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tv   The 77 Percent  Deutsche Welle  July 7, 2019 1:30pm-2:00pm CEST

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1st. the 1st. grand moment arrived joint direct attack on the journey. you know we're an interactive document . entering in time returns home. so i've heard it said before afropop after a future is in even it seems that recently there is i might even go as far as call it an obsession of africans to attach their identity to the works that they do and i'm wondering why why is african identity so important who better to answer this question for me than some young africans and one of them actually named his album title live and die in africa so we're going to start with you being an african story is our story told by us as told by us with the no hold on so if d
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w is a source let's put ourselves let's put ourselves on the line here d.w. is providing the platform d.w. suddenly not african but this is the african story told by us we are the ones who are telling you what we are about so the african story is the story as told by the people of africa detained on the lebanese issue has as no no no it doesn't shock me has asked another question who is. that's my question is was asked because because well no i know a great group but how many how many generations is it take to be defined as africa is what i want to know. ok does anyone have an answer to that question how many generations does it take for you to be defined as african assuming that your background or what we call your indigenous roots are not african any answer any takers. doesn't have to take generations i think we have people who have lived in kenya for 10 years right now and they see them so. and it's actually how you carry
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the african pride how you see yourself how you respect the culture how you respect their cage and what makes you feel you it doesn't have to be skinned. i'm actually very surprised that we have not brought up the issue of skin color so that i don't think you know i don't think it's it's i just want to build a much he said i don't think it's enough for you to see yourself as an african the african people the community that you're in has to see you as an african you get it has to be a 2 week thing i found this is a very philosophical so to be is to be perceived to be african is to be perceived and i can just insert myself into africa and feel african oh my god i feel african no it has to be you have the people who you found there do they see you as african and if they see you as african then like i'm saying it's always a 2 way conversation that if they see you as african then you see yourself as african as well and then that's when you can start talking about an african i don't it's not an individual feeling it's not something that you bestow upon yourself
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it's the people who that story told you so if for example my producer director johan who by the way is behind the scenes here comes to africa he feels as african as he wants to be and we see him as african does that then became this story about identity onto him i'm just trying to establish the parameters no no ok let's look at the north american continent who we see as people we call them the native americans we're looking at the people who 1st arrived on that continent and for generations and generations of elegant identity connected to that man named the land developed cultures connector that developed language that's connected to that continent african identity is also connected to history who are the 1st inhabitants of this continent for how long have they developed a way of life that is connected to the roots and to the animals and to the way that they tell the land and all that kind of stuff for me honestly that's really authentic african identity of course the other people who are. topped into the
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composition that's right so there's people who live across line who have you know mingle with arabs and these are people who. are we would even say chinese you know whatever you know i'm going to move here and you see it i think that it becomes dice a bit and i correct me if i'm wrong sophia but it seems that we are very sensitive about the ownership of this identity so when other people lay claim to it we get a little edgy about it why are we so sensitive about identity i think we have now we 1st of all i absolutely think we've because of colonialism and in having to deal with imperialism we are extra touchy about the subject of african events because we had to face a situation where our african music was put to the test and i think that colonialism essentially brought us together as africans to even play better claim and more claim to our identity as africans and i'm always hearing this thing you know africans rallying behind africans be and i've heard it's i've heard you say
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a couple of times africans listening to african music is just such a thing as a collective african sound a collective african psyche is no collective africans like you because the people of africa have come from different backgrounds different based the different languages they had come from different tribes have different. meaning. than how nuns and culture have different names and cultures and there's no unified african culture there is no unified european culture is german be a bit belgian beer you know so those things exist but for the different you know communities ok so different and diverse african cultures but a unified african identity ok so let me break that down how far reaching is this identity does it apply to our laws of headed said homosexuality is an african. i know you're not. i mean does it apply to all facets of life or is it just social
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economic i think it's mostly social economic when it comes to the law and we have completely embraced colonial sort of dispositions when it comes to how we choose to govern ourselves so you'd find very little african influence and perhaps the african influence in our law is what people have specially feminist would term as we try aggressive african culture but somebody might hear you say that and say well you are influenced by the west you're hearing some of western ideas having this conversation in english. having this conversation in the english trade so yeah it's so that's the thing i don't actually believe that even $29.00 t. even in the centuries to come that there would still be this thing called african identity i feel because of socialization because of colonization because of globalization essentially that this idea of african is it is one that will be depleted in the years to come you don't agree and i don't know that. i think it's
