Indeed greatness has no hiding place. African music ambassador, Angelique Kidjo has earned her place in the sand of time showing youths from Africa that possibilities still abound in the continent.
The Beninese singer-songwriter, actress, and activist was named by Time Magazine to be among 100 World Most Influential People.
Only five Africans made the list as the Grammy award winner was listed along with Director-General of World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr Mrs Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, a feat not to be underrated.
Senegalese academic, musician and writer of novels and cultural essays, Felwine Sarr was the other African creative in the list.
Indeed the sixty-one year old Angelique Kidjo has used her music as a weapon of advocacy.
This year, she released an album titled ‘Mother Nature’ featuring thirteen different artistes including young artistes like Nigerian singers Burna Boy, Yemi Alade and Mr Eazi.
Kidjo has shared her platform with the younger generation of artistes worldwide. She encouraged the ‘African Giant’ – Burna Boy when he lost the 2019 Grammy Award to her, by dedicating the award to him and the younger generation of African artistes who are making her proud.
American Singer, Alicia Keys who commended her in TIME magazine said,
“It felt so magical and natural to witness Angelique Kidjo in her element. This is a gift. When we were collaborating on a song for her latest album, Mother Nature, she taught me how to dance to African music. Her ability to blend cultures, creating a soulful sound that is out of this world, make working with her and listening to her so special. Angelique Kidjo electrifies people.
“It’s meaningful for someone like Angelique Kidjo to say to a younger artiste “I love you and you are amazing. Here is an opportunity for everyone to hear you.”
Nigerian singer and Kidjo’s protégé, Yemi Alade celebrated her online, stating, “You truly are! Mother Nature. ”
In 2020, Angelique Kidjo was named by the BBC among its 100 inspiring and influential women across the globe.
According to the BBC, “the four-time Grammy Award-winner has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America.
“After exploring the roads of Africa’s diaspora in her take on the Talking Heads album Remain in Light, the French-Beninese singer is now investigating the African roots of celebrated icon Celia Cruz, the Cuban-born Queen of Salsa
“Angelique also advocates on behalf of children as a UNICEF ambassador, and through her own charitable foundation, Batonga, which supports the education of young girls in Africa.”
On September 25, the charming singer graced an event called Global Citizen live stage bringing attention to crucial issues in global environment.
Angelique Kidjo is a lesson in humility, hunger to outdo herself and pass on a legacy of sisterhood to the younger generation.