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Dancing with stars on Africa Day celebrations……Selmor joins crème de la crème of African singers

25 May, 2020 - 00:05 0 Views

The Herald

Arts Reporter
In celebration of Africa Day, Selmor Mtukudzi, joins renowned African musicians for a two-hour concert that will be screened live online and on various television stations as part of festivities of the important day for the continent.

Dubbed “WAN Show”, the concert features a host of African musicians based in the continent and the Diaspora.

Artistes on the line-up include, Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour, Angelique Kidjo, Eddy Kenzo, Oumou Sangaré, Fally Ipupa, Wizkid, Hiro, Lenine, Baaba Maal, and Jocelyne Beroard.

“It’s an honour for me to be included in the coming together of great African musicians to bring awareness about the Covid-19 pandemic and also give hope to our people. I’m also humbled to share the stage with such great names in our industry,” said Selmor.

WAN music concert will be broadcast for free in prime time, on a number of African national channels and some private channels, with the technical support of the African Union Broadcasting and Thomson Broadcast.

WAN said all artists participating in this show will promote its objectives of raising awareness on Covid-19 focusing the risks of infection, engaging in a collective reflection on post-crisis in Africa, and to support the actors in the construction of this new Africa.

The WAN music concert comes a few weeks after Selmor featured on “The Blessing Zimbabwe” a collaboration of local musicians, sending a message of comfort as the nation grapples with the effects of the deadly Coronavirus. The prayer song was supported by Cassava Fintech International (CFI) through the Sasai Brand.

Her inclusion on the Africa Day concert will see her sharing a platform with great musicians that are in her late father Oliver Mtukudzi’s class of legends. Below are some of the biographies of musicians that will be part of the concert.

Angelique Kidjo
Four-time Grammy Award winner Kidjo is one of the greatest artistes on the continent.

Time Magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva”.

Her official website notes that the BBC has included her in its list of the continent’s 50 most iconic figures, and in 2011 The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Forbes Magazine has ranked Angelique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. She is a recipient of the prestigious 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award, and the 2018 German Sustainability Award.

As a performer, her striking voice, stage presence and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers and expanded her following across national borders.  Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R’n’B,  funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America.

Salif Keita
Salif Keita, from Mali, is one of the most influential musicians on the African continent. Known as the “Golden Voice of Africa”, Keita was born with albinism. In 2005, he founded the Salif Keita Global Foundation to raise awareness of the condition.  According to Wikipedia, his award-winning album “La Différence” was dedicated to ending violations of the rights of persons with albinism across the world.

Salif Keita

“La Différence” was produced around the end of 2009. The work is dedicated to the struggle of the world albino community (victims of human sacrifice), for which Keita has been crusading all his life. In one of the album’s tracks, the singer calls others to understand that “difference” does not mean “bad” and to show love and compassion towards albinos like everyone else.

“La Différence” was recorded between Bamako, Beirut, Paris, and Los Angeles. This unique musical feel is reinforced by soulful pitches in the track “Samigna” emanating from the trumpet of the great Lebanese jazzman Ibrahim Maalouf.

In 2001, Keita’s song “Tomorrow” was featured in the Will Smith film “Ali”.

La Différence won Keita one of the biggest musical awards of his career: The Best World Music 2010 at the Victoires de la Musique.

In November 2018 he announced his retirement from recording. This was at a concert in Fana, Mali. His last album “Un Autre Blanc” was released at the concert.

Youssou N’Dour
Senegalese singer, songwriter, and bandleader N’Dour is a leading proponent of World Music, combining traditional music from his homeland with Western popular culture, Cuban rhythms, and contemporary instrumentation.

Youssou N’Dour

His biography on yourdictionary.com states that N’Dour is among the most popular practitioners of a Senegalese form of music called mbalax, which features the heavy rhythms normally associated with the indigenous mbung mbung drum, kora harp, and balafon xylophone instead being performed by electric guitars and keyboards.

N’Dour helped pioneer mbalax in the 1970s with tremendous success in his homeland and brought the music to international popularity in the 1980s when he toured Europe and the United States as a solo performer and with such Western musical artists as Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Sting, and Bruce Springsteen. His efforts to introduce mbalax music to international audiences is assisted by a stunning vocal ability that has been put to good effect on N’Dour’s own recordings and on popular recordings by such artists as Gabriel and Harry Belafonte.

N’Dour received two Grammy Award nominations and sales of more than 600 000 for his 1994 album, “The Guide”, which includes guests Branford Marsalis and Neneh Cherry.

His recording of “Seven Seconds,” a duet with Cherry, sold more than one million copies and was named the number one song of 1994 at the MTV Awards Europe.

In 1998, he wrote the official anthem of the soccer World Cup finals, “France ‘98,” which he also performed with Belgian singer Axelle Red. He has been one of the outstanding African singers for many years

Fally Ipupa
Fally Ipupa, is a Congolese singer-songwriter, dancer, philanthropist, guitarist and producer. From 1999 until 2006, he was a member of Quartier Latin International, the music band formed in 1986 by Koffi Olomidé.

Fally Ipupa

His first solo album was “Droit Chemin” released in 2006. Wikipedia notes that the album went on to sell over 100,000 units and his second album “Arsenal de Belles Melodies” was released in 2009. In 2007, Ipupa won the Kora Awards for Best Artist or Group from Central Africa.

In 2010, Fally Ipupa won the MTV Africa Music Awards 2010 for Best Video for “Sexy Dance” and Best Francophone Artist. He won the urban awards for Best African Artiste.

Ipupa was nominated in the Best Live Act category at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2014.

He has toured many parts of the world over the years and he is well known for his unique music style.

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