Great radio series of five ’emerging cultural voices’ by NPR’s Africa Correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. From her base in Dakar, Senegal, Quist-Arcton focuses on young artists from making an impact not just musically, but politically. Good for them. The inclusion of Senegalese rapper, Didier Awadi, (above), might come as a surprise to some.

He is bordering on being classed an old school rapper by now. Positive Black Soul, the group he help found, came into existence in 1989. But it all makes sense: more recently, Awadi has emerged as a social critic and political activist: Most notably, two years ago he made a song, the accompanying video which went viral, that criticized the Senegalese government for the causes that leads to often tragic emigration by young Senegalese because of a dire economic situation.

The other artists profiled in the series are Ethiopian singer Teddy Afro (another not so young artist) whose facing a jail sentence unrelated to his music (he’s a major critic of the Ethiopian dictatorship) , South African performance poet Lebo Mashile, Ugandan novelist David Kaiza, and Ghanaian artist Heather Badger).

Listen here.

Further Reading

No more caricatures

Engaging seriously with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life could help us understand how South Africa got where it is and where it’s going.