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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  October 24, 2017 4:30am-5:01am BST

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earlier this month. donald trump has had to deny being insensitive to the widow of one of the serviceman after she claimed the president forgot her husband's name during a condolence call. the united nations says the global community must pledge more money to help hundreds of thousands of rohingya refugees who have fled myanmar, which has been accused of ethnic cleansing. bangladeshi officials say they are now housing almost one million refugees but the burden has become "untenable. " the british prime minister says there's a "degree of confidence" that trade talks with the eu will start before the end of the year. theresa may told parliament there's a "new momentum" in the brexit negotiations. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk. africa has produced a host of
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world—famous africa has produced a host of world —famous musicians, but africa has produced a host of world—famous musicians, but very few of them are women. why? who better to ask than i guess today, angelique kidjo, who has been hailed as africa's veneer diva, known for the passion in her voice and herfierce determination to help african girls fulfil their potential. —— premier diva. three decades ago she had to leave her continent to become an international star. how much has africa and its music scene changed between then and now? angelique kidjo, welcome to
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hardtalk. thank you for having me here. you are one of africa's biggest female stars, and that brings with it a real sense of responsibility, being under scrutiny. absolutely. do you find that difficult? no, i have nothing to hide. i know where i come from. i may not know where i am going, but i definitely know what the traditional music of my country has taught me to do with my voice and my music, to empower people, to bring joy to people, and to let people understand their own power and unleashed their own power. and as a woman, do you feel a particular sense of responsibility to, in a sense, like it or not, read isn't african women? —— represent african women. it or not, read isn't african women? -- represent african women. yes, i feel that very much so. i was raised by two grandmothers and a mother that have a passion for theatre. and in the 1960s, she decided to have a
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theatre piece on the life of the king. in that time, when you decide to do something like that, g, it is not easy. so she wrote the piece, directed it, auditioned all the actresses and actors, did the costu mes, actresses and actors, did the costumes, and from that moment on, i was taught that it is not because you are a woman that you are not allowed to dream big. and in my case, i always say my case is one of the kind, because i was lucky to be worn ina the kind, because i was lucky to be worn in a family where both parents we re worn in a family where both parents were educated, and were really dedicated and determined to put the kids to school. doesn't matter what we do after. so your mother was very much a creative, independent role model for you. but when you started singing, i know your parents loved it, when you are a kid, as in six yea rs old it, when you are a kid, as in six years old you are singing and singing fantastically well and making a name for yourself as a child in your home country of benin,
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i know that has you gripe it became difficult to keep it going. the taunting started when i was 12 years old. you would be coming home from school and out of nowhere, wang, a stone hits you on the shoulder. —— bang. throwing stones at you, calling you a prostitute. because you are singing? because i was singing. when you are a girl, you are singing, there is no other way for you to succeed if you are not a prostitute, and if you are a boy, there is no other way it you are not a junkie. so sex, there is no other way it you are not ajunkie. so sex, drugs there is no other way it you are not a junkie. so sex, drugs and there is no other way it you are not ajunkie. so sex, drugs and rock ‘n' roll, in africa, the perception was taken literally. roll, in africa, the perception was ta ken literally. so roll, in africa, the perception was taken literally. so today, when a girl comes out and tells her pa rents, girl comes out and tells her parents, i want to sing, i want to be music, the parents say, no, that's not a job. the perception of an artist in africa today is still a problem. even with politicians who
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do not think we are great ambassadors for the country and the continent itself. the other thing that i think people assume, and this may be wrong, but they assume the young girl being brought up in benin 40 young girl being brought up in benin a0 yea rs young girl being brought up in benin a0 years ago, is that you would have in steeped in traditional music rather than music from all over the world, the us and the uk, rock ‘n' roll, as well as yarran music. but from what i understand from your pa rents were from what i understand from your parents were exposing you to all sorts of stuff that wasn't just traditional. yeah, my father played banjo, i don't know why, everybody else played guitar, but that was my dad. keep us away in 2008. my mum and dad believed that as their children, we had to lead our own lives and make our own mistakes and make our own choices. my father's favourite phrase is, your weapon is your brain. the ultimate weapon you haveis your brain. the ultimate weapon you have is your brain. work on it. open up have is your brain. work on it. open up to the rest of the world. don't be afraid to get out of this house.
