Here are some music videos from different parts of Africa, selected by music lovers just like yourself. Following the month of May that has just passed, during which the world celebrated the anniversary of the death of Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley on 11 May 1981, this time we select our favourite new reggae videos.
Wahu Kagwi & Cindy Sanyu - 'Yeye ' (Kenya / Uganda)
Two of East Africa’s favourite female artists, Wahu Kagwi from Kenya and Cindy Sanyu from Uganda, got fans talking with the release of their new collaborative effort ‘Yeye’. It's is a fun and flirty song in which the two songstresses engage in 'girl talk' about a guy. While Cindy is a dancehall artist, Afro-pop singer Wahu proves her versatility and gives her fans her first offering since her last release back in July 2015. The song is light and danceable. Critics may find the video not particularly different from the many that are released, but it is commendable that two artists of different genres and different countries got together to release a song that will surely find a place in clubs. Directed by one of Kenya’s leading music video directors, J Blessing, the video is pleasing on the eye. The chemistry between Cindy and Wahu is undeniable, making the song a success.
Queen Vee ft. Souljah Love - 'Mari Mari' Dope G - (Zimbabwe)
Following the success of their 2015 collaboration 'Thirsty', former Miss Zimbabwe turned pop diva Queen Vee reunites with Zim-Dancehall star Souljah Luv for her latest single 'Mari Mari', an uptempo dancehall number. The video was officially launched on Channel O in late April and hit Youtube a few days later on 1 May. It quickly reached 100 000 views in just five days, and has since passed the 200 000 mark. Fans have hailed the high-quality video production as well as the catchy production. The song is released by local label United Nations of Africa (UNA) Entertainment, run by another leading figure in Zimbabwe's thriving dancehall scene, Buffalo Souljah. The video was shot by Johannesburg-based production company Studio Space Pictures, who have also done videos for African heavyweights such as Ice Prince ('Marry You'), Victoria Kimani ('Show') and South African stars like AKA, Cassper Nyovest and others.
WEST AFRICA - English
Stonebwoy ft. Kranium – ‘Talk to Me’ (Ghana)
‘Talk to Me’ by Ghanaian reggae-dancehall artist Stonebwoy is a love song, which ordinarily is a strange thing to contemplate for an artist that projects a squeaky clean, almost studious image - but then he has always had his love songs (perhaps the most clearly reggae of them being 2015’s ‘RudeBwoi Love’ featuring Juls). On ‘Talk to Me’ he drifts toward the dancehall side of the reggae-dancehall spectrum. For a different kind of artist, the song’s lyrical content (“Talk to me baby, I wan know what gwan inna your mind”) is an avenue for a steamy video. Stonebwoy, though, keeps his distance. The lyrics are suggestive (“woman, you are the chosen/Me a knock on the door…[you] open…I bring the fire, make it light up like a oven”) but hardly vulgar. His demeanour seems to infect Kranium, his partner on the song. Known for the raunchy track 'Nobody Has to Know', the Jamaican artist manages to subdue his basest instincts - that in itself is an achievement. When Stonebwoy is ready for his close-up shot (a requirement for the video of a song of this level of implied romance), he serves up a rather cute face; no smouldering stare from the man. In any other artist, this cuteness would be rather incongruous with the song, but with Stonebwoy’s image it seems about right: a certain cuteness has always been a part of the man’s appeal, that and his way with a tune.
WEST AFRICA - French
Jah Verity - 'Gnan Gbo' (Burkina Faso)
Burkinabe reggae man Jah Verity (aka Etimbé Koffi Bernard), winner of the 2016 Marley d'Or prize for best reggae artist in Burkina Faso, dishes up a tasty mix reggae with an African sauce on his last track 'Gnan Gbo' . Jah Verity is a multi-talented artist and is open to diversity, wihle promoting tolerance and unity, values close to hearts of his roots reggae predecessors. Jah Verity has won the hearts of music lovers from Burkina Faso and rest of the the region through his unique style, voice, lyrics and melodies that reflect the best of Africa. To African music lovers he remains a model of linguistic integration that transcends borders to unite people through music.
Lexxus Legal ft. Tiken Jah Fakoly – 'Oser la paix' (DRC/Ivory Coast)
'Oser la paix' (daring peace) is a cover of the track "Le temps de la paix” (Time for peace) released in 2006 in which John Goubald sang alongside Lexxus Legal. This time the Congolese rapper employs Ivorian reggae star Tiken Jah Fakoly, who sings in Lingala, one of the local languages of the DRC. In 'Oser la paix', Lexxus and Tiken call for unity and peace in the DRC. "Congo, this country we are proud of, the time for reconciliation has now come," Tiken sings in Lingala, which he learned while recording the song in studio. We also remember the Ivorian artist slipped in a few words about Kinshasa, capital of DRC, in his 2002 song 'Franco'.
The video of the song was released in January 2016. The song is taken from Lexxus Legal's new album titled Leop'Art. True to form, Lexxus Legal's messages are focused on peace, elections, good governance and political life in general. When a reporter asked him why he doesn't sing about love, in the sense of a relationship between a man and a woman, his answer was straightforward: "You want me to sing about love when my country is war-torn and has conflict of any kind!". Clearly, his love for his country has more importance than everything. Together, Tiken Jah Fakoly and Lexxus Legal are revolutionary artists able to inspire a generation. Here hip-hop and reggae unite for a good cause, using music to awaken consciousness.
Watch our earlier video playlists by clicking on the links below: