On July 26, as a military coup was underway in the West African country of Niger, the airwaves of Télé Sahel, the state tv station, filled with upbeat songs movies praising the armed service. Some of these video clips experienced been circulating for decades, but since a team of generals toppled the democratically elected president in July, Niger has witnessed a revival of equally old and new army propaganda, now remixed for the TikTok period.
In interviews, a dozen artists, teachers and leisure executives plugged into the Nigerien songs scene said that what could be witnessed as a paradox in the West — an outpouring of new video clips and new music less than armed service rule — manufactured perception in a country with a very long heritage of griot lifestyle, where by storytellers and keepers of oral history praised figures of authority. Concern and respect toward the military services are also deeply entrenched within the society, analysts said.
It is not clear how several Nigeriens support the navy takeover. But the common appeal of these songs and video clips delivers a window into the layered heritage and sentiments that exist among Nigeriens and the armed service, which has been omnipresent in the country’s political lifetime by means of five coups in 50 years and, lately, a battle with Islamist insurgencies.
They also lose gentle on why lots of in Niger have in aspect welcomed the end of democratic rule that they affiliated with endemic corruption, economic hardship and restricted liberty of expression, which include for artists.
Drums of war and the silence of censorship
As hundreds of individuals took to the streets of the money, Niamey, in early August in aid of the new junta Souleymane and Zabeirou Barké, two brothers, joined the crowds to shoot their most current new music online video.
Between throngs of gentlemen assembled in front of the country’s national assembly, the green and orange Nigerien flags, lifted fists and defiant messages towards Western nations around the world provided an perfect backdrop for their new song, “Niger Guida,” or “Niger My Home” in the Hausa language.
The threat of a armed forces intervention by a bloc of West African international locations has only strengthened the solve of young Nigeriens to defend their region and prompted some artists to denounce the threats in scathing tracks.
“Niger is our household, whoever tries to attack us will deal with the outcomes,” the Barké brothers, who are in their 30s and make up the preferred rap team MDM, say in the track, which has been broadcast on Télé-Sahel. “We are not worried of dying, come and eliminate us.”