11 August 2010

Songs about leaving Africa

Barcelona or hell’ - is the sentence every kid in Dakar grows up with: leave or die trying. Life is tough for many people in Africa, especially in the ever-expanding mega-cities like Dakar, Lagos and Nairobi where work is shared between millions and life is a hundred times more expensive than it was in the village. Getting to the west and the promise of a life with well-paid work is what is occupying everyone’s mind. With visas virtually impossible for the ordinary person to get and the internet and TV showing the life in Europe and the US, the image of Western life presses hard on the African mind. Paradise is just a canoe journey across the Atlantic away or a mad trek across the Sahara. Many thousands have died along the way, but thousands more have followed, even more determined to make it. Some have never been to school, don’t speak English, can’t swim, and do not know anyone where they are going. The thing that unites them is their determination: “Yes we can”, we can make it, get out, and live the life we have always dreamed of.

An album compiled by Rose Skelton, via ScarlettLion.com

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