Obruni Radio

Song: Alegria

Artist: Batida (Pedro Coquenao aka DJ Mpula)

Country: Angola

Today is day three of March is for African Music Month and I am featuring an Angola Kuduro project called Batida that was put together by an Angolan/Portuguese DJ named DJ Mpula.

I first discovered the song “Alegria” a little over a year ago when I started to get really into Kuduro (the Angolan/Portuguese electronic genre which name literally means “hard ass”) and I have never gotten over it. It’s one of those songs that just stays with you and always brightens your day. The video is exceptionally trippy because it combines samples from old 1970s Angolan tracks with modern electronic dance music. It also mashes up pictures and videos from Portuguese colonial rule with contemporary Angolan footage, which makes for an extremely interesting juxtaposition of sights and sounds. It almost feels like you are witnessing a carnival parade live from Luanda.

The word alegria means joy in Portuguese, so my hope is that listening to this song brings you immense joy.


IMF finds most of Angola's missing $32 bln →

dynamicafrica:

 The IMF said on Tuesday a $32 billion accounting discrepancy in Angola’s state funds was linked to “quasi-fiscal operations” by state oil firm Sonangol done on the government’s behalf, but not recorded in official budget accounts.

  

The International Monetary Fund first highlighted the missing funds in Angola’s fiscal accounts for 2007-10 in an October 27 report on the country’s economic performance.

But during a recent IMF mission to Luanda, IMF officials were able to track most of the unaccounted $32 billion, which is equivalent to 25 percent of Angola’s gross domestic product.

The Fund said the government was investigating the issue and was preparing a more comprehensive analysis together with the IMF for release later in the year.

“Preliminary data indicate that quasi-fiscal operations undertaken by the state oil company on behalf of the government, financed out of oil revenues but not recorded in the budgetary accounts, can explain a large part of the discrepancy,” the IMF said in a statement.

Angola is Africa’s second-largest oil producer after Nigeria. Oil revenues represent over 95 percent of the country’s export income and around 45 percent of GDP.

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ government has long been accused of mismanaging oil revenues and doing too little to fight graft in a country in which an estimated two-thirds of a population of 18 million live on less than $2 per day.

Under an IMF stand-by agreement, the Fund granted Angola a loan of $1.4 billion in 2009 to stabilize its balance of payments after an abrupt drop in net foreign reserves in 2008. The program is also intended to improve transparency in the government’s accounting process.  

(continue reading)


fmsharp:


Capoeira  Angola is an art form with roots in the Bantu tradition of Angola.  Transported to Brazil through the advent of slavery, Capoeira fuses  martial arts, dance, music, philosophy, acrobatics, and play into a  “game” of wit over weight, cunningness over coercion. Both during  slavery and today, to uninformed onlookers it appears to be a harmless  ritual with no apparent functional use besides entertainment. However, ,  practitioners then and now know that this art can kill, has killed, and  is training to kill if need be. What makes it different from many other  martial arts in philosophy is that the idea is to sharpen your opponent  as they sharpen you, knowing that when aggression comes in your  direction it is coming for the both of you.  Hence, iron sharpens iron  until both make a double edged sword. There is much more to say  about Capoeira Angola, its use and its history.  However, the point of  this article is not only to highlight the existence of such a beautiful  art form, but rather to speak about its philosophy and how it may help  Africa out today. As an Igbo and a practitioner of Capoeira Angola, I  believe that the spread of Capoeira on the continent could be essential  to how we see ourselves when times of conflict arise.  Because Capoeira  is rooted in comradery yet still prepares one for battle, when conflicts  arise in Africa we could use this unique viewpoint to guide the way we  approach one another when angered. One way it can alter our  views is to understand that Capoeira is “played,” not fought. The  element of play is crucial to conflict-resolution because at its essence  it suggests that not all aggression is intentional maliciousness.   Playing with a partner, while at the same time trying to sharpen them,  allows each to accept challenges, criticisms, and sternness from another  without taking it so personally. It’s in part competition and the  practitioners understand that in competition people can become more  aggressive. However, after the competition, you shake hands and  congratulate each other on the match you played, such is the case with  Capoeira Angola. Another way is to take notice that Capoeira is played  to music that the players “dance” to, which emphasizes an element of art  that is not present in many other marital art forms. Because this  element exists in Capoeira, the practitioners tend to see and approach  life rhythmically. When angered, venting frustration through dance could  be just as powerful, or even healing, as through physical aggression.  In the event that tempers rise, the hot-tempered person is simply  seeking to let out that emotion. Dancing - rhythmically and loose or  slowly and focused – is a medium to channel that pent up energy so that  you are not hurting anyone in the process of addressing your  irritation.  Lastly, the culture of Capoeira is a community and  facilitates the building of community. Every practitioner of Capoeira  plays a part in the sustenance of the culture. From playing instruments  to create the bateria, or band, of the Capoeira game; responding to the  “caller” when singing to create somewhat of an orchestra for the energy  of the Capoeira game; training with a partner when preparing to play  Capoeira; to playing a part in the maintenance of the space you play  Capoeira in; every practitioner plays a crucial element in the life of  Capoeira Angola. With this philosophy of community deeply ingrained into  the minds of capoeiristas it is hard to break up the vibe and unity of  the community for petty and ill-advised reasons. Hence, when rage or  fury embodies a person or people in Africa, if they played Capoeira they  must think about the larger community before initiating aggression.  Just as with the enslaved Africans of Brazil, they trained together and  then came together to fight a common cause. In Africa we have bigger  causes and forces to fight than to consistently fight ourselves. From  neo-colonization, illness and disease, poverty corruption, we Africans  must begin to look at the bigger picture and realize that we need each  other to defeat the aggressors who are still trying to keep us down. So  yes, we can push each other to the limit, but we must remember that our  limits are more valuable when we all cross them together.
www.joaogrande.org
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fmsharp:


