At some point in your life the phrase “Oldies but Goldies” will make a lot of sense.
While Africa is unique in many different ways, one thing that continues to put it on the global map is the unique style of African music. In Africa, traditional music is an integral part of various cultures.
It is absolutely almost impossible to pick out five best songs from back in the days but for brevity, here are some of the best traditional African songs that rocked our parties and living rooms back in the days.
Water No Get Enemy by Fela Kuti:
It must be said at this point that it is difficult to pick one song from the late Fela which can stand as the best but since we’re streamlining the songs here to five “Water No Get Enemy” which took up the second side of his 1975 album ‘Expensive Shit’ will be it because everyone uses water. This track chronicles in hilarious detail a failed attempt to charge him for possession of weed – and ridicules the police involved in the bust.
For a less contentious meaning, its thought-provoking lyrics are based on a Yoruba proverb concerning the power of nature and why living in harmony with nature will bring longevity.
Vulindela by Brenda Fassie:
This was a song by Brenda Nokuzola Fassie who passed at the age of 39. She was a South African anti-apartheid Afropop singer and sometimes is described as the “Queen of African Pop”. This song which was released in 1997 was about her son getting married and how proud she was to be getting a daughter-in-law. Unfortunately she came to a premature end due to a long struggle with a drug addiction problem.
Agolo by Angelique Kidjo:
Released in 1994 by one of the most celebrated West African artistes known as Angelique Kidjo, ‘Agolo” is a celebration of Mother Earth. It is a song of hope and a call to the good powers of nature. It was sung by the ‘Fon gbe’ of Benin Republic. These people are of Yoruba descent.
Africa by Salif Keita:
Salif Keïta who hails from Mali was born August 25, 1949. His reputation travels far not just because he is referred to as the “Golden Voice of Africa” but also because he is a person living with albinism. The song which was released in 1996 was performed in English and French language. It is a song that praises the beautiful continent.
Malaika by Fadhili Williams:
Commonly used for entertainment in wedding ceremonies in Kenya and other East-African countries, Malaika written in 1960 is regarded as one of Africa’s greatest songs. It is only unfortunate that it was attributed to Mariam Makeba’s remix after Fadhili failed to copyright it. Malaika simply means “angel” in the Swahili tongue.