domingo, 18 de abril de 2010

Di Afrobeat poet: Forceful message from Nigeria to the world

The bombs.
The bombs are made in London
but the bombing is in Congo.
The bombing is for Togo.

The tanks.
The tanks are built in Russia
but the shelling is for Angola.
The shelling is for Rwanda.

This is the beginning of a poem called "Di bombs" that describes in a simple and forceful way how Africa is abused by the West . The singer and composer is Ikwunga, "Di Afrobeat Poet".

Ikwunga is a Nigerian poet and musician representative of Panafricanism, movement that calls for a politically united Africa and believes in a global community integrating worldwide Africans. Through his poems and music he dialogues with African past and recent history and reflects on present-day conditions in the area. He describes a land devastated by oil exploitation, destruction of rainforest and all natural resources.

While he studied in Medical School, Ikwunga experimented with a new form of music that mixes Afro-beat, jazz and oral poetry. Lyrics are in pidgin-English, linguistic form resulting from British colonization within the African context. His group, "What what", became leader of the underground Cultural Revolution that took place in Nigerian universities during the 80s.

His lyrics raise awareness on the relationship between Africa and Western powers. A relationship based on economical exploitation that deprives the continent of its natural resources to produce richness for developed countries. It is also a call for attention to the consequences of the wars and genocides that devastate African land, and the way the world contributes to those conflicts either through direct action or indifference. Both the beat and the message are worth it. Here´s the "Di Bombs" video which I highly recommend. It will not leave you indifferent.