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article imageProfile: Sister Fa, female African rapper

By Gibril Koroma     Oct 24, 2010 in Entertainment
Her name is Sister Fa. That's the showbiz name. Her real name however is Fatou Diatta. She is one of the rare Senegalese female hip hop artistes.
Sister Fa is a very courageous and determined woman, cracking open and creating space for herself in what was hitherto the territory of the young, marginalised male in a mainly Muslim country.
It's hard enough to be a female musician in Africa, but to be a rapper, a musical genre yet to be implanted on the continent (even though its format and intrinsic elements draw heavily from African culture), is a major leap in the dark.
Rap is still considered a typically American phenomenon, the music of young African-Americans; the music of the rootless, those without hope, tied to violence. But the sprawling metropolis of Dakar, where Sister Fa was born in 1982 seems to have adopted rap and made it its own.
Music lovers first became aware of Sister Fa in 2001 when she took part in a hip hop competition in her country and later appeared in a French documenatry on Senegalese rap. Then in 2002, she was in neighbouring Guinea, representing her country in what was called an international feminine rappers' contest. She did extremely well, wowing the audience. Her career was launched.
Fa's rap style is not what you would normally expect: she sings mostly in French or Wolof her native language. Wolof is the lingua franca of Dakar and most of the country. No bling bling for her, no gangsta lyrics. She sings about everyday life in her country, the poverty, the HIV AIDS problem, unemployment, female circumcision and so on. She is like an ambassdor of ther poor and marginalised.
Fa currently lives in Berlin, Germany, with her husband and she is now part of the cultural life of that country.
She however fully engaged on issues affecting her country and the rest of Africa, participating in UN functions and frequently visiting her country.
Her music is also evolving, incorporating other genres like jazz and soul.
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