Les Amazones d’Afrique assert women’s freedom of expression with new single ‘Kuma Fo’

The all-female African supergroup Les Amazones d’Afrique, a collective which has included some of the biggest stars in African music, make a triumphant return with a brand-new sound on their latest single, ‘Kuma Fo (What They Say)’.

The track features five different members of the collective singing in their native languages from the countries Mali, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Congo-Brazzaville. Alongside the familiar voices of Mamani Keïta, Fafa Ruffino and Kandy Guira, the track features new members Alvie Bitemo, an activist and actress originally from Congo-Brazzaville, and renowned Ivorian artist Dobet Gnahoré.

Les Amazones d'Afrique - Kuma Fo (What They Say) [Official Video]

‘Kuma Fo’ is about women’s freedom of expression.” Bitemo says. “It’s about speaking up — not asking, not waiting for us to be given the floor. We need to seize it.

When you look at the Amazons of Dahomey, it was female warriors who made the decisions and took power. It feels like since colonization, certain countries in Africa have moved further away from women’s rights. And in this song, we say that if you bring life into the world, you educate, you organize the family, then you should reclaim your power: your female power.”

Musow Danse will be released on 16 February 2024, available on marbled coloured LP with 12-page lyric and photo book, as well as CD and digital.

The beautiful, uplifting accompanying music video for ‘Kuma Fo’ was mostly filmed in Morocco during the band’s visit to perform at the legendary Gnaoua World Music Festival in Essaouira last summer.

Following two critically-acclaimed albums République Amazone (2017) and Amazones Power (2020) working with the idiosyncratic Congotronics producer Doctor L, the band have now collaborated with Jacknife Lee (U2, Modest Mouse, Taylor Swift) on their forthcoming third album Musow Danse to embrace a powerful pop sound led by 808s and glitchy synths and drawing from contemporary hip-hop and trap influences.

‘Kuma Fo (What They Say)’ is out on 25 October 2023. The album, Musow Danse, will be released on CD, LP and digitally via Real World Records on 16 February 2024. Les Amazones d’Afrique begin their European tour in January 2024.


Featured release

  • Musow Danse

    Les Amazones d’Afrique

    Released 16 February 2024

    Like a bow pulled back with a fist and a sharp-angled elbow, the supergroup Les Amazones d'Afrique take aim at gender inequality and, fortified by an ancient-to-future soundscape co-crafted with producer Jacknife Lee, shoot their flaming arrows. Six glorious voices, six mighty queens — Alvie Bitemo, Dobet Gnahoré, Kandy Guira, Mamani Keïta, Nneka, Fafa Ruffino — declaim in a range of languages of the freedom and joy that comes with speaking out, and of the power of unity and ally-ship. Female warriordom has never sounded so fierce — or so danceable.

By Oran Mullan

Main image: Mamani Keïta, Albie Bitemo and Fafa Ruffino (L-R) of Les Amazones d'Afrique. Photo credit: Odhrán Mullan.

Published on Wed, 25 October 23

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