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African Music @ The Movies
Some movies that have contemporary African music on their soundtracks are listed below, arranged by title in alphabetical order - if you know of any others, email the details to: [email protected]
Also visit africine, a site with information on thousands of African films.

Movie title Music/Musician
A Dry White Season Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Abouna* Ali Farka Toure
Africa United various including Pinise Saul and Lucky Ranku
Ali Salif Keita
Armadillo Baaba Maal, Geoffrey Oryema and more ...
Amandla! Various South African
Bamako Oumou Sangare and more ...
Barbecue Pejo* Jean Odoutan
Beloved Oumou Sangare
Beseiged Papa Wemba
Blood Diamond Emmanuel Jal with Abdel Gadir Salim
Broken Flowers Mulatu Astatke
Bunny Chow Souad Massi
Cesaria Evora* Cesaria Evora
Constant Gardner Ayub Ogada
Cry Freedom Various South African
Dirty Pretty Things JJC & 419 Squad
Disgrace Angelique Kidjo, Dorothy Masuka
Dôle* Annie-Flore Batchiellilys
Hideous Kinky Jil Jilala
Feel Like Going Home Habib Koite and others
First Grader Vieux Farka Touré and more
Football Fables Various Ghanaian
From a Whisper Eric Wainaina and others
Hotel Rwanda Afro Celts
Hyenes* Wasis Diop
I Dreamed of Africa  Muungano Choir
If ... Sanctus - Missa Luba
In the Cut Zap Mama
Invictus Various South African
Je Chanterai pour Toi Boubacar Traoré
Jit Oliver Mtukudzi
Jungle 2 Jungle Youssou N'Dour and others
Kirikou and the Sorceress Youssou N'Dour
La Projection* Amadou and Mariam
Last King of Scotland Afrigo Band, E. T. Mensah and others
La Vie est Belle Papa Wemba
Le Déchaussé* Cheikh Lô
Life on Earth* Salif Keita
Maasai Richard Bona
Madame Brouette* Ndeye Seneba Seck
Même le Vent* Ahmedou Doukoure
Missisipi Masala Pepe Kalle
More than Just a Game Vusi Mahlasela
My Voice* Tony Reis & Vilma da Silva
Neria Oliver Mtukudzi
Phat Girlz Super Mazembe
Pray the Devil Back to Hell Angelique Kidjo
Return to Gorée Youssou N'Dour
Sarafina! Various South African
Sisters in Law D'Gary
Shooting Dogs Cecile Kayirebwa
Soul Power Miriam Makeba, Tabu Ley Rochereau & others
Stigmata Afro Celt Sound System
Suffering And Smiling Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti
Tears of the Sun  Various (composed by Hans Zimmer)
The Absence El Hadj N'Diaye, Aster Aweke, Youssou N'Dour
The Beach Mory Kante
The Ebony White Man* Marco Beacco & Loy Ehrlich
The Gods must be Crazy Various South African
The Mummy Various North African
The Pledge Wazimbo & Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mocambique
The Sheltering Sky Various North African
The Visitor Fela Kuti
Thomas Crown Affair Wasis Diop
Three African Tales Yvan Kazan, Ali Wague & Djeli Moussa Conde
Town of Runners Mulatu Astatqe, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbru
Tsotsi Various South African
Une Femme pour Souleymane* Diogal Sakho
Waiting for Happiness* Oumou Sangare
Xalima la plume* Sedina Insa Wade
Yellow Card Oliver Mtukudzi and others
Yesterday  Various South African
500 Years Later Abdul Tee-Jay and others

