Following the path that Angélique Kidjo, Oumou Sangaré (‘Ah Ndiya‘) and Miriam Makeba have paved for them, this female band from Natitingou in North-Western Benin has a bold message for all African girls and women: “You can become President of the republic/ You can become the country’s Prime Minister/ Get up, something has to be done“. The group was formed in 2016 by André Balaguemon, a Beninese artist, who with the support of the city of Natitingou launched a call to train girls in the production of music. They selected seven girls and Balaguemon taught them how to play various instruments. The Star Féminine Band was born.
According to Balaguemon, the group aims to influence the societal discourse on certain subjects in Benin: “They bring their ideas. The dream of these girls is to become international stars. They must show the importance of women throughout the world. Speak of Africa, accomplish great missions around the values of women. They talk about female genital mutilation, abuse and violence against girls. We want to include these subjects in the political debate in Benin, then elsewhere in Africa if this is ever possible.“ (Born Bad Label)
‘Femme Africaine‘ is one of the tracks from their debut album ‘Star Feminine Band‘ and calls African women to believe in their capacities, lead autonomous lives and become leaders in the political sphere:
“African woman, be independent
The country needs us, let’s go to school
Africa needs you, you have to work
The world needs us, stand up, let’s stand up
African woman, be independent”