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How can people in Africa get the CDs played on this show?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:49 pm
by Charlie
Felix Ocaka, Kampala, Uganda

How can I get the CDs of the tracks you played in this week's programmes?

I viewed them on the net..




reply from CG

It is a strange problem, that so many of the African records we can get easily in Europe are impossible to find in most of Africa itself.

Partly it's because CDs are so much cheaper in Africa, there isn't a margin for the various people involved - exporters, distributors, importers, retailers...

And partly it's because many Africans do not have credit or debit cards or online bank accounts, so they can't access Amazon and the rest.

How can this be solved?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:03 am
by ian russell
CD-Aid? we adopt a music enthusiast from Africa, they send a photo for the fridge door and we send them a CD this Christmas - but nothing by Roy Wood or Slade. Altruism, the patch for Capitalism ver. 21.07

We're all at the mercy of market forces. Presumably, Felix has money for pleasure but there aren't enough Ugandans like him to make a viable market. He probably wouldn't want to pay our prices either. (Also, how many Ugandans are interested in music coming from outside Uganda?)

It's easy to get the music to him - he has access to the net - the problem is getting his cash. Maybe forget the cash. Maybe music is the international currency of friendship (it really is the food of love!). Maybe.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:17 am
by Charlie
ian russell wrote: (Also, how many Ugandans are interested in music coming from outside Uganda?)

You'd be surprised, Ian, or anyway I have been.

One Ugandan listener was fascinated by the rhythms of Andy Palacio's record, which sounded familiar. Another was entranced by Ali Farka Toure.

One of the most gratifying aspects of doing the World Service show is the feedback from people responding to music from countries other than their own, expressing amazement that it exists and frustration that they can't access it. Quite a few of the emails that I have posted over the past months have been along these lines.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:28 pm
by Ian M
Surely this is what the internet was made for? One enterprising local store could download tracks/albums and burn them, or run off tapes, to order from customers. The whole point of digital is that you don't need the whole cumbersome, impractical physical media and its associated distribution and stock problems.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:57 pm
by ian russell
I'm glad about Ugandan tastes - yes, and surprised. Africa's a big place and I thought they'd largely stick to their own country's musical output - like us and europe.

Quite, Ian M. I suppose we still like the idea of owning something tangible like CDs but I listen mostly to internet streaming or my mp3 (for convenience) nowadays.

So, you have a store set up rather like an internet cafe, you go in, buy a download on whatever medium you wish - CD, mp3 etc., pay the store in cash and the store passes the money over to the appropriate people much in the same way it would trade for other commodities.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:31 pm
by Des
Africa's like a huge sponge soaking up influences from just about every other continent - the sleevenotes to 'Made in Dakar' mention how influential American country music is, and of course Congolese music has always absorbed influences from Cuba and Europe as well as 'local' traditions.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:49 am
by ian russell
there's no hiding from american country music.