Music has always been at the core of African tradition, weaving a rich narrative that showcases the variety of cultures and influences across the continent. Marking pivotal moments in Africa’s history, music has provided the backdrop to progress, evolving from songs of freedom to songs of expression.
While the annual commemoration of Africa Day is an opportunity to celebrate the strides that the continent has made, it’s also a chance to address some of the challenges that it continues to face. In a similar vein, the impact of African influence on the global music scene has also been a journey.
With exciting collaborations taking place and access to a broader audience, African creators now have more opportunities than ever before to discover new audiences and have their unique voices heard.
To mark Africa Day Spotify took a look at the top streamed artists globally from the African continent. With fans from London to Paris and Amsterdam to Sydney streaming their music via Spotify, it’s not surprising that popular Nigerian singer and songwriter, Burna Boy, takes the top spot.
Africa’s diverse music landscape with its distinctive genres continues to give rise to musical collaborations both on the continent and abroad. Burna Boy has used his particular sound to drive successful collabs including ‘Loved By You (feat. Burna Boy)’ with Justin Bieber and ‘Location (feat. Burna Boy)’ with British rapper Dave. Over the past 90 days (March – May 2021), ‘Loved By You (feat. Burna Boy)’ has amassed over 31 million streams, globally.
Similarly, the phenomenal global success of Master KG’s hit Jerusalema (feat. Nomcebo Zikode), which led to an Afrobeats inspired remix featuring Burna Boy, garnered over 43 million streams, globally over the last 90 days (March – May 2021). African artists are not just featuring on the global stage they are owning it.
“Spotify has always celebrated Africa’s abundance of talent and diversity. Now with Spotify’s presence across Africa, we will continue to use the power of the platform to amplify African creators to a global audience. This serves to offer artists even more opportunity to further strengthen their connection to their audiences as well as drive the discovery of their music to new audiences which, for us, is an integral part of the user’s listening experience. says Phiona Okumu, Head of Music, Sub-Saharan Africa.
Spotify continues to drive initiatives that support African creators including, promoting key curated, flagship playlists such as African Heat, AmaPiano Grooves, RADAR Africa, and most recently, Gengetone Fire, which has driven further discovery and celebration of African influence. Spotify also houses the Afrohub platform that promotes and brings to the surface culturally diverse music to users around the world.
The expansion of RADAR – Spotify’s global artists program that supports artists along every step of their music journey – has been instrumental in promoting talent from across the continent. To date RADAR Africa has welcomed several creators including, Elaine, rapper Willy Cardiac, Nigerian singer-songwriter Tems and AmaPiano hitmaker Focalistic (who also featured extensively in Spotify’s recent African Heat campaign) to the roster of Africa’s RADAR artists.
These young artists all have been influenced by the sounds of Africa with Focalistic listing South Africa’s classic Bacardi house music as the music he grew up on that continues to influence his expressive AmaPiano. Focalistic also names top Nigerian producer, Fresh as one of his biggest African influencers.
As Spotify continues to give listeners across the continent streaming access to the best African and international audio continent, it will continue to drive education around Spotify for Artists, a powerful free tool that artists are encouraged to make use of to better understand and build their audience and gain insight on how to best promote themselves. This, together with the expertise of Spotify’s music team and all the platforms’ initiatives will ensure that Spotify remains an instrumental vehicle for African creators looking to feature on a global stage.
Additionally, kicking off on 24 May and running during the week of Africa Day, there will be an African takeover of Spotify’s Global X playlist. The playlist will spotlight Africa’s biggest artists across regions and on each day, the playlist cover will be dedicated to artists including Lady Du (SA), DaVido (NG), Sarkodie (GH), Sauti Sol (KE), ElGrandeToto (MR), Mohammed Ramadan (EG) andDiamond Platinumz (TZ). The Global X playlist is a key part of Spotify’s Global Cultures Initiative that promotes culturally diverse music from around the world.
The top streamed African artists globally (March – May 2021)
The top streamed tracks by African artists globally (March – May 2021)
- ‘Copines’ – Aya Nakamura
- ‘Loved By You (feat. Burna Boy)’ – Burna Boy, Justin Bieber
- ‘Jerusalema (feat. Nomcebo Zikode)’ – Master KG
- ‘Location (feat. Burna Boy)’ – Burna Boy, Dave
- ‘Djadja (feat. Maluma)’ – Remix – Aya Nakamura, Maluma
The top streamed Nigerian artists outside of Nigeria (March – May 2021)
The top streamed tracks by Nigerian artists outside of Nigeria (March – May 2021)
- ‘Nesesari (feat. Philkeyz)’ by Kizz Daniel, Philkeyz
- ‘On the Low’ by Burna Boy
- ‘Ye’ by Burna Boy
- ‘Joro’ by WizKid
- ‘Ginger (feat. Burna Boy)’ – WizKid, Burna Boy
- ‘Essence (feat. Tems)’ – WizKid, Tems
- ‘Lento’ – Mr Eazi, J Balvin
- ‘Infinity (feat. Omah Lay)’ – Olamide, Omah Lay
- ‘Real Life (feat. Stormzy)’ – Burna Boy, Stormzy
- ‘Handle It’ – Yemi Alade, Frenna
IDC Examines Rise of Innovative Digital Strategies in West Africa
More than 100 of West Africa’s most influential IT and business decision makers gathered online this week for the 8th annual installment of the IDC West Africa CIO Summit , with Kashifu Inuwa, director general of Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) presenting the day’s opening address.
