Afrobeat Culture Federator


Tuesday 3 August 2010 by Mabinuori Idowu (aka ID)

Apart from Femi and his group, Positive Force, who through their musical exploits can be regarded as inheritors of the Fela phenomenon, it is most encouraging today to hear groups like Tiken Jah Fakoly identifying with the Fela struggle and legacy.

With the strong message from his first major - label album titled: “FRANCEAFRIQUE”, he can be regarded like Fela as an artist engaged. An album critical of, to quote him: “…a capitalist society where morality is no more capital.” Rendered in a mix of French and Djulla, a language spoken widely among the Mandingo people of West Africa, Tiken Jah describes the French and American politics in Africa as: “blaguer tuer,” (literally translated means a “murderous joke”).

He underlines how they cultivate and encourage dictators in Africa. How they plunder the continent’s riches and bury her people alive – by inflaming wars in the Congo, burning down Angola and causing genocide in Rwanda. He went further to sing about how, as soon as Africans found solutions to these problems, they (colonialists) again impose on African governments “co-operation” in the name of “Independence.” Soon again as their “co-operation” was exposed, they impose “Globalisation”- all these in whose favour?
Africa, always in deep-shit ( Afrique toujours dans la merde.)

Hearing messages such as these in an album reminds one of the fighting spirits of Fela. Particularly the track, “ON EN A MARRE” – meaning “We are sick and tired”:

“We are sick and tired.
Africa is sick and tired…
After abolition of slavery
They created colonisation
Soon as we found the solution
They created co-operation
Soon as we denounced their co-operation
They created globalisation….”
We are Sick and tired
Africa is sick and tired…”

Tiken Jah accorded Radio Shrine a year before the official release of his song: SOLDIER an acapela version. In the song he was singing about the American soldier who in the name of “spreading democracy” around the world, are doing the contrary by wagging an un-just war - manufacturing excuses to kill innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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