Features

Full length journalistic features

LO’JO – In Georgia

Denis Péan Tbilisi Old Town 2012

The best thing about drinking wine from a hollowed out ram’s horn is that you can’t put the thing down. You have to keep holding onto to it otherwise it’ll topple over, and if you’re holding it, you might as well carry on drinking. Inevitably, with a ram’s horn goblet in hand, the wine keeps…

MALI RAP – Talking rhymes with Presidents and Putschistas

Sidiki Diabate and Iba One at the Diabaté house in 'Ntomikorobougou

  “Don’t be surprised if it explodes one day!” When I met Mylmo I knew nothing about him except that he was rapper who was performing on the main stage of the Festival on the Niger that very night. I interviewed him in an empty restaurant on the banks of the great river – most…

JUPITER – Kinshasa’s rebel general stands tall

In the early years of that epic conflict known as the cold war, an Irishman wrote a funny-sad piece of theatre, a kind of excruciating fairy tale about a pair of old tramps who sat around waiting for this guy called Godot. Except that Godot wasn’t a person of course; he was an idea, a…

Have we seen the last of One Eyed Jack?

Since the accords between the NMLA and Ansar Eddine were rejected by the NMLA political leadership at the end of May, it’s been fascinating, if not painful, to watch the contortions of the NMLA leadership as they attempted to accommodate Ansar Eddine, a movement with which they had plenty in common ethnically, but very little ideologically or strategically.

DANYEL WARO – Mongrel and proud

Danyel Waro; La Renuion; Maloya

Like the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley and Eminem, Danyel Waro has taken a style of music that wasn’t his by birthright and fashioned it into something new. The music in question is maloya.

AFROCUBISM – An old transatlantic love story

AfroCubism: Eliades Ochoa and Bassekou Kouyate

When the record producer Nick Gold traveled to Cuba in the early 1990s he had the genius to perceive the well-spring of love for Cuban music that still flowed through Mali and West Africa and appreciate the strength of their intertwining histories.