This was during the time of the great Bella Bellow, the Togolese Lady of the blues, who sadly died at the height of her fame. Bella Bellow was an inspiration to an entire generation of African singers, including the young Afia Mala. In 1974 Afia Mala’s music career was launched thanks to her winning the Best Togolese singer of the year. However, this promising career was nearly cut short following a near fatal traffic accident. After spending over six months in hospital, her Father decided that music was not to be young Afia’s future… but destiny decided otherwise! In 1984 ‘Ten Homte’ (Black Earth) was selected by Radio France International listeners as their favourite song during their talent competition ‘Discovery’. Much success and some eight albums later, the Princess from Vogan has a repertoire that places her firmly amongst the great African Diva’s. When you first meet Afia, you have the impression that she is a bit delicate, infact almost fragile… don’t be fooled! Behind this beautiful, smiling alluring face hides a dedicated professional driven to perfection, whilst still being able to enjoy life to the full! After being nominated ‘Best African Female Vocalist’ in 1992, Afia took some time off to spend with her family and refocus her career.
She believes strongly that music and politics make bad bedmates. Despite this fact her song titled ‘Tout le monde est coupable’ (Everybody is guilty) resulted in much personal criticism as it was perceived as a political statement by many. Her strength of character carried her through this difficult period, and she has calmed even her worst critics. Afia believes ‘a song must always carry a message, that’s important, and cannot be faked’. The album ‘Prophetie’ won her the Nelson Mandela Prize in Nairobi, Kenya, where she was also honoured with the role of Ambassador for Cultural Affairs for URTNA (Union des Radios et Television Nationales Africaines).
She sings in several languages: Lingala, Ewe, French, Adja, English, Spanish, Douala and Swahili. Afia Mala has recorded 8 albums to date. The eighth album is an exciting blend of African and Carribean rhythm and was recorded in Cuba with the famous Aragon Orchestra. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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