News Brief

In Her Poem "How Many More?" Lula Saleh Explores the Hardships Faced by Refugees

This spoken word video on the refugee crisis asks, "How many more must die?"

DIASPORA—In a touching poem entitled, How Many More Must Die?, Lula Saleh—an Eritrean-Ethiopian songwriter and poet—explores the excruciating journey thousands of refugees attempt each day in search of a better life. The poem is accompanied by visuals of migrants on crowded speedboats—their faces weary and scared, scenes of cramped refugee camps and of children crossing railway tracks.


Throughout the poem, Saleh questions governments and people's desensitization to human suffering.

“They have no licenses when they arrive even when we entice them with the dreams we sell of picket fences, freedom of religion, and democracy. We tell them come, come here be free. But when it's too many of you refugees, we'll say go back, go back where you came from or stay in the water and die," she sings.

To listen to the poem in full, watch the video below.

Interview

Angelique Kidjo Writes a Love Letter to 'Mother Nature'

We talk to the Beninese musical icon about assembling her new album on Zoom and the "bigger than COVID-19" threat that lies ahead!

The kind of infectious energy that lives within Angelique Kidjo can't be contained by Zoom. Her zest for life reaches out far beyond any screen, and burns stronger than the fastest internet connection.

"I can't wait until we're in person hugging again," she enthuses soon after joining our Zoom meeting to discuss her latest album Mother Nature. Having been on the receiving end of a hug from the four-time Grammy-winning singer, I know exactly what I'm missing out on. "Me too," I say, as I wrap my arms around my laptop, my face squishing the screen. "No, no," she retorts. "I don't want that. You keep it. I want the real deal," she chuckles, her full-bodied trademark laughter lovingly admonishing me.

The Benin-born musician is preparing to release Mother Nature, a collection of songs reflecting our one Earth, and cementing her status as an African musical icon. Collaborating with the likes of Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Sampa the Great, Shungudzo and more, Kidjo's crossing through time and space, over age and country through Mother Nature's themes and stories. Each track is infused with a vigor that only she possesses — the kind that shares a significant message even as the listener is called to just dance or sing along.

Below, Angelique Kidjo reminisces about making the album, and chats us through her hopes and dreams for it!

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