Capoeira Angola is an art form with roots in the Bantu tradition of Angola. Transported to Brazil through the advent of slavery, Capoeira fuses martial arts, dance, music, philosophy, acrobatics, and play into a “game” of wit over weight, cunningness over coercion. Both during slavery and today, to uninformed onlookers it appears to be a harmless ritual with no apparent functional use besides entertainment. However, , practitioners then and now know that this art can kill, has killed, and is training to kill if need be. What makes it different from many other martial arts in philosophy is that the idea is to sharpen your opponent as they sharpen you, knowing that when aggression comes in your direction it is coming for the both of you.  Hence, iron sharpens iron until both make a double edged sword.

There is much more to say about Capoeira Angola, its use and its history.  However, the point of this article is not only to highlight the existence of such a beautiful art form, but rather to speak about its philosophy and how it may help Africa out today. As an Igbo and a practitioner of Capoeira Angola, I believe that the spread of Capoeira on the continent could be essential to how we see ourselves when times of conflict arise.  Because Capoeira is rooted in comradery yet still prepares one for battle, when conflicts arise in Africa we could use this unique viewpoint to guide the way we approach one another when angered.

One way it can alter our views is to understand that Capoeira is “played,” not fought. The element of play is crucial to conflict-resolution because at its essence it suggests that not all aggression is intentional maliciousness.  Playing with a partner, while at the same time trying to sharpen them, allows each to accept challenges, criticisms, and sternness from another without taking it so personally. It’s in part competition and the practitioners understand that in competition people can become more aggressive. However, after the competition, you shake hands and congratulate each other on the match you played, such is the case with Capoeira Angola. Another way is to take notice that Capoeira is played to music that the players “dance” to, which emphasizes an element of art that is not present in many other marital art forms. Because this element exists in Capoeira, the practitioners tend to see and approach life rhythmically. When angered, venting frustration through dance could be just as powerful, or even healing, as through physical aggression. In the event that tempers rise, the hot-tempered person is simply seeking to let out that emotion. Dancing - rhythmically and loose or slowly and focused – is a medium to channel that pent up energy so that you are not hurting anyone in the process of addressing your irritation.  Lastly, the culture of Capoeira is a community and facilitates the building of community. Every practitioner of Capoeira plays a part in the sustenance of the culture. From playing instruments to create the bateria, or band, of the Capoeira game; responding to the “caller” when singing to create somewhat of an orchestra for the energy of the Capoeira game; training with a partner when preparing to play Capoeira; to playing a part in the maintenance of the space you play Capoeira in; every practitioner plays a crucial element in the life of Capoeira Angola. With this philosophy of community deeply ingrained into the minds of capoeiristas it is hard to break up the vibe and unity of the community for petty and ill-advised reasons. Hence, when rage or fury embodies a person or people in Africa, if they played Capoeira they must think about the larger community before initiating aggression. Just as with the enslaved Africans of Brazil, they trained together and then came together to fight a common cause. In Africa we have bigger causes and forces to fight than to consistently fight ourselves. From neo-colonization, illness and disease, poverty corruption, we Africans must begin to look at the bigger picture and realize that we need each other to defeat the aggressors who are still trying to keep us down. So yes, we can push each other to the limit, but we must remember that our limits are more valuable when we all cross them together.

www.joaogrande.org


Obruni Radio Show

Obruni Radio starts tonight at 7pm EST.

This week’s show will be focusing on Hipco, Liberian hip-hop music, but will also feature Ghanaian and Nigerian Hiplife, Angolan Kuduro, and some great music from the Mali, the Congo, and Malawi.

I will also be talking a lot about the recent election in Liberia, Ghana news, and Islamic rule in Sudan.

You can listen live at WIUX.