Yesterday, 8th March 2020 marked the celebration of women in all spheres as women continue to raise the bar and shine a light like never before. The theme of this year’s celebration “each for equal” was no new phrase to the scene of advocacy for women. However, there’s no doubt more and more engagements seemed to add color to this move of change, as not just women, but even men become more aware of the importance of a “balanced society.”
Speaking about balance, the African music Industry which used to be an ‘almost all men affair’ is gradually experiencing a shift, like many other industries in the continent. With more women raising the bar, thriving even in the International sphere, and leaving footprints for the younger generation of women to follow, the journey of reaching a balance is finally taking tangible paces.
Below is a cross section of women raising the bar in the African Music Industry:
• Angelique Kidjo
Call her Queen. Call her mother. Call her a flag bearer. These and more are the perfect fits for Kidjo in the African music industry. The ‘generational icon’ who began her music journey from the age of six, has become an International voice known for her vocal prowess and energy in stage presentation. The Grammy Award winner mixes African music with R & B, Jazz, Soul and Funk, proudly spreading the African melodies beyond borders.
• Onyeka Onwenu
A list of the Nigerian soulful singers will be incomplete without a mention of the name, Onyeka! With a voice that commands so much strength and melodies, the singer who ‘tripple’ as an actress and politician uses her songs to speak about veritable issues in the society, such as health issues, peace and regards for women right. The legendary singer served as a judge for X factor. Also, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Women Centre for Women Development and has a partnership with Paris- based LA Cave Musik.
Yet another notable African female singer who has continued to leave positive marks in the African music industry. The Southern singer currently in her 60s, began her career from a push by her friends in 1979 to write her first song ‘ Ek loop die pad’ meaning ‘I walk down the road’. The song went viral, leading to the beginning of feats after feats for her.
• Fatovmata Diawara
The Ivory Coast born Malian guitarist, singer, song writer and multiple Grammy Award nominee has been hailed as “one of the most vital standard bearers of modern African music. Her album FENFO has been described as the voice of young African womanhood– proud of her heritage but with a vision confidently to the future and a message that is universal.
• Yemi Eberechi Alade
Wondering why she is listed among women far older? Well, you should go ask why she is called “Mama Africa”. The ‘Johnny’ crooner stands out as one of the female artiste constantly promoting the African culture beyond even her music. With a blend of strong vocals, ‘ghen ghen’ beats and more, her style and uniqueness in entirety makes her an embodiment of African roots, styles and values, whilst maintain a flow for the rest of the world to connect with.
In no particular order, below are highlights of some other super women in the African music industry.
• Yvonne Chaka Chaka
•Sho Madjozi – Maya Christiana Xichavo
• Wendy Shay – Wendy Addo
• Dj Cuppy
• Mz Vee
And the last but in no way the least:
We hope the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day live to its name for a more inclusive world.
We look forward to more and more African women ,thriving in their various fares and joining this new shift in the world.