Bahai News -- Mmegi - Azoh sings for tourism 10 - 16 January 2003

Arts/Culture Review

Azoh sings for tourism

1/10/2003 10:50:14 AM (GMT +2)

Cameroon born musician Azoh-Mbi has released his debut album entitled "Sweet Temper". According to the artist, the soul searching album is targeted at the international market. Azoh described his album as a melting pot of African rhythms with European influence.

He identified his enchanting music as cross cultural. "I do not want to be identified with one type of a genre," quipped the soft spoken muso.

Some of the songs on the ten track CD include Botswana, Sweet Temper,

Nonyane, Nkwing, Dream Family, Thirsty Lands, Nna Nchwa and Demons Not Forever.

In Demons Not Forever, Azoh teases African dictators. "Small men in oversized clothes, suffering from paranoia. They are frightened by their own shadows," goes part of the lyrics.

For ease of reference, the words of the song have been included on the cover


Azoh revealed that the aim of his album is to promote tourism in the country and Africa in general. The theme of the album is tourism as depicted on the cover of the CD which shows a

picture of the scenic Victoria Falls.

Azoh said the song "Botswana", is meant to sell the country to the outside country. He said he was taken aback by the humility of Batswana when he settled here. "Botswana is actually a small

country with a big heart," he said.

Unlike some other artists who record for commercial purposes, Azoh disputes that his intention to make money. In fact it is the other way round as he said he lost money through music.

A devotee of the Bahai religion, Azoh first came to Botswana in 1993 to teach music.

"I was supposed to be here for a short time but I decided to stay since

I loved this country," he said. He penned the song, "Botswana" on his arrival.

"When you write a song, you must have a purpose," he said.

He added that when he composes his music, he draws inspiration from the Bahai teachings of equality.

"I have a universal approach to everything that I treat," said the


Azoh is still running music classes at the Mmino Academy. He intends to become a music producer. After entering the music scene at 15 as a singer, he was forced to learn to play the guitar since the other musicians did not treat his music the way he liked it.

"This is a general problem in music," he noted.

Azoh said some producers are just concerned about making money

and do not care about the musician's creativity.

But under his record label, he said, he is producing music that the artists really wanted to play. "Artists must produce what they feel passionate about," he said.

Azoh stressed that every album that he is working on must meet international standards. He is amazed why people are always talk about "local" music.

Currently he is negotiating with distributors in the United Kingdom,

Zimbabwe and South Africa to sell his album.

In Gaborone, the CD is available at Citi Radio, CD House, Thebe Records and Supa Save. If you are a cultural activist, then this CD should be on your


©Copyright 2003, Mmegi (Cameroon, Africa)

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