Check out the Dollar a Day collaborative music project, organised by Maisha Yetu’s Muki Garang Platinum Africa Youth Tourism (PAYT), a youth development programme based in the Northwestern region of South Africa. The project brought together a number of African musicians from various nations determined to spur economic and social development though music.
“We educate and engage youth into identifying opportunities linked to our culture and heritage as African people, and are reaching out to the rest of Africa to encourage cross-cultural productions that will help artists to learn from one another, following the footsteps of Nelson Mandela and Prof Wangari Maathai,” said the organizer Lerato Mosimane in an interview with Africa Review.
Much of December 2011 was spent recording tracks in an array of languages including Sheng, Swahili, Zulu, Setswana, Pidgin, Motswako(a South African equivalent of Sheng) and English. Some of the tracks on the African Hip Hop compilation were written in a new continental language they called Tswahili a fusion of Kiswahili and Tetswana, and others. Participants included South Africa’s Mpho ya Badimo of SABC’s Motsweding FM, Lerato Mosimane-formerly of Bop TV, Apu, TLS, and Relevant Source; Botswana’s Mpaphi Angell Nthoi and Ngozi Chukura; Nigeria’s Oma Dada, and Kenya’s Akili Blaq. The compilation touches on themes such as love, HIV and Aids, xenophobia, land reform policies in Zimbabwe, and ethnicity in Kenya and include audio interviews with policy makers and stakeholders in the Northwest province of the post-apartheid nation on the use of culture to foster responsible leadership, fight against the spread of HIV, and include youth in political decision-making.
“We are reaching out to the rest of Africa to encourage cross-cultural productions that will help artists to learn from one another, following the footsteps of Nelson Mandela and Prof Wangari Maathai,” says organizer Lerato Mosimane.
The phrase “a dollar a day” evokes the portrayal of Sub-Saharan Africa in western media. But the artists confront the stereotype by showcasing Africa as incredibly rich in culture and natural resources.
The 18 track album was produced by the South African-based Kenyan artist Akili Blaq.
“A Dollar a Day can be interpreted to be music for border hoppers, through music and poetry we paint a picture of the effect these harsh economic times have on African youth.” Akili Blaq comments. “Music is what I do every day. My beats have no borders.”
A Dollar a Day is available as a free download here
Source: Maisha Yetu