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News from Nigeria

I told my son that he would get his first sense of things as soon as we boarded the flight. Planes bound for Lagos, I told him, were filled with…..

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Songs for Mandela: Weekend Music Break 64

This post combines Steffan’s wonderful playlist of South African tunes of and for Nelson Mandela and the international playlist we published when we first heard news of the great man’s…..

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Songs for Mandela [International Edition]

When we sent around the AIAC “office” inviting our contributors to suggest songs for Nelson Mandela (both music about him and tracks that could stand as tributes to the man),…..

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A fast train from Dakar

Young Philippe Ndour is the nephew of Senegalese pop star Youssou Ndour. And just like his uncle and his mother he wants to be a pop singer (see his Justin Bieber…..

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Youssou N’Dour’s family politics

Youssou N’Dour’s campaign team today released the video for his presidential campaign song ‘Fekké Maci Boolé’. Strangely, N’dour’s official French facebook campaign’s biography (apart from punting the obligatory “Yes You can!” profile) only mentions the wives he wed and the children he has fathered. How will these details possibly help him win an election?

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Is Youssou N’dour qualified to be President?

One decisive factor is N’dour’s shaky relationship to traditional Sufi religious authorities who have some sway in electoral politics. (Wade is very deferential to them.) In the past N’dour has riled them. In the most famous case, in 2004 N’dour recorded an album, “Egypt,” of Sufi Islamic praise music with the Egyptian national orchestra. The album won him a Grammy, but it was controversial in Senegal. (The album controversy forms the heart of the 2008 documentary “I Bring What I Love” — including objections by some Senegalese that the filmmakers film holy sites and religious rituals.) I wonder if N’dour has lived that down.

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Music Break

Today is Senegal’s independence day. Carlou D transformed himself from the rapper he was in Didier Awadi’s band Positive Black Soul to the singer-songwriter (supporting for Youssou N’Dour) he is…..

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Africano Hondureño

Remember Aurelio Martinez’s 2004 album Garifuna Soul? The above song, ‘Wamada’, is taken from Laru Beya, his new star-studded album – members of Super Etoile de Dakar and Orchestra Baobab,…..