In the piece ‘Energy‘, Zambian Hip Hop artist Sampa the Great cuts sharply through todays gender norms and the politics around it. She addresses gender income inequalities ‘If I ruled the world, money stacks for all my daughters, never asked for payment in the womb times 9‘, points to unappreciated care work that women do ‘Please sympathise all the lives we raising, please realise all the time‘. Her piece tells us about women’s pain, loss, sacrifices and female energy, which is tamed by shame. She advocates for the recognition of womens’ achievements ‘Give a couple crowns to the women who had bore us, taught us, focus, love and support us‘ and the realization that there is limitless female strength:
“Magical, umbilical my universe is radical
Introduce the nation to embracing what is factual
Feminine energy almost mathematical
You can’t really sum up what is infinite and valuable
As she stated on twitter, the song speaks about the need to re-assess social conceptions of femininity and masculinity: “When making this song there was a conscious decision to highlight the balancing of the masculine and feminine aspects of all our energy. Our perceptions of strength and weakness can be flawed and it’s important to re-evaluate them in this unbalanced world.” At one point in the Modu Sesay directed video, we see women and men in a Capoeira-like dance/fight – illustrating a tense but gentle re-balancing of energies.
The track ends on a conciliatory note: ‘Pour up the love let the healing begin‘, encouraging us to contribute to the process of social healing and reconciliation.