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Today In African History: 6th April

On this day in 2003; Babatunde Olatunji, Nigerian drummer died in Salinas California at the age of 76 years.

He brought the sound of African drumming to the American audience and influenced a number of jazz and rock musicians. While studying in New York City, Olatunji formed an African drum and dance group. His seminal album, Drums of Passion (1959), was credited with sparking a vogue for Afro-jazz fusion music in the 1960s, and in 1964, with jazz musician-composer John Coltrane, he opened the Olatunji Center for African Culture in New York City. During the 1990s Olatunji appeared and performed on recordings with drummer Mickey Hart (of the Grateful Dead) and Hart’s percussion group, Planet Drum, including an eponymous album that won a Grammy Award in 1991. In 1997 Olatunji and his troupe, Drums of Passion, released the Grammy-nominated album Love Drum Talk.


Also on this day in 1994; Agatha Uwilingiyimana, Rwanda 1st female PM in Africa, was brutally assasinated in front of her children. Sometimes known as Madame Agathe, was a Rwandan political figure.

She served as Prime Minister of Rwanda from 18 July 1993 until her assassination on 7 April 1994, during the opening stages of the Rwandan Genocide. She was Rwanda’s first and so far only female prime minister

Equally on this day in 1994; Cyprian Niayamira, President of Burundi (1993-94), was assassinated.

Also on this day in 1993; Hedi Amira Nouira, Prime Minister of Tunisia, died.


Written by PH

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