Let’s celebrate Niger’s independence day with a recording of Omara “Bombino” Moctar, whose story of exile — and return — speaks to many youth in the country.

Along with Rap music:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd3rt3C-RzE&w=600&h=373]

that is sometimes danceable…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIPGzIWK5rU&w=600&h=373]

sometimes political…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1BfvP7Qa5g&&w=600&h=373]

and sometimes incorporates tradition.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJCLJlFRaJI&w=600&h=373]

Rap group Tchakey hops on the Night Nurse Riddim(!) to talk about freedom of expression.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCXJl1L1xNo&w=600&h=373]

Since independence, music from Niger’s various ethnic groups that had traditionally been separate, such as the Hausa, Taureg, Berber, Fula, and Songhai started mixing with each other, and with Western sounds like Jazz, Blues, and Reggae giving Nigerien music a distinct feel, a place where North, East, and West Africa meet.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0NuuWJscqg&w=600&h=373]

A live performance by Moussa Poussi where Mami Wata, the water goddess gets a roots reggae dedication:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAuYfQCgSQU&w=600&h=373]

This great Coupe Decale influenced Hausa song was shared not too long ago on Sahel Sounds:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkVjvbE_ApA&w=600&h=373]

Three of the countries top women singers get together for a song with a social awareness message.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1TKKktqkQg&w=600&h=373]

Support from The Festival in the Desert, and both upcoming and established Western labels has benefited Nigerien artists such as Etran Finatawa who formed at the festival in 2004…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NjX1ziHVX8&w=600&h=373]

Happy Nigerien Independence Day!

Further Reading

On Safari

We are not just marking the end of 2019, but also the end of a momentous, if frustrating decade for building a more humane, caring future for Africans.

Time travelin’

The Chimurenga arts collective explores the relevance of FESTAC, a near forgotten, epic black arts festival held in Nigeria in the mid-1970s, for our age.

Detritus of revolution

Nthikeng Mohlele’s novel Small Things (2013) provides a rejoinder to J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace (1999), depicting a black man’s perspective on the failures of South Africa’s transition.