The massacre of Thiaroye in Senegal by the French Army
African soldiers, who fought for France during the Second World War, were killed by the French army on 1st December 1944, in Thiaroye, Senegal. France owed money to African soldiers who fought for them during the Second World War, called "Tirailleurs", meaning riflemen. Several thousand of them were imprisoned by the Nazis on French soil, in the occupied zone, in prison camps called "frontstalags". Some of them managed to escape and joined the 'Resistance' but most remained in captivity for four years.
At the end of the war, camps were liberated and African soldiers wanted to go home. On 5th November 1944, more than 1,600 embarked on a British ship, the "Circassia" in Morlaix, Brittany, heading for Senegal. They will be demobilized there, in Thiaroye camp, before returning to their homes. A quarter of the money owed to African soldiers should have been paid on boarding and the rest on arrival but it never happened and the soldiers refused to leave the camp until the French army settled their debts. It came to an end with their brutal massacre, when the French army decided to kill all the African soldiers in the camp, on 1st December 1944, as they continued standing their ground.
Since, many historians have looked into it and questioned reports of the massacre. The late illustrious filmmaker "Ousmane Sembene" produced a film in 1988 called "Camp de Thiaroye" documenting the events leading up to the Thiaroye massacre, as well as the massacre itself. See the trailer below.
More recently, one of the most renowned French actor, Omar Sy, who came to fame with the French movie "the Untouchables" in 2011, has once again paired up with French film director, Mathieu Vadepied, to release the movie "Tirailleurs", named "Father and Soldier" in English. Omar Sy's father is Senegalese. Continue reading on, to watch the trailer.
This movie resonates with the movie documenting the plea of Algerian soldiers to receive adequate compensation and soldiers pensions for their time serving the French Army during the second world war, up to this date. See trailer below.
London Migration Film Festival: Crossing Voices with Intro
London Migration Film Festival: Crossing Voices + Intro - Genesis Cinema
Directed by Raphaël Grisey, Bouba Touré 2022 | 123mins | France, Germany | Crossing Voices (Xaraasi Xanne) + director meet and greet Join us in Bar Paragon from 8pm for a discussion with director...
Using rare cinematic, photographic and sound archives, Crossing Voices recounts the exemplary adventure of Somankidi Coura, an agricultural cooperative created in Mali in 1977 by western African immigrant workers living in workers’ residences in France.
The story of this improbable, utopic return to the homeland follows a winding path that travels through ecological challenges, neo-colonialism, and conflicts on the African continent from the 1970s to the present day.
Watch it at Genesis Cinema on Wednesday 30th November 2022 from 8.50pm.
Join the discussion with director Raphaël Grisey on Wednesday 30/11 from 8pm (free), followed by the screening of CROSSING VOICES at 8.50pm.
L'héroïne nationale jamaïcaine Queen Nanny
Nanny, connue sous le nom de Queen Nanny était une dirigeante marron et une femme Obeah en Jamaïque à la fin du 17ème et au début du 18ème siècle. Les Marrons étaient des africains, forcés à travailler comme esclaves dans les Amériques, qui s'étaient échappés et qui ont formé des colonies indépendantes, s'organisant politiquement entre eux. Nanny était, elle-même, une africaine forcée à travailler comme esclave mais qui s' était évadée. Il a été largement admis que Nanny était originaire de la tribu Ashanti de l’actuel Ghana. Nanny et ses quatre frères (qui sont tous devenus des dirigeants marrons) apres avoir tous été vendus en esclavage, se sont échappés de leurs plantations vers les montagnes et les jungles qui constituent encore une grande partie de la Jamaïque. Nanny et un de ses frères, Quao, ont fondé un village dans les Blue Mountains, du côté Est (ou Windward) de la Jamaïque, qui est devenu connu sous le nom de Nanny Town.
Nanny a été décrite comme une pratiquante d’Obeah, un terme utilisé dans les Caraïbes pour décrire la magie populaire et la religion basée sur les influences ouest-africaines. Nanny Town, placée comme elle l’était dans les montagnes, loin des colonies européennes, était difficile à attaquer et a prospéré. Nanny a limité ses attaques contre les plantations et les colonies européennes et a préféré cultiver et commercer pacifiquement avec ses voisins. Elle a cependant fait de nombreux raids réussis pour libérer les esclaves détenus dans les plantations et il a été largement admis que ses efforts ont contribué à l’évasion de près de 1 000 esclaves au cours de sa vie.
