Regular readers of my blog would know that I love black history and black culture. I love it when black people come together to create magic, and then in particular magic in the form of music. In the past I blogged about, what I called African Fusion songs, which were songs made out of some sort of fusion or partnership between the continent and the Diaspora either through the mixing of music styles and/or through a partnership of the artists.
This post isn’t necessarily about the mixture of styles, but serves more to highlight the visits artists from various African countries have made to Suriname, my home country.
African artists have been visiting Suriname for a while, as in way before my time. One of the most important visitors has probably been the South African Miriam Makeba. Now let me tell you something, we Surinamese people love us some Miriam Makeba! We still sing her songs regularly, her songs have been translated into Surinamese. For some of the translated songs I even forget that they are originally hers. In the picture below, you can see her during her visit to Suriname in 1965, which coincided with the 1st of July, the day slavery was abolished in Suriname. To honor her, we had her walk on angisas during the visit. The angisa is the name for both the fabric and the headwrap crown worn by Surinamese women.
Source photo: Nalatenschap Nola Hatterman. (2019, Mei 19). 1 Juli viering Suriname met Miriam Makeba (1965). Retreived from Nola Hatterman: http://www.nolahatterman.com/forums/topic/1-juli-viering-suriname-met-miriam-makeba-1965/
I couldn’t find any footage of the actual show online, but I did find some examples of Surinamese singers performing her songs, either a translated version or int he original language with a Surinamese Kawina twist to it.
Source: Anne Goedhart- Mi Puwema, opodoro, youtube
Source: Zang groep AMA – Pole mze, Saskia Yorks, youtube
We’ve had other artists as well. From the same generation as Miriam Makeba, we had visits from Osibisa. Later on we had Africando, a salsa band consisting of singers from various African countries. Lucky Dube, the South African reggae star also visited Suriname and I think he may have visited Suriname the most. Further more, we had Monique Seka from Ivory Coast, whose song Okaman can probably be heard at every, and I mean at every Surinamese party. Dr. Sakis from Congo, also paid us a visit. At the start of the Afrobeat wave, Bracket from Nigeria also performed in Suriname, but at the time only their hit Yori Yori was really known in Suriname.
These last few years, we’ve had two of Nigeria’s greatest, or at least greatest of these last years. My father even knows them, which should tell you how popular they are among the Surinamese population, since he is definitely not their target audience.
This is some footage of the Davido’s performance in Suriname, which according to the reports was attended by 100000 people. That’s a lot considering the country has just over half a million inhabitants.
Source: Davido Ft Psycho Live in Suriname 🇸🇷, WIE DJUKA TV
And this is footage from Flavour’s show, my personal favorite! Look at my people singing Igbo songs! I’m so proud! Also attended by over 10000 people.
Source: Flavour – Live in Suriname 2018, Official Flavour, youtube