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because of the influence and the pressure and the context of globalization that's the precise reason why people hold on to their identity that's the reason why you you cling to what makes you different if if there's a force that's that's homogenizing everyone making a run the same then what makes you unique becomes that much more important so i think in some ways there will be you know like what you're seeing like a degrade nation basically of identity but i think it paradoxically and simultaneously too that there will be a really strong clinging to what makes us different but it feels that oh well tattoo is really not on your mind and body is really you know you're not happy bunny here is you know what i find it funny that none of us are talked about how the fact that african identity has also been tied to our struggle we have not had a conversation about privilege we've not had a conversation about this our skin tone let's have it. and the fact that our skin
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tone in all its melanie to forms has been the subject of prejudice has been the subject of slavery 400 plus years both in our arabia and and in the you know west in the americas or whatever and that that also contributes to what we consider ourselves to be basically i would imagine that when you in the face of a lot of adversity in the face of a lot of hardship there is this desire to hold on to something there's this element where if a white person is here even for 30 years the still an element of privilege attached to their skin tone that will forever tie them to the european come continent you see there is someone even if it's you talking about indians or if you talk about arabs will always be a level of privilege attached to their skin tone that connects them to their i think that's a that they will always have oppression attacks to identity no but that that or pressure and those outside forces the same way that a diamond is formed by outside pressures can i get a witness so you can see. that he has played a role in shaping what we have so we are very very sensitive about holding on to it
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because so much has been taken from us that we are like ok what do we have all right we have our skin tone ok we have our sense of rhythm ok we have our our the architect is we have our music we have art and she my golly. pounded yum you know so we have all these things that we have to celebrate and we're happy to adorn but when other people wear them adorn them in a way as though they're celebrating it's we call it appropriation and it's appropriate that there is a line the line these drawn when. african cultures and then the people of the continent for the dewpoint bill to do need to feel that i'm not benefiting them for me in any way so for example if gucci for example who decides to take the most likely to engage and then do a run we you know his intention of that and then go oh my god africa is so amazing but no africans are actually the most lay people who are there when it is of the form of fabric. and i'm going to benefit from it that's. ok so the problem of the
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man being a christian. then how how does that actually work in practice do you want gucci mane to shout out in the quran is doing a song or you're good i mean if you don't like that because in the same breath we have also our music has been influenced by the west we've been influenced by r. and b. we've been influenced by sounds that are not from here ok let me come with a microphone and i was just about to say we have the largest population of educated africans the has ever existed across the continent people are walk and for that reason it's about time that we took it. to prime. doing that because i've heard it said that africans will wait until the african americans creates a black hair movement for them to adopt their own natural we too late to this spot to do we not have a voice of our own can i hear some voices from the back please anyone have an opinion on that. i feel like we africans sometimes
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we wait for maybe someone in the west to do something for it to become a trend of value that you know we know it's. you know it's cool now know the d.v.d. but before we don't take pride in it or something like that but we just usually wait for maybe someone else to know do we doing ok so i suppose a bigger question i'm asking to what extent are we responsible for shaping this idea of african wait and watch he said like we actually wait for the west indies to come up with something and then. most of the time we start something like one of you know that people will pick up a trend and start doing something but no one. is doing but someone in the west would actually see and see how they can my denies i. said an idea and then they would actually use it and then we will all. well they're trying to say listen i'm
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really tough questions being asked here so i'm going to just return it to these guys a week or more defying africanness africanized how we commodify it it's. no more than ever we are commodifying maybe not to the extent of the west but we're getting to a place where we're going to learn our strengths to this business people as young girls we're doing amazing things for the industry and after going to taking this space so this african identity narrative is not a trend it's not a trend and i think it's so it's so sad for us to think that we are so blank that we look to for the sources of what makes us us from outside and i think we shouldn't mistake visibility in terms of like media coverage or that you know fame for full being the originators of something just because someone famous is making it more famous doesn't mean that it wasn't being done before so for example if
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becomes a trend now in some high end restaurant in new york right that doesn't mean that we were not eating that it's just that we don't have high end restaurants in new york yes so we shouldn't confuse visibility for nothing happened just because you know for trendsetting just because you didn't witnessing being it's being done doesn't mean it was not being done or doesn't mean that that famous person who did it was the 1st to do it was just found he was feeling it seems ok ok ok ok look so you guys heard recently that oklahoma thought i was. yeah if you look you know i've been. a monkey noble here for your benefit talk you know much out of being because very free is from lion king which means no worries in africa yeah which is very revealing and it shows that where we need to step up legally as africans is we kind of need to be able to get a heavier presence in terms of trademarking in terms of cooperating in terms of seeing what we have and of the things that we have. potential exports or whatever
