News

BBC Just Launched A New Pidgin Digital Service and We're Here For It

BBC launched its new pidgin digital service today. Here's what you can expect.

As part of its goal to reach 500 million people by 2022, today the BBC premiered its new digital platform in Pidgin English—hoping to attaract the 75 million Nigerians that speak the language as well those who speak it in Cameroon, Ghana, and Sierra Leone.


For decades, this lingua franca that combines English and local languages was considered the language of the poorly educated. When Wazobia FM  became the first local radio exclusively in pidgin, some people questioned how can one talk of serious worldly subjects in that vernacular. But in recent years, the language has become wholeheartedly embraced and even cool to speak.

BBC hopes to follow the success of Wazobia FM which is now the most widely listened to radio station in Nigeria, and has assigned its team of 15 journalist to transform this largely oral language into a written one.

What you can expect to find on the new website are a mix of local, regional and international news, features, and even podcasts, all with an aim to target a younger audience.

You can check out the new website here.

Interview

Amadou & Mariam Forever

We talk to the legendary Malian duo about their rich past, songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities.

Amadou & Mariam don't require an introduction.

The couple has been making Afro-blues music for over 35 years, drawing inspiration from their home of Mali, for over 35 years.

Their 1999 albumSou Ni Tilé sold 100,000 copies. In 2005, their album Dimanche à Bamako won the French Victoire de la Musique prize for Best World Music Album of the year and the BBC Radio 3 Award for Africa. It also went platinum in France after selling over 300,000 copies. The duo have performed with U2, Coldplay, Blur and many others.

We caught up with them below for a conversation about their rich past, their songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities, ahead of the duo's performance at the upcoming London Jazz Festival 2021.

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