De son vivant, Nanny Town et les Windward Maroons ont prospéré et se sont multipliés, ce qui était un véritable embarassement pour l’administration coloniale britannique, menacée par les succès des Marrons. Les propriétaires de plantations qui perdaient des esclaves, du matériel et des récoltes brûlés par les marrons exigèrent que les autorités coloniales agissent. Des milices, composées de l’armée régulière britannique et de mercenaires, parcourèrent les jungles jamaïcaines. Le capitaine William Cuffee, connu sous le nom de capitaine Sambo, aurait tué Nanny en 1733 lors de l’une des nombreuses batailles. Après la mort de Nanny, de nombreux Marrons Windward traversèrent l’île pour se rendre du côté occidental (Leeward) de la Jamaïque, peu habité. Nanny Town fut finalement capturée par les Britanniques et détruite en 1734. La guerre, elle-même, dura de 1720 jusqu’à ce qu’une trêve soit déclarée en 1739 ; Cudjoe, l’un des frères de Nanny et un leader pendant la guerre des Marrons, fut la force motrice derrière le traité.
La vie et les réalisations de Nanny ont été reconnues par le gouvernement de la Jamaïque et elle a été honorée en tant qu'héroïne nationale et a reçu le titre de « Right Excellent ». Actuellement, il y a sept héros nationaux reconnus et Nanny est la seule femme. Un portrait moderne de Nanny, basé sur sa description, apparaît sur le billet jamaïcain de 500 dollars en circulation en Jamaïque (voir dans la gallerie d'images ci-dessous).
Source : https://www.blackpast.org/
The longest graffiti wall in Africa is in Benin Republic
Nearly 10 years after the first festival "Graff Effect" initiated by Laurenson Djihouessi in 2013, came the "heritage wall - le mur du patrimoine" which, since 2021, displays graffitis of about forty graffiti artists from Africa and the West, aiming to tell the story of the Kingdom of Dahomey, modern Benin under the theme: "Benin, heritage and potentials".This artistic marvel, of almost one kilometer long and of total area of more than 2000 m2, is the longest graffiti wall in Africa, and the 3rd worldwide after Dubai and Brazil. The wall is located in the heart of Cotonou and is one of Benin's new cultural attractions, as are the 26 royal statues of King Ghezo, restored by the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, now on display in the Cotonou Presidential Palace.These treasures had been looted in 1892 by French colonial troops in the palace of Abomey, capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey (see below 3 statues from the collection).
Aline Sitoé Diatta, The Dame of Kabrousse
Aline Sitoé Diatta (c1920 – 1944) was an anti-colonial resistance figure and community leader in the Casamance region, in actual Senegal. Married to Thomas Diatta, a dockworker at the Port of Senegal, she was one of the women in Francophone Africa who led anti-colonial campaigns during the period of the Second World War following a divine vision in 1941, which called upon her to struggle against the French colonial forces. When the French seized half of the region’s rice harvest to support the war effort, Aline Sitoé Diatta began her campaign alongside other market women. She encouraged the population to civil disobedience, to stop paying taxes, and to reject calls to replace rice cultivation with the growing monoculture of arachide (peanuts). Aline Sitoé Diatta also called for reinstatement of better working conditions and rights to religious worship. She was perceived as having supernatural powers, in particular the ability to bring rain to the parched land. The French forces made several attempts on her life. She was arrested on 8 May 1943 and deported to Gambia and then Mali, where she died a year later in prison, out of harsh treatments and malnourishment.
Aline Sitoé Diatta remains a national heroine figure in Senegal. Since the 1980s, her story has been recuperated in different ways and for different purposes, in connection with the separatist movement in the Casamance region (Toliver-Diallo). The main ferry from Casamance to the capital Dakar is named after her, as well as the women’s university halls of residence at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop.
Excellent vibes from Rwanda with 20 year old artist Okkama
20-year old Ossama Masut Khalid, commonly known as Okkama, is striking an entrance into the Rwandan music industry. Based in Rwanda, Ossama was born to a Rwandan Mother and Arabian father, and grew up with a huge passion for music.
“In music is where my passion and career are. I felt it growing up, and then I started doing it,” reveals Ossama. His music gets him through his darkest days; he utilizes it as a form of healing for himself and believes that he can use it to heal others. He adds “Music is my comfort zone and my safe space. It cools down my stress and gives me peace”.
As a former Music student at Ecole d’Art de Nyundo, Ossama said that he learned a lot of skills that are playing a huge role in his music career. Although still new to the music industry, he can perform a wide range of song genres as a professional musician. Check out his latest Afrobeats release 'No' which is now available from all music platforms.