In the above list, movies with * have a track on the compilation World Music and Cinema Set Vol. 7: Africa Part of a set of soundtracks from around the world. Each compilation is regionally themed with distinctive and original music from well-known and cult feature films and documentaries. The Africa CD has songs by Cheikh Lô, Wasis Diop, Cesaria Evora from movies such as Abouna and Hyenes. The variety goes from the tingling sound of Oumou Sangare's Djorolen to the rap of Tony Reis and Vilma da Silva. Buy from Unknown Public.
AfricaVision Vol. 1 Buda Musiques, 2006
A compilation of Francophone African cinema 1975 - 2005: nineteen tracks from films including Ouaga saga from Burkina Faso/France (track by Mokhtar Samba), Article 15bis from Democratic Republic of Congo (track by So Kalmery), Circus baobab from France/Guinee/Burkina Faso (track by Momo Wandel), La nuit de la verité from Burkina Faso (track by Sami Rama), Le Métis from Burundi (track Inanga by E. Bandora). The very useful detailed accompanying notes in English and French have photos and information about each track and also each film.
AfricaVision Vol. 2 Buda Musiques, 2006
50 years of African cinema: nineteen tracks exploring the history of African films with stories of love and comedy, their themes of tradition, poverty, hope and solidarity, including Afrique sur Seine from the film Afrique sur Seine (1955) - Senegal/France, Wele by Zao from Matanga (1995) - Congo, Yaaba by Francis Bebey from Yaaba (1988) - Burkina Faso, Douga by Kouyate Sory Kandia from Djeli (1981) - Ivory Coast. The very useful detailed accompanying notes in English and French have photos and information about each track and also each film.
AfricaVision Vol. 3 Buda Musiques, 2007
Le cinema de Manu Dibango: nineteen tracks from Manu, the film composer. The detailed accompanying booklet has notes in French and English which include an interview with Manu and summaries about the movies and film-makers (Idrissa Ouedraogo, Ousmane Sembene amongst others). There are also many historic photos of Manu. The films are, for example, Silences (1990) directed by Beatrice Soule which is about Manu himself going to Cameroon and recalling his childhood - 3 tracks are from that film.

Africa Anthems

There is a list below of several songs appealing for peace and unity for Africa, a strong, serious and important message from many African musicians. Over Christmas and New Year 2000/2001, the only programme on British TV that dwelt on Africa was a repeat on Channel 4 shown at 2.30 a.m. on 31/12/2000, Music goes to War. It was a documentary showing a tour by Youssou N'dour, Papa Wemba, Lucky Dube, Lourdes Van-Dunem. Jabu Khanyile and Lágbájá ('the man without a face who speaks for those without a voice') to war torn areas such as Sudan and Angola. There were true moving examples of how music can aid healing. After the tour a CD was made that has the song So why?, performed in Paris in 1997. All proceeds from the sale of the CD go towards Red Cross relief projects in Africa. 
Have a look at the list of 'Africa Anthems' below - if you have any other suggestions to add to the list, email them to: [email protected]

Africa Anthems

Salif Keita Africa on Mundo Afrika compilation
Latin Quarter Radio Africa on Mundo Afrika compilation
Majek Fashek So Long on One World compilation
Youssou N'Dour New Africa on Joko
Franklin Boukaka Le Bucheron on A Paris CD
Manu Dibango Aye Africa (new arrangement of Franklin Boukaka's Le Bucheron) on Mboa'Su CD 
Soweto String Quartet Sikelela on Renaissance CD
Papa Wemba and Koffi Olomide Wake Up on Wake Up CD
Koffi Olomide African Kings on Attentat CD
Remmy Ongala One World on Mambo CD
Mose Fan Fan Jolie Africa on Belle Epoque CD
Albert Nyathi and Imbongi God Bless Africa on Welcome to Zimbabwe CD
Vicky Sampson African Dream on Empresses of Africa  CD
Alpha Blondy Les Imbeciles on Yitzhak Rabin CD
Oliver Mtukudzi Ngoma Nehosho on Paivepo CD
Samba Mapangala Africa Yetu on Karibu Kenya CD
Samba Mapangala Umoja ni Nguvu on Ujumbe CD

   Observations on the Kenyan music scene, April 2001
Walking through the streets of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, or any town such as Nanyuki or Mombasa, you don't have to look for a music shop or stall - let your ears direct you because the music is played out onto the streets to attract attention! Nowadays it is often gospel music in Kiswahili or other local languages that you'll hear. One of the music shops on Nairobi's River Road is �Kamaru's City Sounds' owned by Joseph Kamaru, one of Kenya's best known musicians. Since his conversion to Christianity in 1993 Joseph has been devoted to gospel music but his music dating from about forty years ago is still selling well and relevant today. 

