The album [Racine Carrée] is a tribute to Africanism, but the Africanism of the whole world. I’m not talking about a barefoot trip to the land of my ancestors. Huts are over: you go to Abidjan and you see that it’s a mini-Manhattan. Stop with the backward vision of Africa. Africa is the continent of the future.
~Stromae, Brain Magazine, September 24, 2013
Stromae will take the Racine Carrée tour to sub-Saharan Africa in May and June 2015. French newspaper Le Télégramme published an interview yesterday with Jacques Guillerm, who is arranging the tour, which he predicts will be “huge.”
Le Télégramme reported that the African tour is being prepared under the supervision of Jacques Guillerm, technical director of the Vieilles Charrues festival in France (where Stromae made a historical performance on July 18, 2014 in front of 65,000 people). Nine outdoor concerts are planned in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Gabon, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Cape Verde. There will be four concerts in May and five in June. The venues range in capacity from 5,000 and 30,000. The show will remain as close as possible to the original show, although it will be adapted to local resources. In particular, the LED wall will be decreased, as well as the lights in general.
The final African date will be organized in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, Stromae’s father’s homeland. Guillerm says that in Rwanda, “People don’t know the name Stromae at all. But all you have to do is sing ‘Papa où t’es ?’ and everyone knows.”
Meanwhile, fans in northern Africa, especially in Morocco and Tunisia, are still hoping dates will be announced there, but there has been no news on that yet.
update April 18
Stromae has announced the dates for his sub-Saharan tour of Africa. There are eight dates scheduled instead of the nine originally reported planned by Le Télégramme (no date was announced for Burundi).
In anticipation of his concert date there, The Agency descended on the streets of Brazzaville to ask the question “Do you know Stromae?” The video’s not in English, but you’ll get the idea. Some shake their heads dismissively, others list song titles or break into song themselves. One man recognizes him as “a Belgian artist” and another says, “Stromae, and by that you mean?” One says “No, I don’t know how to speak French.” And another responds, “Maybe that’s some sorcerers!”