Tag Archives: Africa mixtape

Africa mixtape: Kenya’s socially conscious rap

The Africa Mixtape is an ongoing collection of songs handpicked by SIT Study Abroad students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Today’s post is by Becca Wolinsky, an alumna of SIT Study Abroad Kenya. Currently, Becca is working at UP Education Network in Boston, MA, helping teachers get certified. She is an aspiring physician, and in August she will begin a pre-med postbac program at Bryn Mawr College. In the spring of 2013, I studied abroad in Nairobi, Kenya, with SIT.  The four months I spent there were the happiest months I’ve ever had. While in Nairobi, I had the privilege of being placed in a host family with Otto Stefan, aka Ottomatic, a rap artist in Nairobi. Ottomatic writes socially conscious rap in Swahili, English, and Sheng (a mixture of Swahili, English, and words from other languages). He is very passionate … Continue reading

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Africa mixtape: countering oppression with hip-hop in Tanzania

The Africa Mixtape is an ongoing collection of songs handpicked by SIT Study Abroad students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Today’s contribution is by Clara Moore, a University of Colorado-Boulder student and alumna of SIT Study Abroad Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology. While studying abroad in Tanzania this past fall, I had the opportunity to study music and meet some incredibly inspiring musicians throughout my time there. One of the most popular types of music for the younger generation is hip-hop. According to the Tanzanian artist Chaba, hip-hop has long been an elevating form of expression and a creative and revolutionary counterforce to all forms of oppression. In the early 1990s, the genre became immensely popular around the same time as the beginning of a multi-party democracy in 1992, and later the introduction of commercial radio stations in Tanzania in 1994. Tanzanian … Continue reading

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Africa mixtape: Ghana Highlife

The Africa Mixtape is an ongoing collection of songs handpicked by SIT Study Abroad students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Today’s contribution is from Ben Cohn, an alumnus of SIT Study Abroad Madagascar: Urbanization and Rural Development. I was recently awarded a Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship to study Ghana’s rich musical culture and traditions and to work with local educators to help more children exercise their musical voice. I do not play any instruments, nor can I sing, though I have always fostered a deep passion for music and fully believe in its strength as an agent of change. I’m seeking to find the spaces in which Ghana’s politics, economics, and social structure intertwine, reflect, and shape the music being produced. Working with Dr. John Collins, one of Ghana’s premier music scholars and SIT Ghana lecturer, I’d like to take it back to … Continue reading

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