One of Kamaru's songs on the album Hits from the 1960s, �Ndari ya Mwarimu'(The Teacher's Darling), is to be part of a drama, Slow down my teacher, you've gone too far!, written by JPR Ochieng-Odero, to be performed by ProPerArt Creations in many towns in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania later in 2001. The play seeks to increase young people's awareness of the social issue of teacher-pupil relationships, a unique example of collaboration between a musician and playwright. 
Indeed, social issues and commentaries on tragic events often form the basis of popular songs and plays in Kenya. In a radio interview on Kenya Broadcasting Corporation in April, Sam Muthee talked about his latest version of his classic �Dereva, Chunga Maisha' (Driver, care for life) which seeks to advise motorists to avoid road accidents. Composers, Sam Muthee included, also wrote songs about the bomb blast that claimed so many lives in Nairobi in 1998.
In the year 2001 there is a lot more variety of music available in Kenya than previously which is good for tourists or visitors because they will definitely hear something they like in hotels, at discos or being performed live. The number of radio stations has also multiplied and although there is a lot of British and American pop and r&b played, the range does seem to be increasing. In particular, South African township music has come on the scene and Brenda Fassie is one of the international stars to have performed in Kenya recently. Her song 'Nakupenda' is definitely a favourite. Congolese music is ever popular and the band Extra Musica (winners of Best African Band at the last KORA awards) performed live in Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu in March.

Extra Musica performing at Bamburi, Mombasa

There are a few established locally based bands such as Les Mangelepa, Les Wanyika and Forvics playing regularly at various venues.
Despite the fact that there may be benefits of having a wide range of music available in the media, the message from talented Kenyan musicians themselves is that they should be given centre stage first, rather than having to struggle to be heard in the midst of so much imported music. On a positive note, the number of local archived songs being released on cassette is increasing, such as 'It's Disco Time with Samba Mapangala and Orchestre Virunga' on the Tamasha label.

Uncle Sam of Africa's African Beats radio show

As the presenter of the popular African Beats programme on London's Choice 107.1 FM radio station, Uncle Sam frequently interviewed guest musicians and other prominent people. Some of his guests were connected with various charities and they had the opportunity to publicise their work or forthcoming events. Some of Uncle Sam’s studio guests were: Kanda Bongo Man (Congo), Mose Fan Fan (Congo) Afel Bocoum (Mali), N'Faly Kouyate (Guinea), Lagbaja (Nigeria), Dorothy Masuka (South Africa) and Souad Massi (Algeria).
I decided to throw out a few questions to put him "on the other side of the fence"!
A bit of background info about him: Sam was born in Ghana and stayed there until 1977. With a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Ghana in Legon, he went to Nigeria to teach at a secondary school for 6 years. In 1983 Uncle Sam moved to Britain to study accountancy and has been there since then but often travels to other countries, for example he has been to France, South Africa and Ghana.
Now for the questions and answers!
First of all, when did you start presenting the African Beats show on Choice FM?
Sunday 7th May, 2000 at 3 pm.

2 Do you remember some of the tracks you played for that first broadcast?
The first track I played is called Ozim Zim, by the Mariott International Band of Ghana. This track is my signature tune as well. Other tracks include Salif Keita's Bolon, Africando's Gombo Salsa

3 Was it the first radio programme you ever presented? Yes

4 Was your programme the first of its kind on Choice FM, or did they have other African music programmes before?
No, we started with four shows on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-11pm, Saturdays and Sundays 3-5pm of which I presented the Sunday one jointly with Ata P.

5 What made you decide to become a presenter of African Beats?
Curiosity. Just a challenge to myself.

6 What changes or improvements would you still like to have for your programme and why?
It had always been my desire to play more of African Hiphop, i.e. "young" music from Africa or by Africans abroad. I use the narrow definition of "African" here, meaning people born and bred in Africa and/or born in Africa but living abroad.

7 What aspect of your presenting your programme is most rewarding for you personally?
When people call in to thank me for playing a song from their country or region. I love that because it is my aim to make people feel homesick, or nostalgic.

8 While you lived in your homeland of Ghana and then for a few years in Nigeria did you listen to the African popular music of that time?
I am always into it. But my real collections started when I arrived in London in December 1983 to study Accountancy. I made friends from all over Africa and they introduced me to their music.

9 Do you think African popular music is becoming more popular in Britain and even world-wide in the 21st century?
Britain has a lot of catching up to do if they want to rival France as a centre for African music. But I think African music has made a big improvement in the UK. Thanks to all the labels and promoters. Bands such as Orchestra Baobab, the Malian musicians, Ladysmith Black Mambazo have helped.

10 Finally, what's your all-time favourite African music album?
Impossible to answer. Maybe Aki Special, which has 'Sweet Mother'