Angelique Kidjo: ‘Africa isn’t just diseases’


The Grammy-winning singer talks about Ebola, terrorism and challenging negative media perceptions about Africa.

Photo: Google

From Al Jazerra

Singer Angelique Kidjo is a symbol of Africa’s creativity, energy and beauty. Her music is a unique blend of her own very West African heritage combined with funk, jazz and Latin music, and much more.

From the small country of Benin, she has won awards and recognition around the world. But Kidjo is also a champion of African causes.

Through her work with the United Nations and her own foundation, she has travelled across the continent, raising money at times of disaster. But above all else, she has campaigned for the right of more girls to go to school.


 The Music of Angelique Kidjo

We Are One” From Lion King II

“Agolo”



 

And with Africa facing new challenges – from Ebola to extremists opposed to girls’ education – she is vocal in her criticism of Western depictions of the continent.

“Do you think everybody in Africa has Ebola?” she asks on Talk to Al Jazeera. “We didn’t invent Ebola. It’s just a disease that exists there. Like, are we going to be blamed for inventing malaria too? If there is an Ebola outbreak in the Western world, will the media in the West treat it the same way?”

She also expressed her frustration with the way Western media portray Africa as a continent steeped in violence, victimhood and corruption.

“A success story in Africa doesn’t interest any media,” she says. “They are so eager and hungry for horrible stories from Africa. Why? It looks like the West is the hyena, feeding on the misery of the African people. They should be ashamed doing this.”

On the topic of terrorism, she is crushing in her criticism of ISIS but urges an analysis of why young people are joining the group.

“Everybody wants to fight ISIS. Why can’t we just do something better for people and remove the legitimacy of all those crazy extremists that are there just for the pleasure of killing people and for power?” she asks.

Now in her mid-50’s, Kidjo has just written her life story, Spirit Rising, and released a new album, Eve. She is still recording and touring at a hectic pace, but where does she see her musical career going from here? And with all the challenges facing Africa, does she feel optimistic about the future of her beloved continent?

“Listen to The Al Jazeera Interview”

Angelique Kidjo: ‘Africa isn’t just diseases’ – Talk to Al Jazeera – Al Jazeera English.

Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

%d bloggers like this: