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Tagged with "Music"
The Rastafarians' Flawed African 'Promised Land' Tags: Music News Ethiopia Selassie

Forty years ago Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was overthrown. It was a blow for all Rastafarians, who revere him as a god - and for those Rastafarians who had emigrated to Ethiopia, life suddenly got more difficult.

In 1948 Emperor Haile Selassie gave 500 acres (200 hectares) of land at Shashamene, 150 miles (225km) south of Addis Ababa, to black people from the West who had supported him in his struggles with Mussolini's Italy.

The first settlers to arrive were African-American Jews, but they soon moved on to Liberia or Israel. After them, in 1963, came a dozen Rastafarians, and the numbers swelled after Selassie made an emotional visit to Jamaica three years later.

The Rastafarians' adoration of Selassie stems from the words of black consciousness leader Marcus Garvey, who said in 1920, "Look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is at hand". When Selassie was crowned emperor, 10 years later, many thought Garvey's words had come true.

Another belief widely held by Rastafarians is that they will eventually return to Africa - the continent their ancestors left in slave ships long ago. And quite often, according to Erin MacLeod - author of Visions of Zion: Ethiopians and Rastafari in the Search for the Promised Land - "back to Africa" is treated as synonymous with "back to Ethiopia".

Today there are up to 800 Rastafarians at Melka Oda, near Shashamene, as well as a few in the capital, Addis Ababa, and in the city of Bahir Dar. But how has life turned out for them in Ethiopia - and what do Ethiopians make of their Rastafarian neighbours?

It has not been a love affair.

In 1974, the communist Dergue regime overthrew and imprisoned Selassie - who died the following year - and began purging all vestiges of the imperial dynasty. Land was nationalised, including the land granted to foreigners at Shashamene, and some Rastafarians settlers fled.

Even today, long after the fall of the Dergue, Selassie remains a controversial figure in Ethiopia, and many look askance at the Rastafarians who venerate him.

"There are people who have extreme love for Selassie, the modernising leader who did so much for the country, but others say he was a representative of a colonial empire, was enamoured by the opulence of Europe and did not lead the country in an equitable way," says MacLeod.

There have been other problems too.

One is "ganja" - marijuana - considered a herb of religious significance by Rastafarians, who sometimes refer to it as the "wisdom weed" or "holy herb".

In Ethiopia, by contrast, it is regarded as a dangerous drug, comparable to heroin or cocaine, says MacLeod. Ethiopian police sometimes raid the Rastafarian settlement at Shashamene to search for it, she says - even though khat, a stimulant leaf that is widely chewed in the country, is held by some experts to be more harmful.

It is also unfortunate that the land granted by Selassie is located in a region populated by the Oromo people, who say they have been oppressed for years by Ethiopia's dominant Amhara commnity, to which Selassie belonged.

According to MacLeod, Selassie was for the "Amharisation" of Ethiopia.

"On the local level, in Shashamene, the Rastas support the emperor, who, in the eyes of the Oromo people, represents a coercive central power," agrees Dr Giulia Bonacci, an Italian Rastafarian researcher based in Addis Ababa.

"In a region still marked by a history of alienation from land and economic and social dominance, symbols of imperial power are not appreciated."

The Rastafarians have, up to a point, integrated with the local Ethiopian population. Some have married Ethiopians, but on the whole these Ethiopian partners have not adopted the Rastafarian faith.

"She don't fight me about my faith. I don't fight her. She's a Protestant," says Vincent Wisdom, a Rastafarian man with an Ethiopian wife. None of his five children share his faith either. "Two of them are Orthodox and one of them is Protestant; the others are too small," he says.

MacLeod has met only one Ethiopian, Naod Seifu, who has converted to Rastafarianism.

"I used to have dreadlocks but I have to trim them to work," he told her. "In Ethiopia having dreadlocks is taken as bad behaviour and inappropriate." He added that any Ethiopian who believed the king was divine was regarded as "mad".

When MacLeod first visited Shashamene in 2003, she was surprised by what she found.

"It was not at all the way it was described to me. It's not a Rastafarian town. It's 100,000 Ethiopians and only a few hundred Rastas living on the outskirts," she says.

Many more Rastafarians come to Ethiopia on holiday, either for a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage or for regular sojourns.

"Some will come once a year or every couple of years and they describe themselves as having 'one foot in Ethiopia'," she says.

Even those who live in the country long-term have mostly retained their British, American or Canadian passports to make it easier to travel abroad. But taking dual citizenship - and obtaining a second, Ethiopian passport - has never been possible.

Talks on the issue had been due to take place with former prime minister Meles Zenawi, according to MacLeod, but his death in 2012 put paid to the plan.

Most Ethiopians still consider Rastafarians foreigners, or "ferenjoch", she says.