Hosted on IDC’s industry-leading digital platform, the event brought together senior business leaders, influential IT heads, and respected industry analysts to share their collective expertise around the theme ‘Innovative Digital Strategies: Evolving to the Demands of a New Reality’.
“Evolving to the demands of a new reality will require changes in approach to connectivity and IT infrastructure, security, workforce, and customer experience,” said Mark Walker, IDC’s associate vice president for Sub-Saharan Africa, as he welcomed the delegates. “Executive buy-in and collaboration across lines of business and technology leadership will be key to facilitating this transformation.”
“Securing this executive buy-in will require a clear focus on the individual goals of the entire C-suite,” added Oluwole Babatope, IDC’s senior research analyst in West Africa. “Indeed, IT leaders should ensure innovative digital strategies incorporate the CEO’s goal of customer experience, the CMO’s goal of customer engagement, the COO’s goal of customer journey, and the CFO’s goal of cost management.”
The IDC West Africa CIO Summit 2021 combined presentations, panel discussions, real-life use cases, and individual technology tracks to give delegates exclusive guidance on overcoming the challenges that lie in wait. IDC’s chief research officer, Meredith Whalen, presented the Summit’s keynote address, ‘The Future Enterprise: Developing Digital Resiliency ‘, in which she warned the region’s businesses that COVID-19 will not be the last disruption they face.
The event also played host to the launch of IDC’s CIO Advisory Council for West Africa. The council is an independent industry body tasked with spurring collaboration, incubating innovation, and accelerating the proliferation of new technology trends across the region, and its esteemed members for 2021 include: Bukola Ajetunmobi, CIO, Providus Bank; Oluwaseun Solanke, CIO, Airtel Nigeria; Prasanna Burri, Group CIO, Dangote Group; Richard Amafonye, CIO, Wema Bank; Tobe Nnadozie, Divisional Head, Business Technology & Digital Innovation, CSCS; Godfred Ofori-Som, Head of IT, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation; Tagbo Nnoli, CIO, Polaris Bank and; Foster Ekuede Lelekele, Director, Management Information Systems, Ghana Highway Authority For the very first time, this year’s IDC West Africa CIO Summit incorporated a dedicated CIO Masterclass Arena that attendees were able to access throughout the course of the event. This section of the virtual platform showcased a series of exclusive CXO best-practice presentations, fireside chats, and panel discussions with more than 30 respected industry thought leaders from global and regional pioneers such as HSBC, Chevron Corporation, McDonald’s, Levi Strauss & Co., Toyota, OANDA, ARB Apex Bank, and Nigeria’s Central Securities Clearing System.
IDC would like to thank the following partners for their invaluable contribution to the success of the IDC West Africa CIO Summit 2021: Summit Partners: VMware and UiPath; Platinum Partners: Palo Alto Networks, Dell Technologies, Citrix, Poly, and Open Text; Technology Focus Group Partners: Darktrace, Check Point, Hewlett Packard Enterprise operated by Selectium, ManageEngine, and FireEye.
Canon Collaborate With Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya Creative Communities
Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) has invited film and photography communities across Africa to connect and collaborate. They are excited to announce the first three: SYNC School in Cairo, Egypt; Peexoo, a Nigerian photography hub, and the Photographers’ Association of Kenya (PAK).
More are welcome as the global imaging leaders would like to develop creative collaborations in every country in the region. Canon has been a long-standing supporter of film and photography education groups. These relationships can now go deeper by sharing Canon expertise, knowledge and technology, with regular masterclasses, training opportunities, photo booths and competitions.
Canon is committed to build closer ties with its customers and the collaborations are a way to inspire and enrich the next generation of image-makers. “Our mission is to empower people to see the bigger picture, on a grand yet local level,” explains Amine Djouahra, sales and marketing director for Canon Central & North Africa. “In this rapidly changing, image-based culture, we want to explore new and innovative ideas with a wider audience.”
There has been an enthusiastic response: “SYNC is a community based school of 94,000 for creatives in Egypt with photographers, filmmakers and content creators. We are thrilled to build this relationship with Canon and learn, grow and create together,” said SYNC’s founder and creative director, Mustafa Sharara.
