By MARY STUCKY
This article was published by PRI’s The World on February 20, 2013.
Soultana and her band won Morocco’s biggest amateur music competition a few years back and promptly became the most recognized female rap group in Africa.
“She gave him money, love and life,” Soultana raps. “He gave her lies and violence. This is the Moroccan woman. This is one of a million.”
Soultana raps about the challenges facing women in this North African country: illiteracy, poverty, domestic violence, and daily harassment on the street.
Soultana’s real name is Youssra Oukaf and she’s 27. She walks a fine line, calling for change in Morocco without criticizing the King.
Other Moroccan rappers have ended up in jail for crossing the line but Soultana says she loves the King.
She implores him to improve life for his people–especially young people like her.
“We need jobs, we need education, we need health, we need a lot of things. We sing that we need change. I want to see all of my brothers and my sisters in Morocco working, have jobs,” she says.
Shalea Harris and Ouiame Mitali contributed reporting to this story. It was produced in association with Round Earth Media and SIT Study Abroad’s Morocco journalism program.