Freemuse Award to Tiken Jah Fakoly


20 August 2008

Exiled reggae singer from West Africa awarded

The first Freemuse Award is given to Tiken Jah Fakoly from Côte d’Ivoire. The award will be presented to him in connection with his Ireland debut concert at the Festival of World Cultures in Dublin on Saturday 23 August 2008.

Tiken Jah Fakoly is an outspoken Ivorian reggae singer who has tirelessly denounced political corruption. He is an idol for millions of Africans who feel disenfranchised and repressed. He has been threatened, banned and exiled from his home country, but has never compromised. In December 2007, he was declared ‘persona non grata’ in Senegal after criticising Senegal’s president and calling for democracy.

In exile

Tiken Jah Fakoly has been living in exile in Mali for the last five years. He was granted political asylum there in 2003 following a political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire where a number of people close to him were brutally killed.

‘Quitte le Pouvoir’ (Leave the Power) – co-recorded with his close friend, the Senegalese rapper Didier Awadi – is one of Tiken Jah Fakoly’s most known songs. It has almost become the African Anthem against political corruption. In his latest release, ‘The African’, Tiken Jah also tackles pan-African taboo subjects such as female genital mutilation and corrupt marabouts.

The Freemuse Award was announced on the Music Freedom Day, 3 March 2008, at Oslo’s Nobel Peace Centre. Touring in Africa at that moment, Tiken Jah Fakoly declared that:

“This award touches me a lot since it’s like an international acknowledgement. It is acts such as this that encourage me and provide credibility and strength to my fight for peace, justice and equality.”

The importance of music
The Freemuse Award is sponsored by the Björn Afzelius International Culture Foundation, which was initiated in memory of Swedish rock singer Björn Afzelius who died 1999. Afzelius was a strong spokesman for suppressed people and said in 1989:

“Rock’n roll is not a question of life and death – it is much more important than that!”

“Tiken Jah Fakoly represents all those ideals that Afzelius believed in”, said Marie Korpe, Freemuse’s executive director. “We believe that he is also a brilliant representative for the fight for freedom of expression that Freemuse stands for. The popularity of his music and lyrics shows how important music is as a ‘people’s media’ in Africa and how musicians can play a transnational role as ‘truth sayer’ as well as a ‘media of conscience’.”

Information about press conference in Dublin

Click to go to Tiken Jah Fakolys official home page
Tiken Jah Fakoly is the first artist to receive the annual Freemuse Award

Click to read more about the Freemuse Award glass statuette
The Freemuse Award statuette

Click on photo to read more about the glass art work

Press: Download photo of Tiken Jah Fakoly

Read more:

Interview with Tiken Jah Fakoly
First Freemuse Award announcement
About the Freemuse Award statuette
‘Côte d’Ivoirian reggae singer banned in Senegal’

Tiken Jah Fakoly’s official home page:

See music video with Tiken Jah Fakoly:

Tiken Jah Fakoly – ‘Quitte Le Pouvoir’ (Live)

Google News – continously updated:

Search: ‘Tiken Jah Fakoly’

Selected media coverage:

Reggae France – 8 September 2008:

‘Interview: Tiken Jah Fakoly’ (in French language)

Irish Times – 26 August 2008:

‘Arts Reviews – Last weekend’s Festival of World Cultures’

Irish Times – 21 August 2008:

‘Songs that sing against censorship’

RTÉ Radio 1, The Dave Fanning Show – 21 August 2008:

‘The Festival of World Cultures’

Destin de l’Afrique – 21 August 2008:

‘Songs that sing against censorship’

Irish Times – 21 August 2008:

‘Songs that sing against censorship’

– Issue 51, April-May 2008:
‘News: Freedom now! – Tiken Jah Fakoly’ – 11 March 2008:

‘Tiken Jah Fakoly, the first artist to receive the annual Freemuse Award’ – 6 March 2008:

Exiled Reggae Singer Awarded Freemuse Award – 5 March 2008:

