Playlist 5: Five new African music videos to check out

Here are some music videos from different parts of Africa, selected by music lovers just like yourself. This February the theme of love is in the spotlight...

Syssi Mananga "Juste un peu"
Syssi Mananga "Juste un peu"

WEST AFRICA - French
Sidiki Diabaté - 'Fais moi confiance' (Mali)

It is believed that all love songs tell the same story - some are just more inspiring than others. Sidiki Diabaté's 'Fais moi confiance' (trust me) is no exception to this rule. At times the song is dripping with sentiment, which could put some people off. But going beyond these impressions, the song can be seen as a hymn for the Malian youth - a hymn to love and life.

Sidiki is more than simply the son of his famous father Toumani. An outstanding kora player and a standard bearer for the Malian youth, he shouts his ardent desire to live and love in the face of terrorist threats striking his country. He is a young man claiming his right to live, to sing, to dance, to have a heartache, to declare his love for whatever catches his heart, or to party like all young people around the world. The song's music video succeeds in showing us all of this. The song's success also demonstrates the impact it has on the youth, wishing above all to live and love.


WEST AFRICA - English
Banky W and Chidinma - 'All I Want is You' (Nigeria)

In the course of his career, Nigerian singer Banky W has used several nicknames, including 'King of the Lagos Party', 'Mr Capable' and 'Mr Strong Thing'. The one moniker that hasn’t received a lot of use in recent times is the one referring to his principal genre: the R&B king. That’s because the man has been trying his hands on rapping. ‘All I Want is You’ with Chidinma marked his return to R&B without a rapped verse in late 2015. He has since released another duet and a solo tune in the genre. The song title is a timeless romantic statement, immortal for its proclamations of exclusivity, if not its reality.

Every love affair arguably needs money and food, but those are unnecessary perhaps as long as the object of one’s affection is within reach. The playful music video, written and directed by Banky W, stars the singing couple in a story about the power of love. Apparently inspired by any number of Nollywood movies, the video features actors Zack Orji and Onyeka Onwenu, who play dad and mum to Chidinma’s love-struck girl. Both parents disapprove of the love between the two because of ethnic differences: onscreen and in real-life Banky W is Yoruba and Chidinma is Igbo. "No daughter of mine will ever get married to a Yoruba boy,” Orji declares melodramatically, in keeping with the Nollywood theme. But that'ss just talk: as every diehard romantic knows, nothing can keep two people in love apart, especially when a love song is playing.


SOUTHERN AFRICA
Nathi - ‘Nomvula’ (South Africa)

Inspired by the power of love, South African singer Nathi Mankayi's debut album Buyelekhaya went platinum within six weeks of its release in  2015 and has to date gone platinum four times, selling well over 125 000 copies, almost unheard of in today's industry. The album's success is driven by the smash hit 'Nomvula', a melancholy message of searching for one's true love, and a hit that has already earned nominations for Song of the Year. In the song, the singer is looking for his love, named Nomvula. He pleads: "My parents, call my Nomvula. Talk to her, tell her I’m not in good space..."

This bittersweet message is represented visually by a video filmed in multiple locations in his native Eastern Cape, showing off the majestic natural beauty of South Africa - and highlighting the singer's lonely search for his lost love. 


EAST AFRICA
Abdi Jero - ‘She Saga Ihi’ (Kenya)

North-eastern Kenya is a region of historical importance but due to economic and numerous other challenges, the region's culture is not well-known throughout the rest of the country. Listening to Abdi Jero, an artist who specializes in composing romantic songs, gives one a rare glimpse of what potential lies in the region. Just like artists from nearby Somalia, Jero’s song ‘She Saga Ihi’ is full of intimately nuanced poetry as he expresses his love for a girl he has fallen in love with. “I come to your home by day and by night, but when I come you pay me no attention. My love for you is setting my heart aflame,” Jero declares in the song.

The audio of the song was first released in 2008 as part of the compilation Spotlight on Kenyan Music by Alliance Francaise in Kenya. Seven years later, working with Ketebul Music, Jero put together this great video in September 2015.


CENTRAL AFRICA
Syssi Mananga – 'Juste un peu… ' (Congo-Brazzaville)

"Juste un peu..." (Just a little) is marked by sensuality and freshness. Played in a cadenced rhythm, the song is an invitation to rekindle the flame of love. Syssi Mananga invites her fans to dance 'Kirumba', a fusion of kizomba and rumba. The song will surely give romantics a way to celebrate their love.

Awarded a Tam-Tam (Victoires de la Musique of Congo Brazzaville) in 2013, Syssi Mananga's career took off  that year with the release of 10-track album called Retours Aux Sources (Return to the roots). In 2015, she released on the market "Just a little" a song for which she was nominated for a 2016 Kora Award for Best Female Artist of Central Africa. A committed artist, she is the initiator of the Artistes en Herbe (Budding Artists) project to offer music lessons to vulnerable children in her country.

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