Radio Africa: Bringing a taste of the motherland to its Brazilian offspring

15th May 2019 BY Bobby

Born in Bahia

Outside of Africa, Brazil has the largest black population in the world. Inside of Brazil, Bahia state has the biggest Afro-Brazilian population. So, what better place than Salvador, Bahia, for the birth of the first African FM radio show in Brazil.  Conceived in 2007, Radio Africa is part of the programming of Educadora FM radio station, a public broadcaster in the state. It focuses exclusively on African music and culture.

Every Thursday at 9 pm, the mission is to capture the beauty, richness, and sound variety of African music. Through both traditional and contemporary music, the aim is to provide the listener with a unique musical experience. Their main goals are: to promote the exchange of musical, cultural content between Brazil and African countries; create a space for thinking, production and creation in partnership with artists and institutions; contribute to the spreading of cultural content (audio, text, video) and collaborate to form networks between producers.

An African Legacy                                              

“We realized that although Brazilian music, and especially the music from Bahia, has a strong relationship with African culture, African music was not known to the public. Surprisingly, it didn’t even play on the radio.” From that point, the intention was to bring African music to local and national audiences.

“Additionally, we wanted to arouse the curiosity of listeners. We do this by sharing tips about the process of musical production. Also, we wanted to share facts about both society and culture in African countries.” Therefore, a space is created where people think, and can reconsider preconceived and unreal notions about the African continent. This will help to slowly deconstruct stereotyped narratives.

The feedback from the audience since the beginning has been very positive overall. “Through this [feedback], we also justify our dedicated and careful musical research and comments. Along the way, we realized our work in general became a way to affirm the Afro-Brazilian identity and culture. We are constantly reminded that Brazilian and African culture are very similar.”

For the love of music

Throughout the years, Radio Africa has formed a vast and varied collection. Furthermore, this collection contains over 500 hours of carefully selected and commented music. Some of their weekly editions even attract African artists, academics and experts in African music. “We love the knowledge they bring, and their ability to expand on our material.”

They have succeeded in attracting the attention of local and national audiences. Subsequently, they have many listeners and followers across their social networks. Over time they have built a solid reputation for representing African music. Recognition from producers of musical events, artists managers and has won them many opportunities. Such as, invitations to participate in African music festivals in Brazil as curators, DJs, interviewers. Also, they have hosted special radio show editions focused on artists such as Seun Kuti, Angélique Kidjo, Blitz the Ambassador, Youssou N’Dour, Hugh Masekela and several others.

Since January 2019 Radio Africa can be listened at from anywhere in the world. Members are: Roberto Barreto: a musician, composer, music producer and journalist. Roberto does the production, editing, host and comments. DJ Sankofa: an African from Ghana who lives in Bahia, DJ Sankofa is a DJ and MC specialist in African and Caribbean music. He does the presentation, MCs in live events, hosts, interviews and commentaries. Lúcio Magano: an African music collector, doctoral student in political science, with a masters in psychology, specializing in race relations. Lúcio does the musical research, playlist curation, interviews and comments.

Finally, contact the guys at Radio Africa:


Instagram: radioafricabrasil


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