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Cameroonian singer, Kareyce Fotso, has stated that singing in eight different ethnic languages is her contribution to national unity and integration in the country. 

She made the remark during an exclusive interview with The Post on May 6, while announcing her concerts in Douala and Yaounde on May 16 and 17 respectively.

“I came up with the album ‘Mokte’ which means ‘Believe’, because I believe that, despite our cultural diversity, we can still unite and live in harmony” 

According to Fotso, national unity can only be strong when Cameroonians know that they are destined to live together. 

“We have no choice, we are destined to live together even if it is sometimes difficult due to diverse opinions and cultures,” she said. 

The Bamileke-born songstress pointed out that her songs, express how incredibly rich life becomes when one can draw on both the Anglophone and Francophone ways of life. 

"I’m a Bamileke, but I was born and grew up with the Beti. What I wanted to do with my songs is express how incredibly rich life becomes when you can draw on both cultures at once!”

Having initially studied Biochemistry at the University of Yaounde I, Kareyce chose to push aside her microscope in favour of a microphone in order to champion a deep, Cultural Revolution to spur individual and collective destinies in Cameroon. 

After six years with Korongo Jam, Kareyce got noticed at Beirut’s prestigious contest where she won a silver medal for her outstanding performance. Her acoustic Afro-folk sound took shape in the studio with Mulato; an album recently released in Cameroon ‘Mulato’ means someone of mixed origin like myself!" Kareyce said. 

Kareyce, who grew up listening to traditional lullabies sung by her mother (a Bamileke "weeper" hired to mourn at funerals), also said the Cameroonian bikutsi singer Anne-Marie Nzié is one of her greatest mentors. 

"Anne-Marie Nzié has one of the greatest voices in the world." Kareyce declares. 

"She was the one who taught me to sing. I never came into personal contact with her, but I listened to her music all the time," Kareyce intimated.

Kareyce also cites Miriam Makeba, B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, Erykah Badu, Ismaël Lo, Cesaria Evora and the famous Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona as formative influences. 

Her concerts which she says was a time of reflection for all Cameroonians for this year’s National Day celebration featured songs from her third album, Mokte. 

 

By Elizabeth Enanga Mokake

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