“Mama kitoko” is a 2020 single by Senegalese rap legend Didier Awadi. Awadi was born on August 11, 1969 in Dakar, Senegal. He is of Beninese and Cape Verdean descent. Awadi began his music career in the early 1980s when the hip hop scene in Dakar was in its early stages. In 1984 he started the group Syndikat, and later formed the group Positive Black Soul in 1989. Awadi has always been socially and politically conscious, starting PBS with the goal of creating a positive image of Africa for outsiders through music. Fortunately, Positive Black Soul gained great success, and toured in Europe with legendary French-Senegalese-Chadian rapper MC Solaar. Awadi would later pursue a solo career, releasing his first solo album, Kaddu Gor (“World of Honor”), in 2002. He would go on to release four more albums between 2005 and 2018. Thanks to his role in bringing Senegalese hip hop to the forefront of both African and Francophone music, Awadi is widely known as one of the most influential Senegalese MCs.
In his 2020 single, “Mama kitoko” (feat. Marie Ndiaye), Awadi speaks on the role of women in Senegalese culture, rapping in French. He begins the first verse dedicating the song to the women of Senegal saying, “Pour la femme et le reine, pour la mère qui se donne de la peine” (“For the woman/wife and the queen, for the mother who gives herself pain”). He goes on to describe all the things that Senegalese women do for the country, from literal acts like working in the fields (celles dans les champs qui va semer la graine) to things like supporting the men of Senegal (elle a porté des rois, meaning “[the queens] have carried the kings). His most consequential lines, however, come when he recognizes their pain, stating, “elle a versé des larmes, elle a porté des croix” (“[women] have shed tears, [women] have bore the cross”). This recognition of the struggle of Senegalese women is very important, as they have not had it easy in recent history. Senegal ranks 115th in the Gender Inequality Index, and 94th in the Global Gender Gap Index. The role of women in Senegalese society is very traditional, due to both religious and cultural norms. Only 4.6% of Senegalese women of the age of 25 receive secondary education, and the rate of female genital mutilation in the country is currently at 28%. Fortunately, women are making gains in Senegal, and more than 40% of Senegalese parliament members are women.
Mama kitoko: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0LimEYhBUQ
Didier Awadi’s Instagram: https://instagram.com/awadimusic?igshid=1fa07xinhlvh7
Didier Awadi’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/awadimusic?lang=en