News Brief

Burundi Bans Women Drummers, Loses the Beat

What the hell, Burundi? Women can't be stopped from drumming so don't even try.

The Burundian government, under the leadership of President Pierre Nkurunziza, has put into place strict laws prohibiting women from taking part in the country's celebrated ritual dance of the royal drums.

The new restrictions also forbid drumming at "unofficial events" including weddings and parties. While woman are outright banned from the practice, men who want to engage, must first register with the Ministry of Culture and gain government approval if they seek to perform the ritual outside of official ceremonies, reports Times Live.

The presidential decree states that any organizer looking to have drummers at their event, must pay a fee of around $280.

The lauded dance of royal drums was placed on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2014. Prior to the government establishing restrictions on the practice, drums were widely performed at weddings. Though historically male-dominated, groups consisting of woman drummers have formed over the years.

Many have criticized the increasingly authoritarian government for its wanton and discriminatory actions against woman drummers and its obvious attempt to profit off of the sacred drumming tradition, which is, in fact, the opposite of actually protecting its cultural value.

Music

Listen to Femi Kuti's New Song 'As We Struggle Everyday'

Femi explains: "'As We Struggle Everyday' is about how hard people work everyday to make ends meet and still go to vote corrupt politicians into power who are meant to be in jail."

Femi Kuti shares his new single, "As We Struggle Everyday," the latest drop from the upcoming double album Legacy +, a joint endeavor with his son Made Kuti.

"As We Struggle Everyday" is a politically-charged afrobeat tune about people having the voting power to hold their 'leaders' accountable, but often failing to do so. Throughout the song, Femi sings "As we struggle everyday We try to find a better way See these leaders wey suppose jail Na him my people dem dey hail."

Femi explains: "'As We Struggle Everyday' is about how hard people work everyday to make ends meet and still go to vote corrupt politicians into power who are meant to be in jail."

Legacy +, which is due out February 5 from Partisan Records, includes a full album by Femi titled Stop The Hate and an album by his son, Made, titled For(e)ward. The pair have previously shared the singles "Pà Pá Pà" and "Your Enemy" off the upcoming release.

Listen to Femi Kuti's "As We Struggle Everyday" below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The Sounds of Somali Supergroup 4 Mars

A seminal anthology of 4 Mars, a 40-member Somali supergroup formed in 1977, is coming out via Ostinato Records.