Who would appreciate storytelling more?

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Country music may not be popular with African-Americans, but it is popular with Africans:

Think about it. More than any other American popular music, country music tells a story. And who would appreciate storytelling more than a people who come from an oral storytelling tradition. In Africa, radio beats television in popularity and availability, so what’s important on radio is what’s important to Africa.


Henry Makhoka heads programming for the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, the nation’s oldest and largest radio station. Makhoka says the allure of country music in Africa is its iconic characters — the gamblers and the highway men, the handwringing mothers and the cock-sure sons, the Rubys, the Lucilles, the Joleens, the grievous angels and the folks who just ain’t no good. These are the characters whose stories Kenyans identify with more than anything that smells like teen spirit.

(Hat tip to HBD Chick.)


  1. Andreas says:

    Across Africa, country music speaks directly not to those that still live in the “country” but to those that have moved to urban areas but still long for their simpler rural life. Country music always has this longing. Africa always has this longing. Sometimes idealized (archetypal) nostalgia, sometimes just real memory of what they left behind.

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