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Nigeria's Seun Kuti hails 'black time'

By Alison Hird

Nigerian singer and saxophonist Seun Kuti, the youngest son of the late Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, inherited both his father's band Egypt 80 and his political fight in support of the working class. With a new album Black Times out this week, he talks to RFI's Alison Hird about why he believes it's time to awaken black consciousness and build an African Dream based on community, not consumerism.

Good times, happy times, sad times, for his fourth album 35 year old Seun Kuti serves up thought-provoking 'black' times.

"It's just that moment where you have black clarity, understanding who you are, from a motherland perspective," he tells RFI.

It's important, he says,  "[because] we’ve never been allowed to see ourselves from our point of view. We’ve been educated to see ourselves through the eyes of others. At school we learn to be second class Europeans. So the moment you see yourself through your own point of view is a profound moment. That’s the black time."

The title track, with a stirring guitar solo from US/Mexican guitar legend Carlos Santana, seeks to inspire rather than denounce.

"It’s a hopeful song, a song that calls on us to proud of who we are everyday, not just the week Black Panther is released by Hollywood!"

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 play at Bataclan, Paris, 7 March.

Further tour dates and info on facebook

 

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