Tiken Jah Fakoly: “I Am Full of Hope”

Fez – Sunday’s concert at Bab al Makina, unfortunately postponed due to unseasonal storms, was to have featured two famous singers on the African continent: Tiken Jah Fakoly from Côte D’Ivoire and Oumou Sangaré from Mali. With this year’s festival being dedicated to Africa, the two singers will perform this concert to convey the “African Spirit.” The singers gave a press conference on the eve of their performances providing a special insight into their music, philosophy, and vision for Africa.Tiken Jah Fakoly Fakoly is an African reggae artist who performs around the world. Unlike the reggae of the Caribean, his band celebrates the roots of reggae in Africa by playing on traditional African instruments.Fakoly is focused on the unity of Africa. “There are 50 states in the United States, many independent countries in Europe, and 54 countries in Africa,” he says. “We have rich resources in Africa, and unity will come. We are addressing ourselves to the youth of Africa. The real fight is to conquer unity and establish democracy in Africa. Our mission is to strive for democracy.”He points to the teaching of reggae master Bob Marley. “It was the mission of Bob Marley to give a voice to the people. And I am continuing the fight of Bob Marley. Democracy gives the possibility to people to vote and participate in elections and put someone else in power.”Asked whether democracy requires economic empowerment first and, if so, how he is helping people become economically empowered, Fakoly says, “I am trying to build schools and increase literacy. I’ve built 5 schools so far in Africa: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Cote d’Ivoire. My big dream is to build a school in each African country to show the importance of education.”“But for democracy to come, people need the basics first. People need food. So I also have established a rice farm in the north of Côte d’Ivoire. I want to show the importance of agriculture.”Fakoly is also engaged in an education campaign about Africa. “I am getting the message out about the real Africa for those on the outside who only know it from television,” he says. “Africa has only had 53 years of independence. It’s a mere child of independence, unlike the U.S. which has had a couple of hundred years. We need to stabilize the continent economically, so people don’t want to leave. We have everything here. All of the resources under the sun: Beach, sun, water, etc. The younger generation is in the process of waking up and seeing what we have.”“I am against the exodus of young Africans,” he continues. “Yes, I understand it’s difficult for the youth here, but they need confidence in the future and to stay here in Africa. Africa is the continent of the future. When the West falls, Africa will be ready to rise,” he predicts. “When the majority of Africans become literate we will rally and take things into our own hands. I am full of hope.”Fakoly said that he and his band will give a concert of African reggae. “Bob Marley talked about returning to the source. The source is Black Africa. So the music tonight is Reggae played on traditional African instruments. Bass guitar, kora, and n’goni, a Malian instrument.”When asked how reggae fits into a mystical music festival, Fakoly says, “Reggae is the base of Jah, it is inherently mystical music. It has a strong message speaking of Africa, positive of its history, and of hope. Jamaican reggae needs to come back to its roots in Africa.”Fakoly’s next album is entitled “Roots.” It will have 12 old songs, including Marley’s “Get Up Stand Up,” demonstrating that the real roots of reggae music are Africa.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission

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