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Lopango ya Banka, hip-hop African artists, denounce white power imperialism

Released Feb 16, 2013

In light of the recent imperialist military aggression on the African continent, the new single, "Mbonge," by Lopango ya Banka, is transformed from just a song into an audio manifesto of African resistance.

"Mbonge" is the first single from Lopango ya Banka's sophomore album, entitled "Izwe Lethu."

The title means "the land is ours," and is taken from an Azanian Liberation Song.

"Mbonge" premiered as a video on YouTube on February 6, 2013.

The high-quality visually multi-layered video was co-directed by a member of the group, Wabuza Nkalunga.

Lopango ya Banka raps in Lingala, a Bantu language that is spoken throughout Africa by more than 10 million people.

The name Lopango ya Banka means "land of the ancestors."

Over a clicking beat and swirling synthesizer, the track begins with a sample of Luwezi Kinshasa, Secretary-General of the African Socialist International (ASI), outlining the collusion between the US AFRICOM military activities and the recent French invasion of Mali.

In the midst of a crowd of Africans in a UK lecture leading the cheer of "Izwe Lethu, i Africa!" is Chairman Omali Yeshitela of the African Socialist International.

The upbeat energetic melody is the perfect counterpoint to the serious lyrics that call for "all Africans to resist in unity" and "peasants and workers to build together" and declare that in our struggle "we will be victorious."

The real political education comes with the chorus, " We already know you/whatever shape or form you may come with," and then continues with a roll call of imperialist tactics to ravage, control, and liquidate Africa - civilization, explorer, missionary, charity, secession, balkanization, federalism, tribalism, democracy, dollarization, and globalization.

"No way," raps Lopanga ya Banka.

The act of resistance and the understanding of the relationship between imperialism and the underdevelopment of Africa are primary constructs of African Internationalism, a theory developed by Omali Yeshitela.

The track is in complete harmony with current events, since February 21st is African Martyrs' Day and they call them out: Kwame Nkrumah, Lumumba, Dedan Kimathi, Sobukwe and several others. Yeshitela's presence in the video provides a living embodiment of the courageous spirit of the martyrs.

Although hip-hop is now the lingua franca of a generation of Africans, its revolutionary potential has long been targeted by the imperialists.

The tactics are the control of the marketing and manufacturing of the music, along with the promotion of themes and acts which fetishize status items and African on African violence.

With the single "Mbongo" and the album "Izwe Lethu," Lopango ya Banka is on a mission to infuse hip-hop with the worldview of African Internationalism, so that hip-hop can be truly of and for the people.

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