She is among the people who have given the gift of their voice to humanity in order to touch people's hearts, more than once and to keep in them the hope of a better tomorrow alive. Her name is Shakama, committed singer, originally from the Ivory Coast and residing in the State of Maryland on the American soil. She remains focused on her continent, Africa. We met her in Paris.

At a young age she followed her brother who sang with some big names in African music. Since then she has felt the desire to sing, but she waited until she completed her Criminal Justice studies and straighten some family issues before devoting herself, body and soul to her passion, singing. So she says after many performances here and there of "Badegnan/Fraternité", her first album to be released before the end of the year. It is a tribute to women of her continent, the essence of the whole culture. The bad management of several African countries and primarily that of her country, the Ivory Coast, is one of the major points the artist talks about. She also talks about the practice of kleptocracy by some leaders who misappropriate the wealth for their own interest at the cost of the people who often are trapped in an obvious despair. The multicultural touch of her album is felt through the different sounds made of: rap, reggae, tango, word beat, dancehall.. She sings in Bambara as well as in French or English because, according to her, one has to be fully aware of one's culture and other cultures should not be ignored, otherwise one can be shriveled up. "Badegnan" is a good song for everybody who is fighting social injustice and above all this song is also relaxing. Shakama is a woman, Shakama is a mother and she wishes to acknowledge her culture once again and according to her, if she had to die and come back to life, she will come back as an African. Her album is the sum of the accomplishment of a latent desire in her, to be able to sing Women and her overwhelming and unfortunate review of the socio-political situation in Africa and in the world. The only thing that is left for us to do now is to hit the play button.

David Andrew

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