"We know God is Haile Selassie, Him Mighty God. Now Him save the poor earth right now, and Him save the people," Bob Marley was quoted as saying in 1978, four years after the emperor was toppled.

"True dat dem overthrow 'im. In a sense, all a de people around him was really weird. But just how it go..."

In the same year Marley visited Shashamene, While there, says political scientist Horace Campbell, he began to realise "the problems of translating a dream into reality".

His wife, Rita, has talked nevertheless about the family's hopes of burying him in Shashamene.

Ethiopia, MacLeod says, will always remain the Rastafarians' promised land.

Source: BBC

Blind Musician Sets Sights On 10th Album Tags: Liberia News Music Joseph N. Yeanay Artists

A blind Liberian recording artist, popularly known as the ‘The Blind Nimbaian Gospel Musician,’ is in dire need of financial assistance to make two gospel albums, amidst these difficult times in the country, to give hope to the hopeless through his songs.

Evangelist Joseph N. Yeanay said he is on the hunt for US$3,000 to record his albums, each of which would have six tracks, mostly sung in his vernacular, Dahn.

 Yeanah made the disclosure recently when he visited the offices of the Daily Observer on MacDonald Street, Monrovia.

The 40-year-old blind musician disclosed that the albums would mark his 10th and 11th, respectively.

“The songs have already been written through an inspiration from God, and we have been in practice for over a month, we are just in need of US$3,000,” Yeanah said. “We want to use this medium to appeal to every Liberian and non-Liberian to come to our aid to help us give our people hope.”

Yeanah says he became blind in his hometown, Gbain in Nimba County, few days after his birth on March 25, 1974, after a bath from a midwife.
As a young boy, he gained interest in singing and subsequently became a blind songster in Gbain.  When he moved to Monrovia, he joined the ELWA United Liberia Inland Church and then recorded his first album in 2003 entitled, “Ciaa Nuenae” (meaning Hell Fire).

The following year (2004), Yeanah made a six-track album entitled ‘Yes Jesus!’  In 2005 and 2006, he made ‘Victory over Death’ and ‘Let’s Get Closer to God’, respectively.

Due to the lack of support, the Yeanah didn’t record in 2007, but in 2008, he came out with the ‘Satan has created conflict’ album.  
The success of the each of his albums contributed to the next.

Yeanah released a recording each year from 2009 to 2012.  “Because we don’t have the money, we want to make the 2013 and 2014 albums together.  That is why we need US$3,000,” the musical evangelist says.  “God’s Divine Favor and Let’s Praise the Lord are the names of the two albums.”

He also said: “Most of the songs will be done in Dahn, and we believe when they are recorded, the songs will give our people hope and encouragement amidst this deadly Ebola outbreak and hardships.”

Mr. Yeanah is married to Mrs. Janet Yeanah who is also his lead back-up vocalist. Other vocalists on production team include Habakkuk M. Henry, Samuel F. Mulbah and Katia Saye.  Yeanah and his wife are blessed with five children, namely: Abigail, Salome, Josephine, Victor and Josiah.  He can be contacted through the ELWA United Liberia Inland Church or through cell number 0886452392.

Source: liberianobserver

George Weah And Sydney Ebola Video To Be Shot ‘Technologically’? Tags: George Weah Liberia Ghana News Barima Sydney Music

Liberian founder and Presidential Candidate for the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) Party, Mr. George Oppong Weah has confirmed the cancellation of Ghanaian musician, Barima Sydney’s trip to Liberia to shoot the video to the Ebola campaign theme song earlier scheduled for Sunday, August 31, 2014.

In an interview with the UN-Weah Project leader, Mr. George Oppong Weah confirmed the news: “Yes, it is true that Sydney’s trip to Liberia scheduled today has been postponed due to the demise of Sydney’s aunt, Madam Gladys Akua Boaduwaa, he has to be home to see to the family and there were flight issues as well.”

He indicated that with the level of technology development in the world, “Sydney does not have to travel necessarily from Ghana to Liberia for the shoot of the video; he can still be in Ghana and the same video can be shot basing emphatically on its concept and there would be no problem.”

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“With technology now, the major scenes which is to be shot in Liberia will be shoot and then the France-based production team would come to Ghana and shoot Sydney’s role in the video, have it edited perfectly, and then the video will be complete and aired,” he added.

According to Mr. Weah, the video which cannot be shot without Barima Sydney but “due to the demise of his family member and also issues with the flight hence, the contemplating means to have the video to the deadly virus, Ebola campaign song shot for this noble course.”

Mr. George Oppong Weah when asked about the support of Ghana’s government, said, “the Ghanaian government has always in different ways supported projects that involve Liberia be it a football or music project, and the entire campaign on the deadly virus has been well embraced.”

