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Cameroon's 'rap pirate' Valsero on mixing music and politics

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MARTIN BUREAU/AFP or licensors


From prison in Cameroon to Zenith in Paris, Valsero, outspoken Cameroonian artist is politically committed to rap music.

Also considered Cameroon opposition figure, Valsero, challenges the political class through rap.

Valsero claims a firm and determined opposition against the current president of his country, Paul Biya. "Letter to the president" and the recent "The president is dead", are strong and uncompromising messages to the political class in his country.

"Basically, I'm a rap pirate. And in fact I am a political activist, and rap is an extraordinary weapon, by its power, by its strength, by its capacity to mobilise people. I have chosen to use my art for the development and evolution of democracy, and rap is very important to me."

Outspoken rapper and Cameroon opposition figure Valsero speaks about his love of rap, his support of Maurice Kamto in the 2018 elections, and his condemnation of election results which saw him imprisoned for ten months along with Kamto.

"We went to jail because we didn't want to lie down, we had won that election. It was frustrating you know, it was very frustrating and we didn't give up. We contested it. It was very political, because it's the central power, the supreme power, because it's a dictatorship, "

Valsero blames French President Emmanuel Macron for his imprisonment

"The guy who put me in prison is Macron, not Paul Biya. Because Macron has a lot of African activists and African politicians locked up in Africa, for those who don't know, and I was one of them, and it was he who decided to open the doors again. So this guy, he has the ability to lock you up, to put you in prison in your own country, he doesn't move, and he gets you out again. .

His discourse even arouses fear among his French colleagues, some of whom have refused to collaborate with him because of the risk of antagonizing the Cameroonian government.

The musician performed in Paris at a concert in the Zenith, September 18.

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