A partnership between the Music In Africa Foundation, Siemens Stiftung and Goethe-Institut will make it possible for Senegalese rappers Keyti and Xuman to present Journal Rappé at the Munich Biennale in Germany this May.
Senegalese rappers Keyti and Xuman will present Journal Rappé in Germany this May.
Keyti and Xuman are well known in Francophone West Africa for the Journal Rappé news programme, which relays often complex social, economic and political information through the hip hop idiom.
At the Munich Biennale, the duo will present 10 daily live episodes of Journal Rappé at Studio Muffatwerk from 16 to 25 May. A final performance will take place at the Ampere nightclub on 29 May.
The content to be presented will be centred on the youth, politics, environmental issues and development in Africa through the show’s satirical and sometimes irreverent formula.
“The complete 10 episodes will take the audience through the journey of Africa from post-independence to the subject of Afrofuturism,” Keyti told Music In Africa. “What we want is to change Africa’s narrative when it comes to how the rest of the world sees the continent. We want to paint a picture of the Africa we know. We will not sugar-coat anything, it will be the reality we experience. Africa has its difficulties but Africa also has its promises of great things to come.”
Xuman said: “For me it is imperative to show the diversity of Africa. When you talk about African music in the diaspora, hip hop is not very popular. For the first time we will show how creative African hip hop is.”
Journal Rappé was launched in 2013 and since then the programme’s concept has been adopted in Uganda, Mauritania, Togo, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Cameroon, Jamaica and Vietnam.
“We’ve made great impact both locally and internationally,” Keyti said. “Local artists now understand that they need to take risks to make their art visible. We chose to use rap and music to reach a new audience, and it gave us the exposure we did not have as solo artists in Senegal and all over the world.
“The other impact is that the programme has been replicated in other countries, primarily where the government controls the media. Therefore, the Internet becomes an alternative platform to address education, health and other issues Africa is concerned with.”
Keyti says Journal Rappé’s primary goal is to actively encourage young people to engage in politics, criticise decisions in which they have little or no say and use creativity to shape the future.
“The African youth is changing the narrative of Africa. For example, Kenya is becoming one of the technological hubs in the world, and I am confident that it will keep growing. Young people are doing that. In Nigeria, the creative industry in cinema is huge and young people are driving it. There are so many examples. So I don’t think things can change on the continent without the youth,” Keyti said.