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21 juin 2005

Kenyan musician Ayub Oganda Invited for London G8 Concert

Kenyan Musician Invited for London G8 Concert

The Nation (Nairobi)

June 20, 2005 Posted to the web June 20, 2005

Paul Redfern London

Kenyan musician Ayub Oganda is one of a dozen black African artistes invited to London for a music concert ahead of the summit of the world's eight most industrialised nations (G8) in Scotland next month.

After criticism that the main "Live 8" event featuring musicians such as Robbie Williams and Sir Elton John was overwhelmingly white and Western, the organisers appear to have organised another concert. Top billing at this event will go to Youssou N'Dour of Senegal, but also taking part are Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited, Angelique Kidjo, Maryam Mursal and Salif Keita.

Given that the main event is aimed at raising awareness about problems facing Africans in the West, critics had said the main line-up was "hideously white", and blamed organiser Bob Geldof for his response that he would book only acts that would sell records.

The Africa Calling concert will take place at the Eden Project on July 2, former rock star Peter Gabriel said last week. But he acknowledged that critics had failed to get top African acts onto the London stage despite pressure.

"I do think it would be better to have a larger African presence in Hyde Park (the venue of the concert)," he said. "Bob (Geldof) made the point that in places like China, if there's an act that comes on TV that they don't know, whether from Africa or Germany, they switch it off. I don't think that's correct."

The Africa Calling concert will be held on the same day as the "Live 8" shows in London, Paris, Berlin and Rome, and the main aim will still be to raise awareness about world poverty. Tim Smit, the Eden Project chief executive, told the BBC that the aim of the Africa Calling event was to create "an authentic voice for Africa that was moving and personal."

He shrugged off suggestions that it was a token gesture, and his views were echoed by Kidjo. "This is an opportunity for the media to realise that when it comes to Africa, we need to be a part of it. You couldn't help us without us."

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