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the only reason i say that is because someone else is going to do it so everyone everyone so everyone got mad ok you know the lion king one of the blah blah i didn't for didn't do it 1st i'm of the opinion that to a certain degree colonizers in the spirit of corn is asian is the idea that everything is to conquer and to take over and all this kind of stuff and i would say that to a certain degree the african identity maybe to a lesser degree doesn't have as much of that but that's the nature of the world right now which means how do we fight that battle i think by increasing our footprint legally in terms of copyright in terms of trademark in terms of could think about even music man how many africans have this stuff getting royalties from from from the you know just the music mechanical royalties streaming royalties blah blah blah blah there's a problem ok so back to you because introduced words like legal framework do we actually have structures that support these things that we're talking about the things that greed our identity. greed going to you know make it more visible i
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think it's just a matter of exploiting what is already there because if we have corporate noise we have intellectual property law is we have all these remarks here it's a matter of how committed are we as kenyans in different spheres and different professions to actually protect this african identity is this a matter of actually taking the steps towards ok i just have a follow up question on visibility because it's one thing to be seen but also who is representing you on that platform how important is it that you have african faces or it doesn't matter you know if the world gets to know about congress from kim kardashian then they know about african his dolls how well it is totally it matters if they are not does very much so what did she says about africans having a more kind of like legal and copyright presence or strategy is good but i also think that the people who are stealing should stop stealing right so if you have. a
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house which has valuable things in it and someone comes in breaks in and thinks your stuff right. who did the wrong thing was it wrong for you to have things in your house or was it the thief who shouldn't have come to steal the right so i think we should also have that conversation that the reason why africans don't copyright everything is because it doesn't occur to us that these things are. still i mean i mean the people who are stealing are the ones who have a walk mentality ok so really we have are you going to hold on little before we get into the spiral of copyright law because that's not what we're here for i just want to understand so we're saying that i will mindset our mindset is more advanced than our actions we are more walk in our minds and we are with our actions so we demand better leadership online but we're not doing anything to make the spaces better correct so are we. no not really no demand better leadership and not doing anything ok you're doing things you know african youth or working. african artists
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are writing songs about poor leadership african artists. doing paintings all over this place about all of those you know but things that are happening so i think we are doing stuff is just it takes time it takes and yeah these things are going to take to do africans actually you know each other we're talking about a collective identity but how much i wonder do you know about what's happening in mali or djibouti can you tell me anything about their president anything about. malawi. how how when how when i can i can barely get a visa to south africa. you look at the roman empire and one of the biggest things they did was make facilitate easy travel between the different regions right and here we are as kenyans it's more expensive to fly to like. i have to fly to like dogs or something like. that but whatever we understand these
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conversations are going to be facilitated by by things like transport infrastructure if i know that i can hop on a high speed train and be in central african republic in 6 hours you know that changes even my perception of them the conversations that we're having so i feel like transport is a major major major influencer but is there even an initial curiosity from us because you know if anybody wants to take a holiday in this country they'll most likely by want to dubai and not necessarily in mozambique yeah do we have value on our own environments resources people. i would say yes and no it really depends on the context one of the things that is is an impediment treaty in terms of africans uniting his language half of africa and africa of africa francophone speaking they speak a different language from us and so you almost imagine that half of the continent you can communicate with great and then the rest of the continent what brings us
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together what binds us together and i don't think that they nothings that bind us together as africans so apart from trade apart from us. and probably exactly i think the only thing is music so how can we actually be able to bridge those gaps between different countries and bring these cultures together and i think that's why it's on to so that the africans were making music for the continent actually doing a really good job of creating sounds and creating movements and bring africans together ok but ben do you feel that music is already doing this are you feeling a bridge now you know actually the highest level of trade. between african countries is that one of is one of art music has been has played the biggest role in uniting this country and unifying this continent a lot of people have an idea they don't age in music they didn't use it has been your representation of an african to the whole world for a long long time as a for that reason even i find the music makes of africans want to go to other countries where the music comes from music has really built an awareness of you
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know this movement of young african people who are doing amazing things and the musicians you know breaking barriers globally as part of african youth and of course being as we know so so is always singing in kiswahili but i'm curious how many of us here going back to the point of language are able to speak in their mother tongue by show of hands. and you know the biggest advocates yet. how we know how does that lead the way how how how does that work. being please come here and tell me you know it was a question yeah probably knew to be in people speak latin you know the thing is language evolves and language is a forever evolving you know thing and that's important for us to hold onto a car just make sure that the you know it's. going to the region of a generation but at the same time i'm going to crucify an african to this because of and i think a language because you're born in fact yeah you're born in that you're going to
