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Africa Beat

News, music, and interviews from Portuguese speaking Africa, presented by Armando Conte.

A radio and TV veteran in his native Guinea-Bissau, Armando Conte presents an intriguing hour of music, news, interviews, and current affairs from Portuguese Africa, as well as in-depth discussions of issues surrounding the larger African continent. Guests and special programmes are dedicated to African artists and scholars visiting the SOAS campus, and previous interviews have included Baaba Maal, Ismael Beah and Bassekou Kouyate.

Africa Beat's Armando Conte met with Bassekou Kouyate, the incredible Ngoni player from Mali, to talk about winning the 2008 BBC 3 World Music Award, playing Glastonbury, and the stories behind his album 'I Speak Fula'.

In this episode, Africa Beat's Armando Conte meets Nottingham-based musician Sura Susso, kora player and musician from The Gambia. He speaks of his new solo album, Sila Kang (On the Road), which was launched last week in London, and of his Griot background which carries such significance within African musical traditions. You can find out more about Sura Susso at , which contains all concert details and news. His next performance in London will be at Afri-Kokoa on the 22nd July 2011.


(Presenter: Armando Conte, Producer: Charlotte Morgan)

Africa Beat's Armando Conte interviews David McKenzie, a CNN reporter based in Nairobi, to talk about his recent award-winning documentary 'Locked Up and Forgotten', which covers the social taboo surrounding mental illness in Kenya. The documentary won the Amnesty International Media award in the ‘International Television and Radio’ category on Tuesday the 24th May 2011 for being "moving yet constructive" according to the judges. The interview explores the core issues behind the problems faced by mentally ill Kenyans today and the progress which has been made since the documentary's release.

Armando Conte interviews award winning Kenyan television Journalist John-Allan Namu.

John-Allan won top prize at this year's CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year awards for his stories ‘In the Shadow of the Mungiki’ and ‘Inside Story: Scars and Sufurias’, which were chosen from among 1665 entries from 38 nations across the African continent.

Armando Conte introduces the third and final part of Baaba Maal's talk at SOAS, following up with an exclusive interview for

Armando Conte presents the second part of Baaba Maal's talk at SOAS.

Armando Conte presents the first part of Robin Denslow's interview with Senegalese singer, songwriter and guitar player Baaba Maal, held at the Brunei Gallery at SOAS in March 2007.

Part 2 of Armando Conte's interview with Angolan superstar Bonga Kwenda.

Armondo Conte interviews Angolan superstar, Bonga Kwenda. Bonga was an international athlete who was also political activist during the first civil war in Angola. He was outspoken in his anti-colonialist attitude towards the Portuguese. He made his music in exile for decades and his albums about colonial domination and independence --Angola 72 & Angola 74-- were extremely popular despite being outlawed in Angola.

Armondo Conte interviews SOAS’ very own Lucy Duran. Dr. Duran is an educator, performer, producer, and BBC Radio 3 broadcaster. Lucy discusses her work with Malian musicians, as well as her travels and musical experiences within Lusophone Africa, and her thoughts on the future of Portuguese music within the UK.

Music from Zimbabwe with Special Guest Kudaushe Matimba, a Zimbabwean musician studying at SOAS.

Matimba talks about his mentor, Chartwell Dutiro, working with the Bhundu Boys, his new CD entitled tatoperra, and the current political state of Zimbabwe. For more information about Matimba’s band Harare, click here: