Black Bird, Ethiopian poetess in duet


LOCAL hip-hop rapper Black Bird, born Nonkululeko Vundla, and Ethiopian poetess Nebila Abdulmelik have combined their voices and composed an Africa Day song called One Afrika that was released yesterday.


The song was produced by Tatenda Klassiq Chideme and recorded at his Global Studios.

The song comes at a time when most hip-hop artistes are concerned with the negative aspects of the culture such as beefing and gang banging, but Black Bird has managed to focus on the positive elements of the genre.

Speaking to NewsDay, Black Bird said the song, which is a mixture of reggae and rap, composed in four languages, English, Sotho, Zulu and Shona will be made available on iTunes as from next week.

“May 25 is Africa liberation day, where Africans celebrate the hard-fought freedom from colonial powers.

“As a way of celebrating that freedom, I decided to release the song which preaches unity among Africans despite physical, religious and cultural borders as one family,” Black Bird said.

Black Bird said artistes must make use of the power of music to constantly remind the African community that they must stop fighting.
This is not the first time for Black Bird and Abdulmelik to combine their voices.

In 2011, they did a humanitarian song Prayer for Somalia as a way of raising awareness about the Somali crisis through music.

Some of the artistes she has done collaborations with include the late legendary guitarist Andy Brown, local rappers Outspoken and Upmost from the duo Dialectric Blue. South African hip-hop artistes she has worked with include producer Hoodlum, Metaphor and Baleloko producer Shem.

Black Bird is one of the local dominant hip-hop artistes and the first female MC to release an album — Tha Rappetizer in October, 2010.

Her international flair won her the prestigious honour of becoming the first female hip-hop artiste to be invited to perform at the 2011 Harare International Festival of the Arts.

Black Bird said she was happy that she continues to break new ground as a female rapper.

She is currently riding high with her latest video Waiting For Love of her forthcoming album yet to be named.

The video was recently featured on a debut episode of a new hip-hop show called Planet Hip-hop on a United States online channel Vimeo which features a selection of global hip-hop videos.


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