Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati

Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati

by Msia Kibona Clark and Mickie Mwanzia Koster

Now available in paperback & on Kindle


This book examines social change in Africa through the lens of hip hop music and culture. Artists engage their African communities in a variety of ways that confront established social structures, using coded language and symbols to inform, question, and challenge. Through lyrical expression, dance, and graffiti, hip hop is used to challenge social inequality and to push for social change. The study looks across Africa and explores how hip hop is being used in different places, spaces, and moments to foster change. In this edited work, authors from a wide range of fields, including history, sociology, African and African American studies, and political science explore the transformative impact that hip hop has had on African youth, who have in turn emerged to push for social change on the continent. The powerful moment in which those that want change decide to consciously and collectively take a stand is rooted in an awareness that has much to do with time. Therefore, the book centers on African hip hop around the context of “it’s time” for change, Ni Wakati.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction by Msia Kibona Clark and Mickie Mwanzia Koster

Part I: “Social Ills”: Coming from Behind the Microphone to Effect Reform in Africa

2. Hip-Hop Halisi: Continuities of Heroism on the African Political Landscape, Caroline Mose

3. Building Our Nation: Sénégalese Hip Hop Artists as Agents of Social and Political Change, Sheba Lo

4. Speaking Truth to Power: Hip-Hop and the African Awakening, Amentahru Wahlrab
Essay 1 English. “Malian Hip Hop: Social Engagement through Music,” Amkoullel L’enfant Peulh

Part II: “The Dusty Foot Philosopher”: Hip Hop Voices on Social Change in Africa

Essay 2. “How Hip Hop Impacts Social Change in Africa,” Malle Marxist

5. Redefining the Struggle: Remembering the Mau Mau through Hip-Hop Music, Mich Nyawalo

6. Khoi Hop: Hip Hop, Youth Activism and the Dilemma of Coloured Identity in South Africa, Shaheen Ariefdien and Rico Chapman

7. Beyond “Y’en a Marre”: Pikine’s Hip Hop Youth Say “Enough is Enough” and Pave the Way for Continuous Social Change, Asligul Berktay

8. Gender representations among Tanzanian female emcees, Msia Kibona Clark

Essay 3. “Hip-Hop and social change in Uganda” by Slim MC

Part III: “Adjuma”: Hip Hop’s Transformation of the Urban Space in Africa

Essay 4. “Tanzanian MCs vs. Social Discourse,” Mejah Mbuya

9. From The Great Island To The African Continent Through The Western World: Itineraries Of A “Return To The Origins” Through Hip Hop Music In Madagascar (2000–2011), Klara Boyer-Rossol

10. The Musicscapes of a Country in Transition: Cultural Identity, Youth Agency, The Emergent Hip Hop Culture and the Quest for Socio-Political Change in Sierra Leone, John Idriss Lahai

11. Hip-hop and Sheng in Nairobi – Creating Identity Markers and Expressing a Lifestyle, Katharina Greven

Afterword: “Reflections on Ni Wakati: Hip Hop and the Revolution,” Kamau Ngigi (Kama of Kalamashaka)

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