Peexoo, a photography hub powered by artificial intelligence, brings together 2,000+ photographers and videographers from across Nigeria. “We change perceptions through film and photography,” said Peexoo Co-Founder, tech-preneur Steven Kelechi Nwadike. “We are ecstatic that Canon is joining us on this journey.”
The Professional Photographers’ Association of Kenya (PAK) is the leading photographic society in the country, representing professionals, amateurs and hobbyists. “We are proud to partner with Canon at this time, a collaboration which will uplift, inspire and encourage our photographic community,” said Victor Otieno, PAK Treasurer.
Through the collaborations, community members gain exclusive access to masterclasses with Canon ambassadors including Emmanuel Oyeleke (https://bit.ly/3xpFaOD) and Yagazi Emezi (https://bit.ly/2SHkx1A) who will present a masterclass to Peexoo members and Menna Hossam (https://bit.ly/3vvefzE) who will present “Fine art and fashion photographer: Challenges of this genre & the future of creating enchanting images in the era of social media”, to SYNC School members.
Regular competitions will be used to challenge and inspire with exciting prizes such as Canon’s mini phone-to-printer Zoemini, the portable Selphy and the G-Series printers, as well as a compact Powershot SX720 and mirrorless M50 cameras.
Hands-on ‘touch and try’ sessions with cutting-edge Canon R system technology, EOS cameras and lenses are in the plan with special, members-only discounts available on Canon equipment.
Canon’s interest in developing and recognising excellence both in amateur and professional photographers goes beyond this. The Canon Future Focus programme for students is in its fifth year and the inaugural Redline Challenge for amateur photographers received great response in entries from African region.
“We believe in enriching local creatives and welcome the opportunity to connect and support the next generation of visual storytellers. By investing expertise, technology and opportunities in them, we hope to enhance their art, skills and future careers,” said Amine Djouahra.
Facebook Highlights Afrocentric Liquor Loved in Homes and Bars Globally
In commemoration of this year’s Africa’s Day, Facebook draws attention to a brand that is helping to reshape, refine and reproduce a drink viewed by many as a ‘drink for the streets’.
This drink is popularly known as ‘ogogoro’ and the brand that’s putting this drink on the global map is Pedro’s Premium Ogogoro. With an Instagram page that has been deliberately designed to charm people from all walks of life into getting a taste of this drink, Pedro is doing a great job of spreading the tentacles of Nigeria’s cultural drink into the world’s most urban regions.
From Lagos Nigeria, Pedro’s premium ogogoro has now found a market in Ghana, Kenya and London. Let’s take a quick peek at seven things we can learn about this Afrocentric liquor that’s now finding its way to bars across the world.
- Ogogoro can be both traditional and modern
A first glance at Pedro’s Instagram page portrays the enticing look of a bottle with a splendid blue label. Pedro’s has proven that the drink called ‘ogogoro’ can look premium and be compared with Western alcoholic drinks like vodka, whiskey, brandy, etc.
- Ogogoro is loved by all and sundry
From the riverine communities of Nigeria’s southern regions, Pedro’s shows that ogogoro can transcend rural borders and find its way into the hands and homes of people living in highbrow areas of Lagos and other countries like Ghana, Kenya and the UK.
- Ogogoro isn’t just about the drink, it’s about the culture
Pedro’s Premium Ogogoro constantly shows how the culture behind the drink is vital. A preview of the photos on the brand’s Instagram page shows several images of African cultural items. It’s obvious that the culture is what drives the brand, not just the liquor. Maybe, there’s a spirit in this spirit drink called ogogoro.
- People love ogogoro
Every now and then, you’ll see Instagram posts from Pedro’s explaining that their stock has been sold out which leads to a safe assumption that the demand for premium ogogoro is almost more than the supply.
- You can use ogogoro in cocktails
Cocktails are known to contain such heavy spirits as whiskey and vodka but it’s interesting to note that ogogoro can also make for a good base in cocktail drinks and they can actually look and taste great.
- Ogogoro can also use some pairings
Fans of alcoholic drinks are definitely aware of the multiple variations of meals and other stuff that probably go well with their favourite liquor. Ogogoro is not an exception. Asides distilling this premium spirit, Pedro’s goes through the task of educating the inexperienced or unknowing drinker about possible pairings that would be great with this drink.
- Premium ogogoro is made from four key processes
Premium ogogoro is obtained from the oil or raffia palm tree and has to go through four key processes namely, tapping, fermentation, distillation and refinement. The tapping is done in the rural areas by palm wine tappers; this is also where the natural fermentation occurs traditionally using wild yeast. The first round of distillation is also carried out by rural practitioners to help preserve the otherwise fermented sap. The final process is what separates premium ogogoro from its rural counterpart to give it that premium taste.
Learn more about Pedro’s Premium Ogogoro on the official Facebook Africa page and on a dedicated ‘Made by Africa, Loved by the World’ microsite to get a glimpse into the growth and success of the Afrocentric liquor that is loved in homes and bars across the world.
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