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communicate and you're born in the in a place where this is what you've been taught what you can do is make sure that you do your best to be a good africa ok it's so interesting because i find that in music particularly when artists from africa sing or rap in english and not in the vernacular they get heat for it if they're considered less african like why you see why you're only singing in english so i'm really interested to find out at least from the from the artists here today what how do you then balance that they call to me between having to almost reaffirm your african identity each time you sing a song and they need. to globalize well to show you why don't you tell us you ceiling singing in english mostly i do not think you are the people who are getting the heat right so i'll start by i think was it how does and i'm sure mom and she talked about the myth the myth of the simplest of african story how to live in my mind i left kenya when i was 6 i lived in lusaka zambia i lived in north of mauritania i lived in dakar senegal then i went to vancouver then i was in los angeles and i came back to my house my father is muslim my mom is new they always
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spoke to in english to each other english became my 1st language now. i lived arguably in all the corners of africa doesn't make me less african because i can speak english my africanness will always project in a different way so we have different ways that we project african is this language this this style of dress there's many aspects of culture how you call yourself and your existing young or just just you know just the way i look even just the way i look you know just this globe right it's not you it's african so we all have different ways of sort of manifesting the different elements takes to really be considered african languages just one of the most riveting is that the songs on the billboard charts the biggest african songs in the world are not in english and in french in the makes them ali and. that's the highest like grossing song ever my point is just music is the universal language music unites and it's just music is a. lot of these things even like the songs that really pop in we want to get with this a. connect with the connect ok it seems of this conversation is this kind of going
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back and forth and touching on things that we've already addressed but now i'm coming back to placing value on these cultural maka as i think you talked about it earlier but why does it seem that it's only now that we're really careful to listen to african music and to where african fabric. to be honest i am. probably has more prominence now but it's i think that has been going on for years and decades on and i personally reflect on my socialization my upbringing like how did that look like when i went to school what was what premium was being placed on the arts and i feel like we've the disservice has started would started essentially when we're younger right because there's a point in time where you wouldn't even express your cultural identity and be embraced for it so this is something that we're being very intentional about especially within our generation and i think it would take our generation to change things ok but i just want to ask you guys that question one more time why is
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african identity so important africa has been the site of theft upon theft up on. and that sense of loss has been part of our history for centuries really and it's in this moment of globalization cup late stage capitalism is when it's becoming more intense right and so there is one way we are looking to what makes us different is because that's how for us to become human our human has been identified with not africa right that that in the category of human black does not exist african does not exist in order for you to be human you have to be white or white to adjacent right and so we are here expanding the category of human to include africa that well that was that was that was that that hit me right here ok to see you really been giving us some lines from what i know full well i think i think african identity is is so important especially because. when you consider
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likely really a person's lifetime and you look at when identity is most important we always say it's in the u.s. persons you write and i think especially because we are probably the youngest continent african identies extremely important people of branching off people are trying to take in groups people are trying to figure out where my and the answer to that question the african answer to that question is extremely important in terms of how we impact the rest of the world with you know ok finally i think for a long time we've been lost and we've just come from a history of so many you know a very dark history of so many gruesome things that happened and so that has. translated this generation mode knowing themselves as the shoot of this continent identity is what we need to fight as the most important thing kids. and then school when you grow up and you leave the and you embrace it from the beginning while well thank you very much you guys and that's a great place to wrap up this conversation i suppose we can all agree that it's
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very complex and i'm not entirely sure we fully question but i think one thing we can agree on is that african identity is important because it affirms that we were unlike christine said it affirms that we still are thank you so much for tuning in that was so exciting i'm actually a little exhausted just from all the thinking thanks for joining us.
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can sleep. carefully and don't know. the truth to be a good. discovery home. subscribe to the documentary on you tube. i'm not laughing to the gym well i just sometimes i am but most often whip it out of research i haven't thinks deep into the german culture of looking at the
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stereotypes the question in here think the future of the country that i'm playing the piano needed to take from this drama day i don't delete those it's cold out there nothing i might show to join me to make the german fun d.w. . post. here. you know this is you 5 minutes more minutes. having all. these fits in the pantheon of the great tennis certainly he's one for the ages. but the pop. culture. starts july 10th on t.w.
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