The women-only orchestra unveils a new music video entitled “Le Mariage Forcé” which, true to the band’s values, denounces marriages forced upon young African women.
In 2016, Beninese musician André Balaguemon put together a band made exclusively of young female students. Originally from Natitingou and its whereabouts, they gathered behind a desire to advocate for women and challenge traditions in northern Benin despite having initially no musical background. “It was a way to make people think about women’s place in our society, even beyond a musical standpoint. Women are marginalised, humiliated and abused here and everywhere else in the world. It is even more relevant here in northern Benin, where women are denied some activities under the pretense of traditions”, Balaguemon explained in an interview given to PAM.
Star Feminine Band now unveils a new music video entitled “Le Mariage Forcé” (meaning forced marriage in French), a theme perfectly in line with what the orchestra stands for. In one of its latest reports, UNICEF warned against the alarming number of women married before reaching adulthood. In 2022, they were 130 millions. In West and Central Africa, nearly 60 millions of these young women were forced into marriage. It is precisely what Star Feminine Band denounces in this song, begging fathers to spare their daughters : “n’imposez pas le mariage forcé à vos filles, africains” (“don’t force marriage upon your daughters, Africans”). Keeping a seemingly light and happy tone, they sing about its tragic consequences on women : “Le mariage forcé empêche notre évolution, en faisant de nous, des esclaves de foyer, Il nous fragilise et nous répudie, en créant en nous des idées d’abandonnées” (“Forced marriage stops us from evolving, making us home slaves, it weakens us and forsakes us, leaving us with unfulfilled dreams”).
Listen to Star Feminine Band in our Songs of the Week playlist.
“Le Mariage Forcé” is out now via Born Bad Records.