“I don’t have one specific music genre. I do RnB, Afrobeat, trap, funk and blues,” said Ossama.
His previous two songs were Toto, which he released while he was still a student, and ‘Iyallah,’ a hit in Rwanda and Africa. He is also working on his a debut album.
“I always come back to my life story when writing a song or other people’s experiences because each person has a unique story, and as a musician, I tell it to the audience,” he also explains, when asked about his inspiration in writing music.
While Ossama is earning a large number of fans in his home country, he aspires to be an international music artist, which he says he will achieve by working hard and creating his own distinctive music, as well as putting advice he receives to good use, not to forget his abilities.
Source : Okkama explores his unique experience in the music industry | The New Times | Rwanda
Sheabutter Making in the village of Hamamat
In the village of Hamamat, based in Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana, all they ever use on their skin is freshly handmade sheabutter, natural oils, herbs and ingredients that are locally grown. The Queen Mother of the village is 98 and still boasts a beautiful skin.
Hamamat Montia, a former miss Africa and a model as seen in the picture below, has a very interesting story. Finding herself separated then divorced from her husband who pursued another love interest, she decided to return to her native village with her two children.
It was, in her view, one of the best decision of her life, reconnecting her with family and cultural traditions. Whilst sharing once a video of sheabutter making in her village, she realised the interest it sparked. It gave her the desire to learn for herself and to turn this artisan activity into a business, which has indeed become very prosperous for her, but not only as it created a local economy and jobs for many ladies in the village. Since the business grew creating other opportunities. Click below to find out the range of products and services Hamamat's village has to offer.
Experience the Magic of Sheabutter. Welcome to HAMAMAT AFRICA WHERE YOU EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF SHEABUTTER Hamamat takes you on a journey on how our ancestors who had a rich deep connection with the
The Turkana people are found in the Northern part of Kenya. Turkana tribe is part of the Nilotic tribes and constitutes the second largest pastoralist community after the Maasai
Like the Maasai, the Turkana have maintained a traditional lifestyle.
The community is clustered in over 20 clans. The two dominant are the Ngirisai referring to the Leopard and Ngimor referring to the Stones. In this system, successive generation of males alternate between being part of the Ngirisai or the Ngimor groups.
Wives of the Ngimor put on a Black wedding ring around their neck whilst the wives from the Ngirisai clan put on a silver ring around their neck. It is the official symbol of marriage. A middle finger ring is also worn. Women automatically belong to the age set of their fathers until they marry and then take their husbands grouping. The quantity of the Jewellery around a woman’s neck determine her social status.
The turkana males do not practise male circumcision.
A Turkana boy looks after young goats. At the age of 11, he starts looking after mature goats and as he grows, he is entrusted with cows, camels and sheep. Between 16 to 20 years old, he is allowed to attend the night dance with his friends and look out for a suitable girl to start a family.
The woman remains the pillar in Turkana family. She’s responsible for building the house, tendering to the animals and provide food for her husband.
The bride price is very high in Turkana society. When a man is ready to marry, his parents visit the bride’s parents with gifts such as sheep, sugar and tobacco. Once the marriage is consented, the number of animals to be brought is agreed upon. Bride price could amount from 10 to 30 cows if the man is wealthy. Goats could amount up to 100 heads or more. A bull is later slaughtered to seal the marriage.
Polygamy is acceptable in Turkana culture and a man can marry as many wives as long as he can afford to pay the bride’s price and sustain them. The more the livestock, the more cumbersome it is for one wife to tend them so the husband has to look for another or other wives to delegate duties. The first wife is consulted and has to approve.
The youngest wife will be looked after by the husband’s eldest son. She cannot leave the homestead because she may be exploited for her wealth. It is the duty of the eldest wife to instruct her firstborn son to marry the younges wife.
Divorce doesn’t exist in Turkana’s vocabulary as it is considered a curse. It is forbidden because no family will trust a divorcee with their daughter. Divorce is only allowed if the woman is proved to be adulterous or has bad manners that dispute the norms of the community.
Men flirting with other men’s wives will also suffer the full wrath of the Council of Elders. For instance, his animals can be confiscated or he can be fined by the Council of Elders. A bull will be slaughtered as a cleansing ritual. One may be asked to repay the dowry price.
Once a married woman becomes a widow, she shaves her hair and removes all of her jewellery. This signifies that she burries her husband’s tradition to be allowed to remarry.
Source : KTN News Kenya
3MA :: Ballaké Sissoko, Driss El Maloumi, Rajery “Anarouz” (Hope)
3MA is the meeting of three string-instrument virtuosi, emblematic of their countries in Africa, but also of generous artists who share a musical passion, a reciprocal dialogue and a beautiful friendship.
