WITNESS Gangbe Afrobeats

Aljazeera serves up a journey into Afrobeat

On Witness Gangbé Afrobeats follows the exuberant Gangbé Brass Band as they set off on a pilgrimage from their homes in Benin to perform with Femi Kuti at The Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria. The famous club is a symbol of Afrobeat, pioneered in the 1970s by Femi’s father, the late and legendary Fela Kuti.

Gangbé Brass Band have been touring the world for 15 years and have released four albums, but playing at The Shrine is the highlight for them. “Normally, African bands seek recognition in Europe,” says one of the band members. “But in our case, it's the complete opposite. The Gangbé Brass Band's greatest feat is to play in Nigeria. In the home of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Femi Kuti, and Seun Kuti. It's moments like this, when we play at The Shrine, a place of worship, a mystical place, that is the greatest recognition for us.”

Arnaud Robert’s documentary had its world premiere in competition at Visions Du Reel, who called it “an exciting journey in a contemporary Africa that re-invents itself with each piece of genius-like improvisation.”

Witness: Gangbé Afrobeats screens on Al Jazeera on 27 January 2016 at 20:00, with additional screenings on 28 January at 12:00, 29 January at 01:00, and 30 January at 07:00. Watch WItness on Aljazeera DStv channel 406.

Watch and embed the promo here