Reclaiming Lady

My current auditory obsession is this remake of Fela Kuti’s 1974 song Lady, by tUnE-yArDs, featuring ?uestlove, Angelique Kidjo and Akua Naru. It is the first single from the second Red Hot compilation, (RED) Hot + Fela, which will raise funds for HIV/AIDS research.

My love for this version is so strong it is almost sexual. Angelique Kidjo is a goddess as always, her lead vocals are full of grunts and gymnastics that call to mind Fela’s energetic stage presence. ?uestlove, the biggest proponent of Fela in mainstream Western music is as ever, the cool backbone of the track. tUnE-yArDs quirky harmonies are just left-of-centre enough to stand on top of the amazing things the brass section, represented by Rubblebucket, are doing. This version manages to inject even more energy into the song, which if you know anything about Fela Kuti and his long musical reign at The Shrine, is quite an achievement. The climax of the vocal harmonies and brass at the end, will make your arm hair stand up and take notice.

Fela’s music was always political, and Merrill Garbus’ (of tUnE-yArDs) choice to populate this song with female vocalists is a political one. The original song was a criticism of what Fela saw of African women’s embrace of Western values.

If you call am woman
African woman no go ‘gree
She go say, she go say, “I be Lady o”

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Imagine Uganda

If money was no object, what would you be doing with your life? If you did not have to worry about how your hypothetical future children would eat, or what your Aunty would say, or how you were going to pay the rent, what would be your reason to get up in the morning? If failure was not a possibility, how would you expend your passion? If there were no limits, what would you do with your life?

When my little sister was a kid, she wanted to be a marine biologist, hairdresser and makeup artist, all AT THE SAME TIME. Today she is about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and we are all very proud of her. At the same time I kind of miss the naïveté and optimism that would allow a little African girl, living in a landlocked country to want to be a marine biologist. When you are a kid, anything is possible. Never mind that you hate science, never mind that you have only ever seen dolphins in books and on TV, the world is your fucking oyster!

toomuchnews.com

My very first ambition in life was to be a dancer for Madonna. We had a little blue tape, a pirated copy of her album “Like a Virgin” that Dad would play in the car and I knew all the words, (though not what “virgin” meant). Now I look back and I am like damn, I could have done that! Madonna is 50-something years old but she is still dancing! Instead of touring the world and popping Cristal in the club, I sit in my little office typing proposals and reports like a trained monkey.

What happens as you grow up? I ask, but I know, I know because it happened to me. You tell someone on the playground you want to be Madonna’s dancer and they laugh in your face. You ask your mom for chocolate at the supermarket and she tells you “do you know how hard I work for this money? It doesn’t grow on trees you know.”

You tell your parents you want to study art as one of your A levels, instead of biology, which you are failing anyway and are told “you’re not going to spend my school fees finger painting with your hippy drug addict teacher, you will study Biology, and you will do it well!”

You decide you’re going to break free, live your dreams and study photography and they hold an intervention on your behalf. (On TV interventions the nice mzungu family sit you down and read you letters of how much they love you, in Africa they lock you in a room and beat you until you come to your senses).

How many of us ended up studying law, accounting, business, engineering RATHER than our passion? How many of us get a little buzz in our down-belows when we read torts or write proposals?

As a working man, you finally get fed up kissing your boss’ ass and hoping to get in a car accident every weekday morning. You decide that you’re going to do it now, quit your job, go into business and selling sand to the Arabs. You write an award-winning business plan, make an appointment with the bank for a loan, and hit up all your benevolent relatives for support. Then your girlfriend misses her period and your dream flies out the window.

Chris Devers flickr

I have heard it suggested that imagination and creativity a privilege; that when you are worrying about your next meal you don’t have time to create the next Mona Lisa.

I say, screw that.

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The most offensive article I have read in a while

What kind of colonial apologist bullshit is this? And what is it doing on what is supposed to be a respectable site like the Wall Street Journal?

 

This asshole...

Some choice quotes:

some new version of colonialism may be the best thing that could happen to at least some countries in the postcolonial world.

The colonialists of yore may often have been bigots, but they were also, just as often, doers. Their colonies were better places than the shipwrecked countries we have today.

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Link Africa

 

From a gallery of images shot by Fred Bunde from the ‘The War is Over’ Campaign.

 

If you find something online that would be of interest to Vuga! readers and contributors, email tips to vugaafrica@gmail.com

Link Africa

If you find something online that would be of interest to Vuga! readers and contributors, email tips to vugaafrica@gmail.com

Link Africa

Now I look like an African (minus the whole white skin thing)!

If you find something online that would be of interest to Vuga! readers and contributors, email tips to vugaafrica@gmail.com

link Africa

People waiting at bus stop in Addis Ababa (Eth...
Image via Wikipedia
  • “without the lips, the teeth feel the cold” sums up exactly the relationship between Africa and China. Africa provides China with the market and the natural resources that China needs to keep its economy going, while China provides Africa with the legitimacy to keep its rulers in power, as well as investment and a development model alternative to that of the West.
  • “Investing in Africa’s women is a smart investment … Yet investing in Africa’s women scientists is the best bet,”
  • “Using their vast credibility, resources and media influence, donors project onto the public imagination an unbroken stream of corrosively negative information, images and emotions about the recipient country and its population, in order to prove that no cause is more heart-rending, more urgent, and more (nearly) hopeless. By the time their programme has moved on to the next deserving cause, the country’s image may have been blighted for generations, leaving a powerful psychological and emotional disincentive to trade, investment, tourism and growth”.
  • “Every day, a workforce of 1,000 locals pick, pack and load hundreds of tons of fresh produce onto waiting trucks, including 30 tons of tomatoes alone. After reaching the capital, Addis Ababa, the produce is flown to a handful of Middle Eastern cities, entirely bypassing Ethiopia, one of the hungriest places on the planet.”
  • “Football fans will perhaps be unsurprised to learn that the vuvuzela, whose apian drone soundtracked yet another summer of hurt, has blared its way into the dictionary’s pages. By being ushered into the dictionary, which is based on how language is really used, the metre-long plastic horn has cemented its immortality as well as its ubiquity”
  • Link Africa

    Yakubu Al Hassan, 20 mines for valuable materials at Africa's largest digital technology dump

    At Agbogboshie Market in Accra, computers and other secondhand equipment are taken apart and often burned to 
extract metals for resale. The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary 
Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal of 1989 prohibits the dumping of toxic waste in poor 
countries. Much of the equipment arrived as secondhand donations 
meant to reduce the “digital divide”  The site is associated with child trafficking, tribal rivalries, drug-related crime. Reports by Greenpeace and other international agencies detail massive emissions of noxious fumes,  and high levels poisonous chemicals found in the soil. [New York Times Magazine, Flavorwire]

    If you find something online that would be of interest to Vuga! readers and contributors, email tips to vugaafrica@gmail.com