Real World music featured on BBC Two’s Africa with Ade Adepitan

Africa with Ade Adepitan is a new four-part series for BBC Two, where journalist and athlete Ade Adepitan travels across Africa, from West Africa and city of his birth —Lagos in Nigeria— through Central and Eastern Africa and on to the deep south of the continent. Along the way, a selection of tracks by Real World artists soundtracks his journey.

Ade is on a journey to uncover how modern Africa is changing. He visits a vast array of contrasting places on the continent, each providing unique and surprising experiences, from the windswept beauty of Cape Verde to the streets of Mogadishu.

Announcing the series, the BBC said: “What happens in Africa in the next 50 years will shape all of our futures for the coming generations. African population growth means migration to Europe could explode— but with life expectancy rising and child mortality shrinking, economic growth may transform some nations into Asian-style superpowers. But the challenges are daunting for sub-Saharan Africa, and with dozens of different countries and cultures there are no generalisations that can hold for this endlessly fascinating continent. From booming new tech hubs and megacities to pockets of conflict and poverty, Africa is the most vibrant and varied continent on earth.

The first leg of Ade Adepitan’s epic four-part journey around Africa takes him from Cape Verde, through Senegal and Ivory Coast to Nigeria, and is rich with the sounds of West Africa, featuring tracks by Senegalese folk duo Pape & Cheikh, Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara and Papa Wemba, amongst others.

As the series progresses, classic tracks by Remmy Ongala, Maryam Mursal, Dub Colossus, Ghorwane and Eyuphuro soundtrack Ade’s visit to parts of central, eastern and southern Africa.

You can now watch all four episodes on the BBC iPlayer, and find out more about the Real World artists who featured on the series below.

  • Pape & Cheikh


    Childhood friends Pape and Cheikh are from Senegal, where they grew up listening to their country's traditional music as well as to such western singer-songwriters as Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, and Simon and Garfunkel.

  • Papa Wemba

    Democratic Republic of Congo

    With his dynamic vocals and flamboyant personality, Papa Wemba played an essential role in the Central African music. Respectfully known as 'the king of Rhumba Rock', Wemba successfully fused African traditions with Western pop and rock influences.

  • Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Matimila


    Known as the 'Doctor', Remmy Ongala originally came from Kindu in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. His presence was almost majestic and his distinct voice, rich and soulful, soared above the lilting rhythms of his band, the Orchestre Super Matimila.

  • Maryam Mursal


    The life story of Somalia-born and Denmark-based vocalist Maryam Mursal would be unbelievable were it not true. One of the first professional female vocalists of the Muslim faith, Mursal was a star in her homeland while still in her teens. Having developed the unique blend of Islamic and African influences that she calls Somali Jazz in the nightclubs, she was a top recording artist by the mid-80s.

  • Dub Colossus

    Ethiopia, UK

    Dub Colossus is the vision of Nick Page - aka Dubulah. A prolific composer, guitarist, bass player and programmer, Nick started his music career with Mykaell Riley (Steel Pulse) and has since worked with a long list of notable artists and eccentrics.

  • Ghorwane


    In the hot and dusty Gaza province of Mozambique there is a small lake called Ghorwane that never runs dry, even in the hottest season. In 1983, a group of young musicians in Maputo, took the name Ghorwane as they launched their musical career. Today they are one of Mozambique's most respected bands.

  • Eyuphuro


    Often referred to as the 'golden voice of Mozambique', Zena Bacar's philosophical view of the world fed Eyuphuro's contemporary songs of love and social criticism, providing a sharply observed commentary on life in Mozambique and particularly the inequalities faced by women in that society.

By Online Editor

Main image: Ade Adepitan visits Lake Retba in Senegal.

Published on Mon, 04 March 19

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