12 Track – Session 1

The Africa Centre presents 12Track!  a series that will feature on The Africa Centre Blog. Featuring curated playlists by some of us, our closest friends, partners and collaborators.

These playlists will vary from themed playlists relating to Africa Centre events, to simple individual preference, so join us as we delve into the minds of music lovers worldwide and share with you their life changing and intimate musical memories.

This is 12Track!

For the first couple volumes of the 12Track series we will be launching weekly playlists in celebration of Black History Month. We look back on some gems with the Africa Centre teams personal favourite jams from “Black in the day.”

Check out the picks from our team below:

So, which members of the team chose which song and why? Find out below. While you’re at it, Tweet, Instagram and Facebook us your top 3 hits from “Black in the day”!

Kojo Akuffo 

Daddy Lumba – Aben wo Ha – The old school ghana highlife banger, reminds me of the regular family parties I would attend as a child. Nothing gets ghanaians dancing like this song does. Pass the Supermalt!

Curtis Mayfield -Freddies Dead –  the unofficial Superfly Anthem, Mr Mayfield pioneered that Rhythm and Gangster sound and its something dear to my heart.


Carine Kazadi 

Kanye West, Jesus Walks: One of my ultimate favourites from Kanye ‘back in the days’. Then he was talking about the real stuff. A lot ofwhat he says in this track is still valid. Who’s actually eligible for ‘Redemption’…

Dead Prez, Police State: I just like conscious hip-hop…

most of what’s coming out today is The whole ’Let’s Get Free’ album is dynamite.


Mupeta Mukuka  

Brenda Fassie – Vulindlela: My first memory of a huge African star with a huge single. Now retrospectively not forgetting what she actually stood for as an anti-apartheid singer.

Tracy Chapman – Fast Cars: Sentimental reasons. Memories of driving between Zambia and Botswana with my mum for the holidays, this feature a lot in a literal thousand mile journey.


Mark Higham

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five – The Message: I saw them live on their first UK tour,despite flak from friends and music press, and the hard-hitting poetry of their rap combined with a radically fresh sound, got everyone close to the edge! I can still remember most of the lyrics, seminal.

Sean Paul – Get Busy: I set up Ocean music venue in the early 2000s and we hosted some great performers like Femi Kuti, James Brown, Baaba Maal, Dionne Warwick, Lee Scratch Perry, Natasha Atlas, Outkast but for me Sean Paul was a special gig. He was pretty unknown when we booked him, but by the time he played he was huge and so was this song. Get Busy always gets me going, turn it up and you’ll see!


Anne-Lise  Fotso
Des’ree – Gotta Be:   My feel-good song.

Lou Reed – Walk on the Wild: Side  A song about cross-dressers taking their chance in NY. Because I lived in NY while I was a student, it reminds me how the city is a jungle where it’s all about the hustle. You can be whoever you want to be.



Michael Bridge
Hugh Masekela – The Boy’s – Doin’ It
Soul II Soul – Back to Life
Michael chose these because “They’re all F*****g Awesome”.