Fatou Diatta, aka Sister Fa is a Hip-Hop artist that was born in Dakar, Senegal. After reading about Senegal I was interested in exploring whether there were any female Hip-Hop artists there, and I discovered Sister Fa.
In 2010, digitaljournal.com posted a profile of Sister Fa that described her as courageous and determined, considering she has been able to break through in a country with, “young, marginalized males in a mainly Muslim country”. It goes on to explain how difficult it is to be a female artist in Africa, but to be a rapper is very unique. This is because rap is considered to be an “American phenomenon”, described as, “the music of young African Americans; the music of the rootless, those without hope”.
In 2011 Sister Fa became known when she appeared in a French documentary on Senegalese rap. Fa’s style sounds typical of the rap artists from Dakar; she sings mostly in French or in the Dakar native language called Wolof.
In a Sister Fa Bio online, a brief chronology of her connection to music is provided. In 2000 Fa recorded her first album; in 2003 she joined the label FN’F (Fight n’ Forget) and dedicated her performances to the fight against AIDs. In August 2005 Fa’s first solo album was released in Senegal, which she produced herself. With her growing popularity and notoriety gained, Fa became more involved in raising the consciousness of social issues related to the mistreatment of women in Senegal.
Another on-line publication, The Guardian, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, highlights Sister Fa in an article dated February 5, 2011. The article focused on her activism in campaigning against the widespread practice of female circumcision. The interview took place in Dakar, where Fa was on a tour called “Education Against Mutilation”; she definitely wants to be known as “a cultural ambassador”, who uses hip hop music that appeals to young people so that they will hear the message and understand that social and cultural changes are needed in Senegal, Africa.
The digital journal article states, “she sings about everyday life in her country, the poverty, the HIV AIDS problem, unemployment, female circumcision, and so on”. Her music is not in English, but here is one of her interviews: