Music, is a combination of sounds that are pleasing to the ear, or so I was taught way back in the elementary/primary school. Add words to these sounds and it becomes a powerful message strong enough to captivate the minds of the listeners and ride like horses on our emotions.
While music a form of art being expressed through songs and storytelling of different activities and individuals on the surface of the earth, it has also become a powerful tool in which we use to entertain ourselves. Helping us forget about our personal troubles/struggles, and the immediate problems we might be facing as a nation/continent.
Initially, the fore influences on our music here in Africa was brought about by folklore and cultural stories explaining our heritage as a people and as a country to the younger generations. But as our music grew, so did our genre and understanding of this beautiful art.
Our music as a continent evolved into great sounds and tunes that brought about international recognition and acceptance of culture and the likes, but so did the greed within our continent. This greed which we still face the repercussion of, has put us in an abysmal state of pity and branded us badly at the global level.
So like true heroes of the people, some of these notable artist took it upon themselves to make a difference and speak out against the ills and evils of the society (in 60’s, 70’s 80′ and 90′), ranging from; political theft, indirect slavery, apartheid, corruption, greed, empowerment etc.. worthy of note are;
These selfless individuals risked their lives to lend their voices to the wrongs going on at their time, some even had to flee their countries as threats to their lives were made.. but guess what? our leaders heard them, the world heard them and the people applauded them. Despite being past their prime, and in blessed memory of some, these ones would always be remembered as pacesetters who used their gifts as a tool to change the economy.
Not forgetting most recently some who have been encouraged by these past heroic and brave artists, amidst the crave for wealth, glory and fame by their counterparts, still happen to voice out and entertain simultaneously. In no particular order they have been monumental to speaking out about the recent wrongs of the society through their lyrics and also have made impact and gained same global recognition and respect in the new millennium. They are;
While African songs have become a toast to the world, thanks to our blend of Afro-tunes, we can only but ponder on what the future for our continent holds, our only prayer is that the ‘labor of our heroes past will never be in vain’.