Addressing reasons behind the choose of the Ghanaian musician over Liberian musicians, he said, “not that Liberian musicians are not good, they are talented but I think to broaden the musical contribution across 

Africa; I felt he was best to record the campaign song to help create the awareness on the Ebola crisis and he was willing to add his voice to the campaign.”

Meanwhile, Barima Sydney who was at Akwatia in the Eastern Region for the funeral of his deceased aunt, Madam Gladys Akua Boaduwaa during the weekend has expressed his disappointment on the sudden development on his trip to Liberia which from Genesis has had controversies surrounding the shot of the video.

The campaign theme song for the UN-Weah Ebola project titled, ‘Ebola; Africa must stand and fight together’ recorded under the cover of Lionel Peterson’s ‘Peace’ song has been aired on BBC and other international platforms.

Although there has been no confirmation to any political affiliation pertaining to the sudden development of the cancellation of the musician’s trip to Liberia and the contemplating on the means to shoot the video to the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) campaign song.

Listen to the campaign theme song below:

Source: Ghanaweb

P-Square Features T.I In 'Ejeajo,' Disappoints African Music Lovers (VIDEO) Tags: Music News P Square Artists Nigeria RnB

Nigerian pop duo P-Square have shot a music video with American rapper T.I. for a song "Ejeajo" on their forthcoming sixth studio album.

Their album is one of the most anticipated albums in recent times in Nigeria, it will be interesting to hear the direction they’ll be taking their body of work.

P-Square’s older brother and manager Jude Okoye was also present at the shoot.

But many African music lovers believes that P-Square, which is considered one of Africa's top musicians, did not really surprised their fans -the way they used to; this is how one fan of P-Square put it: "Psquare! i love you guys but you let me down with this song! for christ sake,this is just like lionel richie going into rap or afrobeat.....stick to do what you do best.
you guys are still my number one :)."

WATCH VIDEO:

But according to P-Square, the music is all about saying what is true -the fact:

This new video "Ejeajo" is nothing but testament to that fact. Raising the bar a bit higher this time around, PSquare went all out to recruit one of the U.S’ hottest rappers and hitmaker, T.I. With their 6th studio album set to drop in a jiffy, the magical duo overcame a family rift and subsequently released 3 singles off the upcoming album. "Ejeajo" is a contemporary pop tune spiced with a sprinkle of Afrobeat and archetypical Michael Jackson dance steps even the late singer would be proud of. Directed by the ever reliable Clarence Peters and elder brother to the duo, Jude 'Engees' Okoye, the video does absolute justice to the song itself. If you're a fan of electric pop and quick dance steps, you'll definitely love this one. Check it out!

Well, we hope you enjoy the music.

Beautiful Nubia’s Message To African Leaders Tags: News Celebrity Beautiful Nubiam Entertainment Music

Beautiful Nubia, born Segun Akinlolu isn’t a conventional singer. That much is obvious from his looks, his music and style. They say he sings what is called African folklore songs but the singer once confirmed to Potpourri that he is much more than that.

He said he is a messenger and his songs, the message.
Undoubtedly, Beautiful Nubia’s songs are built on rich folkloric traditions and native wisdom but his message is universal in thrust and theme: “Value life, respect nature and learn to live in peace with others”. 

The music speaks for the voiceless and champions the dream of a balanced society where individuals are truly free and equal. It preaches love and tolerance but also urges people to stand and defend their rights when trampled upon anywhere in the world” says Wikipaedia on his profile. But there is another streak to the dreadlocks wearing Vet turned musician and that is of activism. 

He has lent his voice to many issues in the past. The latest one, which he sent through the Blackberry messenger, is his message to African leaders.

Hear him: “Everything seems to be a source of joke and fun for the Nigerian. It could be a looming disaster like the 2015 elections, the President’s wife’s unforgivable and unfeeling public gaffes, politically sponsored bombings that spread fear and sadness, or an immediate concern such as the Ebola threat” he began.
“What should make us cry seems to make us burst out in an orgy of mirth and backslapping revelry. As we speak, African leaders are busy making a mockery of themselves in Washington and selling the future to their eternal masters. The Powers of the West are good at telling you that Africa is rising when we all know the continent is sliding more backward than ever. 

And just before they got the leaders, the smart Americans hosted a bunch of young Africans who had been handpicked as future leaders of the continent.

These ones then will become the agents who will work against their people in the years to come. So, we keep rolling our ‘nyashes’ to our pathetic pop music, celebrate our overrated “appointed” authors who speak the language of distraction, and follow the English Premier League with the kind of passion that some people put into national development.

The West is selling a dud to our present leaders, and they have already lined up those who will take over and do their bidding in the future. So, let the laughter ring from Cape Town to Calabar, from Lilongwe to Lagos, from Zanaga to Zaria, from Jo’burg to Jos. “Africa Rising– O Ye!” Jokers” he said.

Source: vanguardngr

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