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they made us understand that the house was going to be an open discussion place, that there would be no taboo subject, with the exception of racism, xenophobia and anti—semitism. ifather said exception of racism, xenophobia and anti—semitism. i father said he didn't wantany anti—semitism. i father said he didn't want any hateful people in the house, he didn't have time to that. so as a child i grew up like that. so as a child i grew up like that. and every single human being on this planet, everyday which possible, i heard them when i was growing up. so i would come back and think, 0k, growing up. so i would come back and think, ok, what am growing up. so i would come back and think, ok, whatam by going growing up. so i would come back and think, ok, what am by going to hear today? and i was really a very curious child. when he was playing you both music from benin, from the traditional storytellers and all that stuff, and then he was playing your records that he brought home by james brown and otis redding and evenjimi hendrix, james brown and otis redding and even jimi hendrix, which james brown and otis redding and evenjimi hendrix, which did you, the young and chile, actually prefer? both of them. both of them, because as i said before, i was very
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curious. my nickname in my father's village is when—why—how. if you don't ask questions, you don't know. when the music was too far for me to understand, i would take it and go to the traditional musicians and play this and say, you tell me that all the music is the same from you play this. the funny thing is that they can jam with otis redding, james brown, all the music you bring m, james brown, all the music you bring in, they would say, just pay it. so you have this incredibly open and creative upbringing in your family, but i am also very aware that at the time, and this is true of many african nations, not just time, and this is true of many african nations, notjust benin, the country was ruled by a dictatorship. it was nominally communist. as you grow up, singing more and more, developing more professionally, by the time you are a teenager, it was becoming more politically as well socially very difficult for you. absolutely. you are right about
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that. before the communist regime, which arrived in 1975— 1976, the radio, which when you put on the radio, which when you put on the radio in benin, you could hear everything. all the way from traditional music in benin, conditional music player, cameroon, the ivory coast, to the music of rock ‘n' roll from great britain. everything was played. even the french music, classical music, they would play that on the radio. the communist regime arrived and said, 0k, communist regime arrived and said, ok, from now on we don't want white people's music. we want your very morning, from the morning we started ata.m. untilwe morning, from the morning we started at a.m. until we finish, we just wa nt at a.m. until we finish, we just want revolutionary music every day. it changed my life, it collapsed, because i was like... i don't want that! is that when you decided you had to get out? i decided to get out when they started putting pressure on artists to write music about the
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communist revolution, and the people in power. and i was like, i'm not doing that. my father always told me, do not use music for any political party because they come and they go. you want to be neutral. so here i am, 16 years old, i have to go and sing, and luckily for me, i was touring around in africa. so every time i was able to escape, not to be that, until one day i was faced with the fact that i would be in the country and i was singing in front of the head of state of west africa. and you feel dirty. you feel absolutely degraded. because they look at you, like, you sing and you me nothing. there are certain people who can give a status in our countries, and they are the ones who perceive you as a prostitute, because you are in front of them singing. at1.i told because you are in front of them singing. at 1.1 told my father, if this is what singing is about, i'm out of here. which takes a seagoing to paris in your early 20s and then,
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franco, spending the rest of the light travelling the world, but ace first in paris for many years, then settling in new york city in the us. ijust wonder, if settling in new york city in the us. i just wonder, if you settling in new york city in the us. ijust wonder, if you had not made your adult life in the west, whether your adult life in the west, whether you think your music would have been fundamentally different. if you had stayed in africa. it would have been different because of the technology that we don't have. within have that in the 80s or the 905. now that we don't have. within have that in the 805 or the 905. now you have studios in benin, and pretty much everywhere in africa, people have a macbook or a pc where they can be mu5ic macbook or a pc where they can be music now. the young kids today are really savvy about that because of the internet. they can have 5ound5 here, they can get this. it was very difficult. my first album, believe it or not, that are recorded in 1980, i had to travel, there was a student loan for university that everybody has a right to have, i had to ta ke everybody has a right to have, i had to take that loan to come to paris on record my first album that require korea through —— broke my career through. so i knew i would
