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Angelique Kidjoe: Thank you for representing Africa

Legendary Beninese singer Angelique Kidjoe beat Ayo Balogun aka Wizkid, Rocky Dawuni, Femi Kuti  to lift her 5th Grammy Award on April 6, 2022.

The pride of the African continent while presenting her speech extended her appreciation to other young artistes like Nigeria’s Yemi Alade, Burna Boy and others she had done collaborations with.

It was an exhilarating moment indeed for the 61-year old songstress, but have you stopped for a moment to ponder on why, of all the talented musicians on the continent, she keeps wowing the world?

Let me tell you what, there’s an African proverb which says “One cannot go to the party of another person and dance more than the celebrant” better still a similar proverb states that “One cannot cry more than the bereaved”.

What do I mean by these proverbs? Year in, year out custodians of the traditions and customs on the continent have lamented how the current generation is fast drifting away from expressions that comes naturally to them to embrace exotic ones.

In the name of globalization, many creative artistes have ditched their cultural expressions for foreign concepts with the hope of pleasing the originators.

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to copy what naturally comes to another and excel more than the custodian of that cultural aspect. Well, there are always exceptions, but believe me, it’s just about 0.001% occurrence when rated in percentile. Can you imagine, a plus-sized African woman in her forties gracefully exhibiting her ballet dancing skills? I guess you get the picture I’m trying to paint.

That is why the likes of Angelique Kidjoe, the late Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Manu Debango continue to catch the eyes of international award scheme organisers over the millions of copy cats from this land of rich cultures.

Diversity is everything, but one must be careful not to replace their very identity with that of another. We are exposed to diversity to enable us appreciate and not discriminate. It is not a call to abandon one’s own traditions to embrace another

If the current generation of Africans don’t thread cautiously, it’s only a matter of time for the culture of the black race to go extinct. That is why, today I scream the loudest to this feat achieved by the epic singer Angelique Kijoe. It is for the same reason that I sing the praise of ‘Mama Benin’. I celebrate Angelique Kidjoe because she is not only authentic; I celebrate her because she has consistently painted a brighter picture of Africa to the world. I salute her because, she continues to honour her roots with her creative abilities and I extol her because regardless of the downside of Africa, she continues to tell the story of her identity.

Source: www.bibini4gh.wordpress.com

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