Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
The track starts with a soulful “well, well” as a hip-hop beat rises in intensity. “Do you want another rap?” the same deep voice then says in perfect time. “You want another rap?”
But this is no ordinary rapper. This is, believe it or not, 66-year-old Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, previously better known for rebellion than for rhyming.
The road to what has now become a radio and club hit started a few months back at a ruling party rally when the leader of almost 25 years took to the stage and, professing that some youngsters had told him about rap, performed two folk chants from his birthplace in Western Uganda – Naatema akati (I cut a stick) and Mp’enkoni (Give me the stick).
Apparently, he turned up at another rally a few weeks later and asked the mostly young crowd if they wanted another rap. They roared back, “Yes, Sevo!” using one of Museveni’s many nicknames. A canny Ugandan record producer then took the lot, chant and all, added a thumping beat and the song everyone is calling “You want another rap?” was born.
So far, media coverage of China’s involvement in Africa has mostly been about investment. Stories of Chinese engineers in hard hats standing by roads up mountains in Ethiopia. Stories of Chinese farmers moving to Zambia.
But, in a push to extent its economic reach, China is now making a very real effort to export its culture to the world’s poorest continent. Last year the Asian giant overtook the U.S. as Africa’s top trading partner, confirming to the West that it has a real battle on its hands to maintain its influence over African nations.