In 2006 when the Malian kora magician Ballaké Sissoko, the Moroccan maestro of the oud Driss El Maloumi and the Malagasy prince of valiha Rajery met, they could have stopped like so many others after a bunch of concerts and one final recording. But the miraculous tremor that rose from their instruments when they began playing together still resonates today. Driven by the pleasure of an exceptional musical relationship but also a human one, they have met regularly since, and always joyfully, their reunions always enriching their solo careers.
Centuries of musical tradition run through Ballaké Sissoko’s fingers. In his griot family, tricks and secrets for playing the kora have been inherited over generations. At first, Ballaké learned to play the instrument in secret, as his father did not want him to become a musician, but later he was able to study openly with traditional griots. In 1997, together with his cousin Toumani Diabaté, he recorded New Ancient Strings, which refers to the very first kora instrumental album, Ancient Strings that their fathers had recorded 30 years before. As a member of the Instrumental Ensemble of Mali, Ballaké started playing all over Africa, then in Europe. He later formed his own troupe in France before gradually gaining international recognition. His limitless creativity has led him to fruitful collaborations with the Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi, the Iranian-born percussionist Keyvan Chemirani and the Cretan lyra player Ross Daly. Of all his experiments, one of the most fertile has been his collaboration with the cellist Vincent Segal, which has achieved great recognition and introduced the kora to a new audience. In 2015, Ballaké Sissoko took part in the soundtrack of the César award-winning movie Timbuktu from director Abderrahmane Sissako.
The Moroccan musician of Berber origin, Driss El Maloumi, received a Western and Arabic classical music education. Thanks to his broad cultural background, his boundless mastery and vast curiosity, he was able to collaborate with various artists as diverse as jazz trumpet player Paolo Fresu and Indian slide guitarist Debashish Battacharya. For the past 20 years, he has been one of the pillars of the Hespèrion XXI ensemble of the renowned viola da gamba player, Jordi Savall, who since 2014 has also incorporated 3MA in two of his creations. Whilst being director of the Agadir Conservatory of Music, Driss El Maloumi also pursues a successful solo career.
In 2017 Malagasy valiha player, Rajery, counts 37 years of playing valiha, 35 years of live performance and a 25 year-long international career. A path that did not began without difficulties. Facing amputation of his right hand as a young child, Rajery overcame his disability, achieved instrumental fluency, then virtuosity, with his tubular harp. The RFI's World Music Award in 2002 settled his status of leading artist. His European tours are frequent while his home activities remain full and committed. Rajery founded a musical festival in Madagascar and gets involved in education, musicotherapy and reforestation.
Since their debut record in 2008, the 3MA musicians have been through many individual experiences broadening their knowledge. They meet regularly to give 3MA concerts throughout the world and over the years, new ideas have sprung up, and then have been refined, giving birth to new compositions or reworking existing ideas. A decade after the beginning of their adventure, it was time to take stock and get back into the recording studio. This new album bears witness to their wonderful connection and mature experience. Percussionist Khalid Kouhen joins in on two tracks to add delicate pulses with his Pakistani percussions and Indian tablas and on two other tracks we can even hear Rajery, Driss and Ballaké singing. But for the rest of the record, the string instruments reign and weave their magic alone. Each piece is the result of a unique chemistry in which individual parts are hard to define. The sounds of kora, oud and valiha do not try to stand out over each other, but instead develop a common language.
While we never lose sight of the rich traditions which Ballaké Sissoko, Driss El Maloumi and Rajery embody, we hear above all a shared message from 3MA, a message that rallies against the violence of our world, with their soft and invigorating harmonies, vital energy and universal poetry.
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NEW ALBUM RELEASE NEMO BY KADIALY KOUYATE
ALBUM RELEASE 17th April 2020
The name of the new album of Kadialy Kouyate "NEMO" means blessings. It's message is that it is the human values that bring prosperity to any country or place.
"This album is a combination of songs that define, in my opinion, the blessings︎ and sustenance back home" says Kadialy Kouyate.
Kadialy Kouyate is a musician, a singer songwriter inspired by the West African Griot repertoire. Born into the great line of Kouyate Griot in Southern Senegal, Kadialy︎’s mesmerising Kora playing and singing style have been appreciated in many prestigious venues as both a soloist and in different ensembles.
Jim Palmer is an English songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist based in Buckinghamshire UK.
Credit: all songs written & performed by Kadialy Kouyate and produced by Jim Palmer
For more info please visit the website or email your enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org