesting that you mention this guy in Poland as there was a similar case in the UK a couple of years ago.

    – Steve

  • […] Here is a link to my first post at Global Voices who have been kind enough to invite me on board. […]

  • […] Africa: Bailando al ritmo del fútbol, Hip Hop Massai y riéndose de los gringos […]

  • Congratulations on your new project, Steve, and excellent work on your first GV post. Great job!

  • Great post Steve. I believe that what could be called African urban culture is subject to fast moving changes thanks to satellite tv, the Internet…

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