The story of success that we dream of in Africa goes something like this: you escape from the village where you grew up, make it to the big town, and from there leave the country to go to London, or Paris, or New York. You work extra hard, overcome a multitude of challenges and attitudes, and finally make it big over there. Only once you’ve made it over there can you truly call yourself an African success story. My question is how can you call that success when you’ve had to leave your home, leave your family, leave your culture and traditions, and change yourself to fit into someone else’s system just in order for you to ‘make it’?
That is not success.
Success is to stay where you are from and build something that people from London, Paris, or New York will travel half way across the world to be a part of. Success is where you can proudly invite people into your country, into your culture, and into your way of life, and they are happy to come and fit into the new world that you expose them to.
That is my vision of the African dream...
Following on from Adelle Onyango's article in which she confesses to loving kwaito music despite not understanding a word of it, we've dug out ten songs that you may also know and love without necessarily knowing what they're even about. Here they are:
Not so long ago I would have stressed the importance of African artistes incorporating the English language into their music if they wanted it to break into international markets. I soon realised the flaw in my logic when I looked at my own taste in music and realised that, as an English and Swahili-speaking Kenyan, I still love kwaito music from South Africa, which is normally sung in Tsotsitaal or Zulu – this despite me having absolutely no idea what was being said! The lack of comprehension doesn’t stop me from listening to kwaito. (Although not strictly kwaito), how many of you have heard ‘Khona’ by Mafikizolo? Now, hand on heart, how many of you (non-Zulu speakers) actually understand what it’s about?
Exactly. And it almost doesn’t matter…