East Africa musicians are not a happy lot after American artiste Beyonce unveiled a series of African artistes who will be featured in her new album dubbed ‘Lion King’.
The Lion King movie where the album draws inspiration is based on an East African background specifically Kenya and Tanzania.
Various East African artistes have expressed their disappointment on the fact that the list is dominated by West Africans.
Many argue that the fact that the Album has an East African setting, Beyonce should have featured at least two East African artistes.
Those featured on the Lion King Album are Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Tekno, Burna Boy, Busiswaah, Tiwa Savage, Shatta Wale, Moonchild Sanelly and Wizkid.
Sauti Sol’s guitarist Polycarp Otieno expressed his disappointment at the lack of an East African artiste in the Album arguing that the album also contains Swahili references.
“This is The Lion King ‘New Africa’ Album with soundtracks of the new Lion King Movie. For a movie who’s concept is fully based on the Kenyan/Tanzanian scenery, use of Swahili phrases and references, you would think they would at least consider artists from this region and not focus on artists from one country/region. Believe me I have nothing against the artists picked, if anything am happy for them. It’s a lifetime opportunity that you can’t pass by! I am very much against the people who decide to present Africa with artists from one country/region. #kunamatata#lionking Or maybe am being petty, Would love to hear your thoughts on this,” wrote Polycarp
His sentiments were echoed by avrious celebrities who were also angered by the issue.
Tanzania’s Vanessa Mdee sais it is Business as usual and those selected are out to gain something from the deal.
“Hii kitu ni biashara poly, na waPopo wako na interests zao. Wote wanajua filamu iko set in East Africa na kihalali tungestahili kupata kanafasi, lakini hatuna wanaotuwakilisha huko kwa maExec wa Disney au kwa team ya Beyoncé. Isitoshe wakipiga mahesabu kihalali watu wa magharibi wanatuzidi kibiashara kwenye ununuzi wa bidha na mziki ndani na nje ya bara la Afrika. Kihalali kabisa ingepaswa hii album ijae kiswahili na masound ya pande zetu lakini kwenye soko la kimataifa bado sisi sio wazito in comparison to watu wa magharibi. Wangepaswa kufanya research to fully embody the essence of Simba. Lakini ndio hivyo. Na kiukweli ni misrepresentation na KUNA MATATA lakini ndiyo hivyo soko linavamiwa. Shikeni la kwenu. Ownership. Kama vipi tutengeneze na sisi album yetu” she wrote
Read some of the comments below:
Jahmbi Koikai…..“Hata tungefanya hizo lion ziimbe wamlambez alafu Mufasa ajibu….wam.”
Willis Raburu… Definitely food for thought a more diverse representation was needed”
Dr Ofweneke….“Its the same way these people come to S.A or Nigeria then go back and say they just had a successful music tour in Africa”
DNG Kenya….“Valid point. I see Mr. Eazi and Tiwa repping for Africa, at the very least. I wonder how far the copyright law suit by Them Mushrooms went”
Bien Aime…..“Fuck you East Africans. Work hard. This is not your uncle’s movie. it’s a business. No pity party. Everyone wants to eat. You better have something on your plate”