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have to be recording and going and coming back and forth. i was a professional. i wanted my sound to be different. i wanted my music to embody not only the traditional mu5ic embody not only the traditional music of my country but all those wonderful arti5t music of my country but all those wonderful artist that i had heard that allowed me to dream big. wonderful artist that i had heard that allowed me to dream bigm wonderful artist that i had heard that allowed me to dream big. it is a fantastic queue for people who know angelique kidjo's music, and for those you don't, to get a little flavour of what you do. we are going to play a track which is from your 2010 album oyo which she performed for the bbc recently. a look at this. (traditional beninese music) you are bopping away and you are
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making the move as well in much out. it seems to me there is a lot going on in your music, and there is really this mix of influences. some people listening to albums like that one, like you said, there is a problem here, because it is not authentic. it sounds like it is manufactured from to many sources. what is authentic? shami mu5ic manufactured from to many sources. what is authentic? shami music that i5 what is authentic? shami music that is authentic. i can tell you if it i5 is authentic. i can tell you if it is not. mo5t is authentic. i can tell you if it is not. most of the time when people talk about traditional music in africa, it is like, well, it is mu5ic africa, it is like, well, it is music that may answer this work plan, traditional music that they we re plan, traditional music that they were playing, it is completely different from today. we have trouble in africa keeping tho5e instruments alive. mo5t trouble in africa keeping tho5e instruments alive. most of the young kid5 instruments alive. most of the young kids don't want to learn to play any traditional instrument. they want to go to the city and make quick money. the way to keep those instruments and that music alive is to make them
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available in a way that the world can listen to. therefore, if you put them in modern music, you have to find a way forward to appeal to everybody. that's what i do. is it working? i noticed the other day that on tv africa has 50 million viewers acro55 that on tv africa has 50 million viewers across africa now, but if you switch it on in many cities across the continent, you find that by and large it is a diet of the sort of urban mu5ic by and large it is a diet of the sort of urban music you might get in the united states as well. it has its own african flavour. it is ba5ed, its own african flavour. it is based,it its own african flavour. it is ba5ed, it seems, a lot of that, on hip—hop and rap and urban 5ound5 ba5ed, it seems, a lot of that, on hip—hop and rap and urban sounds and beads. is that where african i5 going? well, the thing is, rape will not exist without african music. soul mu5ic not exist without african music. soul music would not exist without african music. rock ‘n' roll would not exist without, you know, there i5 not exist without, you know, there is no music in the western developed world without african music. it is what happened, the slaves, when they moved them from africa, unwillingly, they came with their culture. from a
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different part of africa, the blues. they took the drums away from them when they arrived in america. in cuba, they kept the drums. in brazil, they kept the drums. he listened tho5e brazil, they kept the drums. he listened those different types of mu5ic listened those different types of music and you find africa in the rhythm. i have a lucky enough to be invited to a ceremony in brazil. it was the weirdest experience i have ever encountered. i was sitting down and they were 5inging ever encountered. i was sitting down and they were singing in yoruba. i don't speak a word of portuguese, but i could sing with them, because i kept the song. what you tell those people, because you come to africa and you come to brazil and you make classical music that you must used to play, you don't have to do anything with us. every time people wa nt to anything with us. every time people want to reduce african arti5t5 anything with us. every time people want to reduce african artists to a cliche. that is the problem we have. you call it a cliche. for some people it might be a sense of african pride and nationalism, in a way. legitimately helpful to
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one of the greatest african musicians, he always talked about defending african culture against we5tern cultural imperialism. he probably felt that you had been seduced by western cultural imperialism. if you listen to him, you hearjames brown in his music. he did not invent afro beat. it does not come from african pop. you hearjames brown in it. where did james brown take that from ? he took it from africa. you copy it. know why guy can do that. sorry. michaeljack5on emulated james brown. it is always the story of going back and forth, exchange of culture. for me, music does not belong to me as an african, it does not belong to any person. what i have learned from traditional
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musicians, you have to include people in your music. what you have not done is write highly political lyrics. i do. you once said that lyrics did not matter. i do. i translate my lyrics on the album. the first album i made, the meaning of it, if you look at the logo, see no evil, hear no evil, talk no evil. in france, the country that colonised so many countries in africa, i thiink, what is this? in france, the country that colonised so many countries they cannot even take the time to help someone crying in the subway. i say hello to my neighbours. in my country, when you come out of your house, you see somebody, you say good morning. you cannot even say that in a civilised and developed country? what is wrong with you people? that is what that album was about. how about more over politics?
