On the 10th of March Stora Teatern in Gothenburg hosted Angélique Kidjo, the queen of African music. Excellent world artist with liberated dance steps, incredible good voice and a strong spokesperson for women’s right with thoughtful reflections on women’s role in development, conflicts and racism. Excited audience took their seats at the historical 150 years old theater, the venue of the concert which is at the heart of the business district of Gothenburg. Skandik Afrik was able to exchange words with delighted fans that received their idol at Landvetter airport in Gothenburg.
Mr. Martin Hansson head of Stora Teatern proudly introduced the new programme, Frekvens 3xAfrica under which three contemporary African acts have been invited and Angélique Kidjo was the first to hold a concert. Kidjo entered the stage and declared after the first song that “You have to forget about that chair and dance”. She then introduced to the audience her 87-year old mother Yvonne Kidjo performing playback vocals in the song Bana in Kidjo’s new album Eve which is named after her mother. The whole album is a musical dedication to the African women, their pride, beauty and strength.
Some brave front runners in the audience answered to Kidjos call and moved after the second song to the sides of the stage for some deliberated dance. With the classic hit Batonga from 1991, Kidjo challenged the remainders to join-in the chorus. Apart from singing, she also has a foundation which caters for the needs of less privilege. The Batonga Foundation is also the name of the Non-governmental organization (NGO) initiated by Kidjo to give back to the community. The foundation has allowed two hundred girls in Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mali and Sierra Leone to access education and give voices to some of the girl’s dreams.
Playing tribute to another of her role models, Miriam Makeba, no one was left in their red velvet seat when the tunes of Pata Pata filled the gold decorated hall of Stora Teatern. Kidjo then went off stage to greet the audience with handshake, dance and music. Thereafter, fifteen volunteers where invited to join the stage for some solo dance to everyone’s enjoyment and as if the audience could not get enough, the band where called back for one last song!
What makes Kidjo stand out apart from the voice, dance and the gift of music is how she was able to make tough subjects come to life through personal stories. There are few people that can get the attention of lots of people when talking about development in African countries; Kidjo belongs to that category of people. She leaves you walking out with hope - and good portion of fighter’s spirit!
Some of the few highlight of the concert in pictures and video below
A sneak peek to the Kidjo concert
Front view of Stora Teartern before the concert starts
By 18:00 people started coming in to the teatern
The Queen of African music entered with dance
Impressive turnout at the concert
You will have to dance tonight, Kidjo said to the audience
"I can't help it but dance because life is too short" Anjelique Kidjo
Audience sing along to Kidjo's Batonga
Impressed with audience response
Article by: Sanna Ström
Pictures by: Nissor Abdourazakov
Video by: Haroun Hajem