Entertainment

Screwdriver pays homage to African Union

Howard Campbell

Wednesday, January 30, 2013    

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ROOTS singer Screwdriver's new album, African Union celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). It is scheduled to be released in March by Upstairs Music out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"Africa has always been the focus of my music an' life. The OAU is a milestone an' is fitting we recognise it," he told the Jamaica Observer.

The songs on African Union pay homage to the continent. They include the title track, Sweet Mother Land, Third World and One World.

Screwdriver is best known to Jamaican audiences for the 1989 hit song Sharon (A Pregnant Yuh Pregnant). He embraced the Rastafarian faith early in the 1990s and released critically acclaimed albums including Let Me Remind You and Prophecy. His previous album, Road Block, was released in 2007.

African Union is produced by Danny Breakenridge, a stalwart of the South Florida reggae scene. His Upstairs Music label has released albums by Ken Boothe, Dobby Dobson, Jackie Parris and Carl Dawkins, among others.

Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I and Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah were two of the African leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on May 25, 1963 for the official formation of the OAU which had the signatures of leaders from 32 countries.

The OAU was superseded by the African Union in 2002.

At the time the OAU was formed, Africa was gripped by a militant movement against colonialism. Countries like Kenya and Tanzania had gained independence after years of being colonised by Britain, but other countries in the southern region, such as South Africa and Rhodesia were ruled by racist regimes.

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