I am no music connoisseur. I like what I like and finding a new artist to listen to is nearly as hard as losing your holiday spread. So it came as quite a surprise to me when I discovered the musical talent that is Nneka. Many of you may recognise the name from her hit single Shining Star which was released in 2012. A born and bred Nigerian singer, Nneka is known as a singer/songwriter within genres expanding Hip Hop, Soul and Reggae.
Singing in both Igbo and English, her musical talent has certainly not gone unseen globally. Performing in musical festivals across the world- from Paris, Amsterdam and Germany to touring America with Nas and Damien Marley and appearing on the David Letterman show. Nneka is an African super star– but why is she not more popular in South Africa?
Is it because, just like an western country ( which, thankfully we are not) we deem anything African as ‘not good enough’? The more I explore our beautiful continent, the more I am amazed at our abundance of talent. Fashion designers, singer/songwriters/contemporary artists/Filmmakers/chefs and coffee brewers, we have a multitude of talent in Africa yet time and time again we look away- we look towards America and Europe to rather support their talent completely forgetting to support our own.
We don’t need to look very hard to realise the disservice we are doing to our own people. When do we ever get as hyped about ANYTHING African as we did when Starbucks opened in Johannesburg? Or when Beyonce released her Lemonade? Yes, Beyonce may be the voice of many black women but for African women? I think we can find someone closer to home whose struggle I identify with and support more. I may sound like a broken record, but nothing will succeed in Africa until we believe in what the people are creating here. All you people that listen to bands that nobody knows yet? why not be even more different and listen to bands from Africa because I promise you now, NOBODY knows them- and they are just as enjoyable, just as unique and not at all on the verge of stardom- so you never have to stop listening to them 😉
So, as I sit here, spewing orders at you, all I am trying to get across is for all of us to realise the beauty in our local talent. Take a look at some of my favourite Nneka tunes and ( all I hope you do is) think about local brands and how you can support them because supporting a global brand is just feeding a money-making machine, but when you support local you are feeding that persons family for the week, or perhaps you are getting them that much closer to their dreams. I know, for damn sure, I would rather support a dream and boost the economy.
And My Personal Favourite