#RESPECT to my hip hop fam, Keyti (@__Keyti) & Xuman (@gunmanxuman) making waves with their rap news show from #Senegal to the world!
Trailer for “The Lion’s Point of View” (Le Point de Vue du Lion) a documentary film by African hip hop star, Didier Awadi. ABOUT THE FILM: “50 years of independence. They promised us happiness and prosperity. Nowadays young Africans climb into simple wooden boats, they cross the desert and the sea towards Eldorado.” Why? What are the deeper reasons? And how could it come this far? These were the starting questions from director and hip hop star Didier Awadi. For several years he interviewed ex-presidents and ministers, important UN officials, writers, artists, historians, activists and lay migrants and refugees: 44 people who analyse the situation of their continent and they do not mince matters! The result is a decidedly Pan-African, deliberately subjective and revolutionary documentary whose power of impact leaves little to be desired.” (via from africavenir.org)
A film about Africa BY Africans!
A new track called “Dégage” (To Free) with flows in French & Arabic. It is a collaboration between African Fracophone hip hop pioneer Didier Awadi (Postivie Black Soul) of Sénégal and Sami Dorbez of Tunisia.
Wether you understand what they are singing or not, I hope you enjoy these good sounds that carry a message of change. I love the collaboration and solidarity it builds between West and North Africa. They are especially addressing the regime changes, uprisings and revolutions going on in their respective home-countries (albeit, they are global citizens).
I think this is especially important because we are seeing the way hip hop leaders around the world like Awadi are standing up to speak up with timely and relevant messages about the social/political realities of our time.
This. Is. #RAPtivism.
Milyamba, Sister Fa (Berlin/Dakar)
More #SisterFa for your ears and soul… Enjoy!
Traveling through four continents and six countries, The Furious Force of Rhymes is a fascinating look at HIp-Hop as trans-national protest music.
Watching this at the movie theater the other night has given me so many ideas for my RAPtivism documentary! Special shout outs to global RAPtivists I’ve met throughout my travels who are also featured in FURIOUS RHYMES : Alif (Senegal), Pee Froiss (Senegal), Shadia Mansour (UK/Palestine), Wagëble (Senegal), Positive Black Soul (Senegal) and many more… Also, BIG UPS to the man who made it all happen, Joshua Atesh Litle as well as Maria who introduced me to his work!!
Check out this hip hop documentary #SARABAH
I helped out with the making of this film feat. #RAPtivist (Rap Activist), @Sister_Fa in #SENEGAL
Galsen, namu nala trop! (Translation from Wolof : Senegal, I miss you a lot!)
Rapper, singer and activist, Sister Fa is hero to young women in Senegal and an unstoppable force for social change. A childhood victim of female genital cutting (FGC), she decided to tackle the issue by starting a grassroots campaign, “Education Without Excision,” which uses her music and persuasive powers to end the practice. But until 2010 there’s one place she had never brought her message — back home to her own village of Thionck Essyl, where she fears rejection. Sarabah follows Sister Fa on this challenging journey, where she speaks out passionately to female elders and students alike, and stages a rousing concert that has the community on its feet. A portrait of an artist as activist, Sarabah shows the extraordinary resilience, passion and creativity of a woman who boldly challenges gender and cultural norms. It’s an inspiring story of courage, hope and change.
With a week under my belt in Dakar, I have already started to grasp the rhythm of life in my new surroundings. First thing in the morning, wake up to the sound of kids hustling and bustling in the common room, the sound of the kitchen awakening with the appetites of the day. Yawning with the pots and pans, stretching with the gas flames that warm up the water for my morning coffee. For breakfast, I have a baguette with margarine and coffee. Two sugars and instant dairy creamer. Before I’ve even finished stirring my coffee, other women in the household have already started preparing lunch and the time consuming parts of dinner. And by the time I have finished breakfast, there are usually at least two meat dishes and a large pan of rice cooking on the propane burners next to the stove in the kitchen. In my house, if it comes to 11am and you don’t smell something savory cooking like fish or chicken with a generous aroma of fresh onion relish, you’ll know somethings gone wrong.
Mondays we have Cheebu Jen, a Senegalese fish and rice dish, that is served—like most meals—in a large communal bowl that can span up to an arm’s length. The ladies I eat with often have a healthy appetite and a serious penchant for spicy foods so we happily scrape the edges of the bowl until the meal is finished—all the while laughing and joking about who can take the most spice with their rice and meat. Throughout the meal at least one of us will go back to the kitchen to fetch more sauce. I always feel special when one of my newfound friends breaks a good piece of meat or fish from the bone and throws it into my side of the big, round bowl to eat.
Between and after meals, we rinse the stainless steel bowls and dirty pots and pans with water to get rid of the excess traces of food that stick to the edges of the well-loved dinnerware. All excess pieces of trash are put into a small bag or bowl by the sink that is later emptied into a trash can outside. Then we take the dishes and wash them in soapy water and rinse them again in a bucket of clear water. They sit to dry at all different angles in even larger plastic containers, awaiting their call to duty at the next meal.
… And the days seem to revolve around these meals. These communal times for discussion, debate and degustation! Besides Sundays when we usually eat something light and sugary for dinner with out own separate plates, each meal is somehow a family affair that pull everyone together. I have to admit though, that at times it’s been a bit hard for me to adjust to the frequent division between the men who sometimes take their food upstairs in front of the TV while watching soccer and preparing attaya (a Senegalese tea tradition) while the women eat together downstairs with music videos or soap operas playing in the background and children run around creating trouble. But at the same time, it also makes me realize how I usually spend 80-90% of my time in predominantly masculine spaces without even thinking about it, especially by virtue of this project.
As the night falls, my ears become more sensitive to the sounds of Islamic prayer blasting on speakers across the city and reverberating off the brightly colored walls of my new neighborhood. Sometimes, I even wake up in the middle of the night to the sounds prayer that pierce through the darkness of my room and the calm late evening / early morning silence. The street lights in the part of town don’t work, so I tend to spend the sundown closer to home—periodically hanging out by the gated carport so that I can share in the lazy evening atmosphere as people return from work and go to visit friends nearby.
Although I enjoy people watching from time to time, I often get the feeling that I am the person being watched as my brown skin and curly locks make me stand out from the general population—sometimes drawing more attention than I’d like.
"But you are Senegalese" one of the neighborhood friends of my host family said to me the other night over attaya. "You are just different than the other Americans…" he said.
Instead of pushing to understand what he meant right away or overanalyzing his comment, I decided to just take it with a gain of salt and to let time tell the real meaning of this phrase.
For now, I’m happy just getting my footing in new surroundings.
As always, more RAPtivism to come….