Africa’s first trans music star

The popular Kudurista, Titica, is one of the the top stars of this growing Angolan dance music form.

Still from Titica's "Olha o Boneco."

African governments don’t want us to think that “homosexuality” is within the realm of their or their nations’ “traditional values.” So these leaders, even Nobel Peace Prize winning ones, use that as an excuse to justify the persecution and lack of protection for some of their most vulnerable citizens. Well, it seems that the Angolan government who currently seem to have their hands full (of money?) can’t be bothered to check whether or not popular Kudurista, Titica, fits within that value system and we’re glad for that! Now, I don’t know the frame through which Angolans are seeing Titica. A little forum and youtube scrolling reveals a divided public (as always). Since I’m not there, I’m not going to write a drawn out post on LGBT rights in Angola. I do have to say that Titica may just be as much of a “challenge” for some New York audiences as ones in Africa, so I’m proud to say that she will be visiting us next Monday night at Bembe in Brooklyn for the iBomba party! New Yorkers, come say hi and give your support.

 

It seems more generally that Hip Hop is the realm for political protest in Angola, while the previously marginal Kuduro seems to be turning into a sort of symbol of national pride. Whether or not that translates into better living and working conditions for the scene’s artists and producers remains to be seen. But apparently Angola has seen this kind of thing before.

Everyone else look out for more content and coverage of her visit soon.

  • Update: She’s not Africa’s first transgender music star, as reader Chika notes. And, we hear there is precedent in Angola with Carnaval.

Further Reading

A debased tradition

What continuities can be drawn from the murder of Ahmed Timol in apartheid Johannesburg to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis? Wamuwi Mbao unpacks the debased tradition of police murdering civilians.

Independence Day

The labor and political organizing of Somali immigrants in the US Midwest should inspire more Americans to join the broader movement for worker rights and racial equality.