Confronting The Representation of African women- 3 Artists Changing the Narrative through song

African women are often grossly misrepresented by the media and pop culture, the narratives established since colonialism often find their way into the way African women are portrayed to the world. This is why it is so important for artists like Enny, Dope Saint Jude, and Sampa the Great to be recognized and celebrated for their representation of African women in their songs.

In “Peng Black Girls” by Enny and Amia Brave, black women of every shade are uplifted and represented in their music video. The song calls out the fact that the natural black features are only praised on women with eurocentric features, such as the Kardashians. This video gives black women the representation and love we deserve and features both artists in traditional Nigeria clothes.

In Dope Saint Jude’s video, she takes a different route. While she still celebrated women, she incorporated elements of confronting gender identity, incorporating the fluidity of masculinity and femininity. The music video has an artistic visual feel featuring high fashion looks, and an all black clothing scheme to emphasize black power. Dope Saint Jude, a queer rapper from South Africa is no stranger to addressing gender identity, sexuality, and feminism which are all recurring themes in her music. The song is catchy, and with the artistry in the video it is easy to watch it on repeat. “Grrrl Like” sends a message of confidence and not caring what others think. 

“Final Form” by Sampa is another black girl anthem that confronts colorism while authentically representing her country with traditional dance, clothing, and masquerade. The chorus shows the central theme of the song, “I might final form, In my melanin”. Sampa celebrates the melanin of African women that society often tells them to be ashamed of. This music video as well as the others are so necessary because they contrast what we often see represented in the media. In these videos melanin is celebrated, gender norms ignored, and black women are celebrated for their beauty and strength. 

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