‘Musique – Tiken Jah Fakoly: non grata au Sénégal, honoré en Suède’

IFEX – 4 March 2008:

‘African Reggae Star Wins First Freemuse Award’

World Music Central – 3 March 2008:

‘Exiled African Reggae Star Tiken Jah Fakoly first Freemuse Award winner’

SR, Swedish Broadcasting Corporation – 3 March 2008:

‘Freemuse Award till Tiken Jah Fakoly’

Tiken Jah Fakoly receiving Freemuse Award 2008 has been reported all over the world. Below the article you will find a list with links to media coverage.

Feel free to contact the Freemuse Secretariat to report media coverage that might be of interest.

Tiken Jah Fakoly sings ‘Le pays va mal’ – video on YouTube

20 June 2007

Tiken Jah Fakoly sings ‘Ca va faire mal’ – video on YouTube

29 April 2007

More video clips…

Go to top
Read more:

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Songlines review of Freemuse CD: ‘It is Top of the World’
Songlines, an influential UK-based world music magazine, has chosen the CD ‘Listen to the banned’ as Top of the World in their August 2010 issue
11 August 2010
CD: Listen to the banned
Compiled by the artist Deeyah and Freemuse, this CD compilation album is published on 3 March 2010 by Norway’s most successful music label, Grappa Records
15 March 2010
Facts about the CD ‘Listen to the banned’
Track list, cover photo for download, and general information about the Freemuse CD ‘Listen to the banned’, published in March 2010
03 March 2010
Press release: New Freemuse CD: Listen to the banned
The new Freemuse CD ‘Listen to the banned’ is a unique collection of 14 contemporary songs by artists who have been censored
24 February 2010
Freemuse: Tiken Jah Fakoly recoit Freemuse Award
“Il faut continuer de questionner la corruption en Afrique”, disait Tiken Jah Fakoly pendant une interview avec Freemuse en connexion avec la remise de prix.
02 October 2008
Freemuse: Video interview avec Tiken Jah Fakoly
Interview filmé avec Tiken Jah Fakoly en langue française. Il parle de la situation en Afrique aussi bien que du rôle et des responsabilitées des artistes aujourd’hui.
01 October 2008
Burma / China / Cote d’Ivoire: ‘An Independent Mind’
Tiken Jah Fakoly, who received the Freemuse Award 2008, is one of the main characters in a new documentary film, ‘An Independent Mind’ about freedom of speech
22 September 2008
Tiken Jah Fakoly
Video interview with the West African reggae singer Tiken Jah Fakoly, recorded in Dublin on Saturday 23 August 2008 in connection with the Freemuse Award 2008 ceremony
04 September 2008
Freemuse: Award ceremony in Dublin
“We have to continue questioning corruption and poverty in Africa,” said Tiken Jah Fakoly as he received the Freemuse Award at the Festival of World Cultures in Ireland
25 August 2008
Press release: Freemuse Award to Tiken Jah Fakoly
Tiken Jah Fakoly receives Freemuse Award in Dublin, Ireland
20 August 2008
Freemuse Award to Tiken Jah Fakoly
The first Freemuse Award is given to Tiken Jah Fakoly from Côte d’Ivoire – an outspoken reggae singer who has tirelessly denounced political corruption.
20 August 2008
Freemuse Award announcement at Music Freedom Day 2008
Announcement of the first Freemuse Award winner: Tiken Jah Fakoly from Côte d’Ivoire
03 March 2008
Radio Freemuse: ‘Music censorship in Africa 2008’
Listen to or download a 15 minutes radio report explaining about music censorship in Africa today. Hear what the African musicians have to say themselves about the topic
27 February 2008
Senegal: Cote d’Ivoirian reggae singer banned in Senegal
Reggae singer Tiken Jah Fakoly from Cote d’Ivoire was declared ‘persona non grata’ in Senegal in December 2007, after critizing Senegal’s president and calling for democracy
08 January 2008