Angélique Kidjo on Spirit Rising and speaking for oneself

Angélique Kidjo tells the fascinating story of her musical exploration (Ueli Frey/HarperCollins)

Angélique Kidjo tells the fascinating story of her musical exploration (Ueli Frey/HarperCollins)

Listen

Hear the uncut version of Jian's conversation with Angélique Kidjo by continuing to the bottom of the post.

Jian speaks with Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist Angélique Kidjo about her recent memoir, Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music, her latest album, Eve, and her quest to raise global awareness of and respect for her continent.

The Grammy Award-winning artist shares the importance of claiming her own story, from her rise to fame to her extensive humanitarian work, and stresses that the "whole purpose" of her work is to share a new story about Africa as a place of modernity and wealth.

"We have lots of problems, but we have so much joy, so much happiness," she says. "Stop patronizing us in Africa. Stop seeing us as animals in the zoo. We are human beings. We have a brain. We can speak for ourselves."

Extended audio below
Download Flash Player to view this content.


Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.