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there was something you did that was extraordinary and caused ripples throughout africa. in 2006, you played in zimbabwe, in front of a huge audience, you basically said, robert mugabe and his government, they are mon5ters. if you live by violence, you will die by violence. that caused a huge 5tir. you had to leave the country the next day. very quickly. why did you do that? is it your determination to fight against what remains of the african dictatorship5 and to be somebody who leverages your fame for very political causes? it is beyond that. when i was invited to go play in zimbabwe, it was my first concert and i was very excited to go. because i would meet zimbabwean arti5t5. we would talk, we would do stuff together and i never had a chance to do that.
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two days before i left, i received an email from an activist saying to me, you cannot come here, you are a rare voice, the only one we rely on, to speak for us. if something is wrong you are the only person without fear to talk about it. if you come here, it is like you are giving your consent and support to mugabe. i did not sleep that night. he has a point. what was i going to do with this? i reached out to amne5ty international, oxfam, unicef, i asked them what the situation was like. my take on music is that you have to go and play, even in a war zone, to understand the worthlessness of being at war. i would go at the risk of my life. you have to go to see the people who are suffering, under siege. for me, going to zimbabwe, was to give something to them. everybody said to me,
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you have got to be really careful. you can find a way to say something. when i get there, we have a press conference with the french amba55ador at the time who put it together. so we had a press conference, and someone said to the ambassador, the secret service of robert mugabe is here. he turned a5 he turned as white as a piece of paper in your hand and he looked at me and he said, no politics, i said, ok. i had to get it out. i had to say it. i cannot 5leep if i am mad. i went on stage and said, we cannot blame white people all the time for our problems. when our leaders become butcher5, what makes them legitimate? what makes a man a man? i want somebody to tell me, when you are a man, does that mean you have to abuse somebody else, when you are a president, the welfare of your people is your number one priority. when you start killing them, there
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is no way you can blame somebody for that. it does not matter why. there was a dead silence when i said that. my husband was in the wings. his eyes were falling out of his head. he was thinking we would end up in jail. when you put that way, with your passion, i can understand why you take on dictatorships in africa. and there are still dictatorships in africa. but it seems to me, it is more difficult when you address some of the other issues, you talk a lot about the place of girls and women in african societies, you demand equal education, access to education for females, but there are issues that are very difficult in african societies, for example, the legal rights of women, inheritance, polygamy, another issue, are you prepared to go into those areas and to speak loud and difficult truths to africans? i have done it. yes, and i will continue doing it. until we change, whenever i go, the traditions that are not up to date any more...
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we have to have the courage... the courage to abolish female genital mutilation, child marriage, how can a man of a5 years marry a girl of ten years old? for me it is paedophilia. i say that, point blank. people may not like that, but it's the way it is. unless we decide to take on the challenge of changing things on our continent, no—one can make the change for us. people have been trying. you can put billions of dollars in africa, if we are not educated enough to understand the world in which we are living in, the power we have, how we can tell the dictators in our country, go to hell, we do not want you any more? but it is very difficult. benin has a vibrant and a working democracy, but we still see child trafficking, and in education, it is a completely unfair society. girls do not get the same
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fair shake as boys. how can people like you fix this? billion is in a little better shape. the government that came in place, what they did, they made tuition free. but what they forgot to do, included in that package, uniforms and books. so they are still working on it. polygamy, there are a0% of women in 2006, who said they still live in polygamous households. i will come to that. let's talk about child trafficking. i was sitting in my hotel room, ijumped out of the bed, i said, hell no. since four years, i have been working with unicef representation in italy, in the government of my country, to try to fix that.
