African Singer Dobet Gnahoré Wows Oman Audience

African beats: Dobet Gnahoré sang of love, friendship, her homeland, pain, women, and children’s struggles and strengths. Photo - Khalid Al Busaidi/ROHM

African beats: Dobet Gnahoré sang of love, friendship, her homeland, pain, women, and children’s struggles and strengths. Photo – Khalid Al Busaidi/ROHM


Muscat: African singer Dobet Gnahoré blew the audience away with her powerful vocals, energetic dance moves and beautiful spirit when she performed at the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) on Thursday evening.

The multi-talented 31-year-old performer from the Ivory Coast took to the stage, accompanied by French guitar player Colin Laroche de Feline, who also happens to be her husband, French musician Clive Govinden on bass and keyboards, and her fellow Ivorian Mike Dibo on drums. Rich in West African rhythms, the music could perhaps best be described as an African-rock-blues fusion.

After a drum intro, Dobet walked on to the stage like a mystical creature in a vibrantly patterned, ruffled dress, sparkling gold ankle-high boots, with her dreadlocks cascading all the way down her back.

Captivating presence

Her presence was captivating and strong, much like her voice when she started to sing. Though one may not know the languages in which she sings, which include Bété, several other African languages, and French, the meanings seemed to transcend the lyrics. She sang of love, friendship, her homeland, pain, women and children’s struggles and strengths.

When Dobet wasn’t singing, her dancing continued to keep the audience enthralled. Her dance moves were a blend of modern athleticism, sensuality and earthly power, influenced by animals, birds and other tribal traditions. With high kicks, and other acrobatic moves, the excitement levels in the theatre soared whenever she began to dance.

At times she would also play the African drums, a couple of other traditional African instruments, and the guitar, revealing what a force of artistic nature she really is. No matter what she was doing — singing, dancing or playing an instrument — Dobet had the audience moving along in their seats, feet tapping and heads bopping.

There’s something about African music, especially its rhythms, that is entrancing and Dobet embodied it perfectly. One can only hope this will be the first of many visits she makes to Oman!

Source:Sarah McDonald|TimeOfOman.com

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