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 on our annual publishing break until August 28th. Please check our Twitter and Facebook pages for posts and updates until then.

A private city

Eko Atlantic in Lagos, like Tatu City in Nairobi, Kenya; Hope City in Accra, Ghana; and Cité le Fleuve in Kinshasa, DRC, point to the rise of private cities. What does it mean for the rest of us?

What she wore

The exhibition, ‘Men Lebsa Neber,’ features a staggering collection of the clothes and stories of rape survivors across Ethiopia.