The Dahomey Amazons, a female military regiment in the 18th century, fought the French colonial army. Their name inspired the group Les Amazones d’Afrique, an all-female collective of west African musicians campaigning for gender equality.
These artists, among them Grammy-winning Angélique Kidjo, Mariam Doumbia of the legendary duo Amadou and Mariam, and international popstar Nneka, believe music can trigger change and be a weapon to address the systematic disempowerment of women across Africa.
Tracks are sang intermittently in English, French and Mandinka, and tackle love, oppression and female empowerment.
Their flagship song, I play the Kora, symbolizes their struggle for equality: this African musical instrument was traditionally reserved for men.
Take a look at this week’s This is culture segment.