Benita I’m Still Eating! At The Coke Studio Africa Launch

Qwillian? Joe and Mo’Roots on stage with Lillian


Someone actually has a recording of Crimson And Clover. For those of you who just joined us, (Hi, kids. Do you like Primus?) Crimson and Clover was an awful song that was a dance hit in the early nineties and was constantly on the radio back when we knew no better. Fortunately, as the economy continued to develop and our culture evolved, we realized that the song really sucked and all got sick of it. In 1999, the Ministry of Information and Communication in conjunction with the Broadcasting Council banned the piece of shit and parliament passed a statute that said all cassette tapes and CDs of Crimson and Clover must be destroyed. Uganda was free.

Until last night, when, guess what. Apparently one survived. And the night’s DJ played it. Aaargh.

We had been invited to the event to show us Coca Cola Studio Africa at Zone 7. Studio Africa is this experiment Coke is doing where they get diverse musicians from different parts of Africa and different genres to collabo.

This night we were to see Joel Sebunjo and Qwela, Lillian (She can manage with just one name now) and Qwela, and finally just Qwela. Their performances were, as they always are, freaking brilliant and more than made up for our having to listen to Crimson biki as punishment for arriving too early.

Coke Studio Africa is going to be great. I mean, it’s not just the usual easy-access pop we know as the new wave of African music. Not that I have anything against pop. I am not saying Personally and Kona and Kokodiosis are not awesome. We all love a song that makes us feel good, and pop music does that very well. Personally, persona personally. Personally, persona personally.
Hell, I even admit, freely, that I liked Party In the USA for around three weeks.

But then, and I’m sorry about the way this sounds, but live band stuff just sounds better.


And that’s what Coke Studio Africa is about. They showed us the first episode, which you can see on NTV Sato at eight, where  Nigerian rapper MI (who looks just like Kendrick without the bashfulness) performed with a South African rapper HHP and a band and it was the finest rap performance I had ever seen. Rap performances are usually weak. Rap is a headphone artform, because the nuance of rapid recitation of complex wordplay isn’t a thing best delivered on a microphone to a drunk crowd when the MC himself is out of breath from jumping around. But these guys pulled it off. They were energetic, they were clear as crystal, and the song was really really good. You will see on Saturday.


Kendrick (left) and and MI (right)


You need to watch this show. Salif Keita and Lady Jay Dee did the one Salif Keita song everybody knows, the chick from Camp Mulla, it transpired, can actually sing, and there are DJs music in Central African Republic, a country I didn’t even know had electricity.

Oh, no he didn’t.

Oh yes I did. What will they do?

The part you missed by not being at Zone 7 with us was Joel Sebunjo who still looks like a 12-year-old S1 but sounds like an ancient Malian griot and had the most perplexing accent on a night when Rabbin Kisti performed a poem claiming to be proud to be African (There will be a rant about that another day).

Sebunjo really sounds Francophone West African. He says “Guitar electric.” But then he also says “instrament” and “devowp.”

Benita, the waitress, came to the table where my date and I sat with Crystal and Seanice, served them and banged me dos. Then her colleague came and took my plate away before I finished my food, which distressed me because that chicken was awesome. I didn’t want to make a scene because, as I have mentioned, I was with Crystal and Seanice.

But that food was awesome. They served us pork and kikoko that must have been straight A students in food academy.

I would like to say that I was hanging with Crystal and Seanice, who are such cool people, but the music was too loud for any conversation, so I wasn’t able to charm them in my usual way, with my understated and self-deprecating wit, where I be hilarious and irresistible. So my date hung with them. I just sat there.

Anyway, watch the show on Saturday and see. has the more informative, more serious review here.