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Ready to Play: Music Playlist for the AFCON 2023

Ready to Play: Music Playlist for the AFCON 2023

AFCON 2023 - Dedicated Playlist - Afrocritik

As with past editions, African artistes have dedicated songs to the prestigious one-month continental tournament that seeks to foster unity and peace amongst Africans…

By Ayouba Toure

Slated for the 13th of January, 2024, the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023) is only a day away from kickoff. As with past editions, African artistes have dedicated songs to the prestigious one-month continental tournament that seeks to foster unity and peace amongst Africans, amidst differences in creed, culture, and political affiliations, among others. 

Reputable Ivorian zouglou band, Magic System, paves the way with the release of “Akwaba” – a Ghanaian term used to welcome a stranger. The track serves as the official theme song of AFCON 2023, and features Nigerian Yemi Alade and Egyptian Mohamed Ramadan. It is an upbeat welcome remark from the artistes, And the featured artistes take the message of diversity to a new height. 

Ivorian rapper Didi B’s “Welcome opens with the voices of cheering fans. Woven out of the same cloth as “Akwaba”, it could pass as a perfect substitute for the theme song, but as a more danceable and electric track. On it, the rapper hires the service of Serge Beynaurd and Roseline Layo to usher visitors from other parts of the continent into Ivory Coast, the host country of AFCON 2023. 

On “L’Afrique c’est nous”, Ivorian artiste Kerozen changes the subject as he brags about his roots and lineage. The artiste is proud of his connection with the continent and encourages other Africans to contribute to the upliftment of the continent. He reminds listeners that “Africa is us”. Cameroonian singer, Cysoul, sweetens the zouglou track with his soulful and soothing vocals. 

“On est prêt” is French rapper Kaaris’ contribution to the list of AFCON-dedicated tracks. On it, he features Vegedream, a French-Ivorian singer-songwriter, to apprise the world of the readiness and preparation for the tournament. 

South African artiste, Nobantu Vilakazi represents the southerners with “Sizimisele”. It is an Amapiano-inspired track on which she features fellow compatriot, Phantom Steeze.

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Josey, 33-year-old Ivorian singer, echoes the message of peace and unity on “Nous on veut s’amuser”, the ultimate track on the list. It is a track sampled after the iconic pro-peace track, “Effort de paix” which was done by Le Collectif Youssoumba in the early 2000s to encourage peace and unity amongst Ivorians. It features Ayanne, an Ivorian Afropop singer.

Peace, togetherness, and a hunger for a more conducive Africa are shared themes in all of these tracks. All the tracks aim for a continent that is a haven; where its occupants won’t have to risk their lives in exchange for greener pastures.

AFCON 2023 - Dedicated Playlist - Afrocritik

Ayouba Toure is a poet and music critic who writes from Paynesville, Liberia. He is a pushchart nominee and has work published in Lolwe, Icefloe Press, The Liberian Daily Dose, and elsewhere.

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