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the main problem regarding child trafficking is that more than a0% of the children that are born, they have no birth certificate. it is like they never existed. so here comes a government that says we do not have the means, i said, i will bring the people. we can provide, with unicef from italy, computers at the borders. it is up to the government to make sure those children, those children are registered. to have the picture of the child, the family, so that nobody can come and take the children any more. we are working on it. i met the minister of defence, the minister of the interior, and i told them, the ten days they give people to declare the birth of the child, it does not work for everybody. some people live on farms. ten days does not work.
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after ten days, you have to pay. they do not have the money. it has to be free. i want to get a sense of your vision of the future. where are you going to be investing your time and effort? i will be investing my time in the world because africa is connected to the world. i go to africa all the time. but what i do for the girls that i put in school, i bring them proof. i take them there. i don't want it to be anonymous. i wa nt i don't want it to be anonymous. i want them to give me every cent to go and meet those goals and talk to them. to see the change that we as human beings are bringing to other fellow human beings.
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we have to leave the politics out of it. we have to create a different world, that is where the future of africa lies. thank you very much for being on hardtalk. you are welcome. we can go on for ever. hello there. it's a messy weather story for this week. if you're a fan of the mild weather, both by day and night, then you'll be pretty glad with this week because we'll have a run of south—westerly winds. that's going to feed in, though, a lot of moisture off the sea. and as you can see, this trail of cloud is heading in towards our shores. so sunshine really will be at a premium throughout the week. and we'll see weather fronts continuing to wax and wane across the country. that'll bring outbreaks of rain. as we start tuesday, we'll see a such weather front pushing into southern and western
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areas to bring some rain at times. so for tuesday, it's another mild day, but rather cloudy with further outbreaks of rain in places. now, that rain will be across many western areas to begin the day. for the south—west, though, it's going to be very mild. a little bit of light rain and drizzle, some mist and murk too. temperatures 15 or 16 degrees to start the day. further north, though, we'll have this weather front bringing outbreaks of rain. so quite a wet morning commute across parts of wales, in towards the midlands into north—west england. it looks like it will be quite wet as well for parts of northern ireland, certainly for scotland. some of the rain will be quite heavy, it will also be quite breezy too, particularly across western areas. and then through the day, that rain moves northwards and eastwards. it remains quite breezy across northern ireland and scotland. but conditions may improve here, bit of sunshine for northern ireland. that sunshine getting in towards scotland as well. but it stays rather damp through the central slice of the uk. to the south of the weather front, though, should be fairly dry and very mild, 18 or 19 degrees here, closer to the mid to upper teens celsius further north.
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there's our weather front — it's waxing and waning across the uk. it'll be lying across central southern parts of the country on wednesday. so i think here we'll see the lion's share of the damp weather. whereas further north, brighter with good spells of sunshine, quite breezy, though, across scotland and northern ireland. there'll be plenty of showers across western scotland. temperatures here around the mid—teens celsius. but again, where that weather front is, and particularly to the south of it, very mild, 17 or 18 celsius. onto thursday, that weather front shifts a little bit further northwards. it looks like we'll be on the very mild side in the south. 18 degrees in the cloud. given some sunshine, we could see 20, maybe 21 celsius. further north, around the mid teens once again. but we start to see a change on into friday. this area of high pressure nudges in and also brings in some cooler air, which will topple in around it and that will push the weather front southwards, introduce some brighter conditions, the but it will also introduce, as we head into the weekend, some cooler and fresher air, particularly across northern areas. so a bit of a change as we head on towards the weekend. it will be brighter for many with some sunshine.
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but it will turn noticeably cooler, particularly in the north. this is bbc news. i'm ben bland. our top stories: after the deaths of four us soldiers in niger earlier this month, america's top general promises a full investigation. prosecutors launch an investigation into possible sexual harassment at the company co—founded by disgraced film producer harvey weinstein. testing the limits of artistic freedom: a controversial new film opens in russia after months of protests, threats and violence. the white house says president trump will talk tough on trade with china when he visits asia next week, we look at what's at stake. do we need to regulate social media? well, this us senator definitely thinks so, he'll tell us why.
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