News

Beninese Icon Angélique Kidjo Wins Third Career Grammy Award

The 2016 Grammy Award for "Best World Music Album" has gone to Angélique Kidjo for 'Sings.'

Angélique Kidjo and her third-career Grammy. Source: @angeliquekidjo


Angélique Kidjo has just won the 2016 Grammy Award for “Best World Music Album” for her Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg collaboration, Sings. The Beninese icon was up against South African choral group legends Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Malawi’s Zomba Prison Project, Gilberto Gil and Anoushka Shankar.

The win today is the third career Grammy for the Beninese icon. Kidjo took home the same award last year for her album Eve, and prior to that in 2008 for Djin Djin.

Kidjo's acceptance speech was nothing short of memorable. The artist behind Sings began  by singing her "thank you" song. "I want to dedicate this Grammy to all the traditional musicians in Africa, in my country, and all the young generation, the new African music, vibrant, joyful music that comes from my continent that you have to get yourself to discover," she went on to say. "Africa is on the rise. Africa is positive. Africa is joyful. Let's get together and be one through music and say no to hate and violence through music. Thank you"

She shared the same sentiment in an Instagram post in which the singer, activist and UN Goodwill Ambassador dedicated the award to her fellow African artists and musicians.

Twitter is already celebrating. Big up Angélique!

Film

Coming 2 America: New Yorkers in Zamunda

Coming 2 America: If one can sit through cringey "African accents" and take the elephants as hyperbole, they could score some laughs for nostalgia's sake.

Coming to America, originally released in 1988, is a cringeworthy watch in 2021. The cult classic opens with the song "Imbube" performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and shows the royal family of Zamunda living alongside elephants and zebras. Throughout the film, Africans are portrayed as savages who don't understand basketball, marvel at discarded glass and can't use mop buckets.

With its recently released sequel, Coming 2 America, which comes 32 years later, the film's original writers and director Craig Bowler had an opportunity to place the franchise on the right side of history. They try, but, for the most part, they fail.

Whereas Coming to America followed Africans as they navigate The Big Apple, in Coming 2 America, it's Americans who find themselves in Zamunda. They are the outliers whose slang, mannerisms and casual dress deem them the savages in a royal house of great mannerisms and dignified language.

Now the new king of Zamunda after the death of his father King Jaffe Joffer, still played by James Earl Jones, Akeem (reprised by Eddie Murphy 32 years later) finds himself in many similar situations that his father also faced in the original film. He gets to navigate outdated traditions he struggled against in his youth. Much like King Jaffe did when he used his power to allow his son to marry Lisa McDowell (still played by Shari Headley from the original movie) more than 30 years ago, Akeem has to exercise discretion while adjusting the royal rules that aren't aligned with the modern world.

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