‘African Women are the backbone of the world’- Angelique Kidjo’s epic speech as she accepts her second Grammy award

Photo: Reuters

“It doesn’t matter where you take it to. Every music that you listen to has Africa in it”- Angelique Kidjo

One of Africa’s most iconic singers Angelique Kidjo added another accolade to her already crowded mantlepiece as she proudly collected her second Grammy award for World Music Album during the 57th Grammy awards on Sunday. The 54-year-old Singer/Songwriter from Benin Republic told press as she accepted her award to do more to show African women in a more positive light.

The ‘Wombolombo’ singer also shared the wobbly start to her music career, telling how her father- who passed away a few years ago spurred her on to follow her passion, despite her diminutive size. She says, ‘My father told me talent has no colour, has no language or nationality.

‘ My father has always been my ‘brain checker’. He’d say use your brain, it’s your ultimate weapon. You can challenge anybody in the world as long as you can talk their language.’

Angelique Kidjo accepting her second Grammy award. Photo: Forbes

Angelique Kidjo accepting her second Grammy award. Photo: Forbes

Wearing an African Print dress complete with ‘gele’, Kidjo told the press she was dedicating her award to the ‘Women of Africa’. Her album ‘Eve’ for which she won her second Grammy was inspired by a trip to a small town in Kenya as part of her role as a UN ambassador.

“I was inspired to write the album because the women of Africa are the backbone of the world, and the backbone of the continent,” said Kidjo. She also challenged the internaitonal press to shine more light on the strengths of African women because, “African women in the media is always negative, it’s never positive images at all and that’s not the image we know.”

Kidjo won her first Grammy award for Best Contemporary World Music in 2008 and has been named by various prestigous titles as ‘Africa’s leading living Diva’. Born in Cotonou, Benin Republic, she now resides in New York.

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