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Cameroonian Singer Reniss Pays Tribute To Michael Jackson On Makossa-Influenced Track Ft. Jovi

Cameroonian singer Reniss pays tribute to Michael Jackson on her Makossa-influenced track featuring Jovi.


Cameroon's music renaissance is continuing to thrive in 2015 thanks in large part to Jovi's New Bell Music label. On her latest effort, Mankon-born, Douala-raised New Bell-signed singer Reniss pays homage to Michael Jackson, who in 1983 sampled Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango's famous mama-say/mama-sa/mama-ko-sa refrain from his early disco single, "Soul Makossa." Featuring and produced by Jovi (as his producer alter ergo Le Monstre), "Michael Jackson" opens with a sample of Ivorian rap pioneers R.A.S, before launching into a full-on Makossa-influenced tribute to the King of Pop. Reniss, who refers to her own sound as "tribal pop," told Okayafrica:

"I really wanted to represent sonically, what P-Square did visually. I wanted to give an African look to Michael Jackson's style. Michael used a lot of African influences in his music, like in 'Liberian Girl' and 'Wanna Be Startin Something.' So this is my way of showing respect to his work."

Listen to Reniss and Jovi's "Michael Jackson" below. For more from the New Bell Music labelmates, check the recent Cameroonian rap compilation EP, Lord Have Mercy. Look for a sophomore album from Reniss to drop later this year.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Global Citizen x OkayAfrica: The Impact of Conflict on Children

An estimated 1.4 million children have been hit by schools closing in the Tigray region of Ethiopia amid conflict and crisis. Here's how that's impacting Ethiopia's children.

In times of conflict and war, school-aged children could have their futures defined by whether or not they can access education amid ongoing violence.

Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray is in the midst of a war that has impacted millions of lives and affected neighboring regions, Amhara and Afar. The war — which has forced citizens to flee, has tipped the region into famine, and has barricaded humanitarian aid from reaching the most vulnerable — has now been going on for about 11 months.

As the beginning of the school season draws nearer, safely reopening schools, making education accessible, and protecting children from the impacts of violence in the affected regions is a priority for aid agencies.

"As schools prepare to reopen in early October in most parts of the country, in Tigray and the bordering regions of Afar and Amhara, where the conflict has expanded, education remains at a standstill," Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif, told Global Citizen.

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