Arts, Culture & Media

Soultana: 'The Voice of Women' Raps in Morocco


Soultana (Youssra Oakuf), 27, was the first recognized female rapper in Morocco and is still one of the only women on stage. Soultana rose to international fame first as a member of the band, Tigresse Flow. Then, again, as a solo- artist in 2011 with her first single "Sawt Nssa", or "The Voice of Women," a rap against street harassment of Moroccan women.
"The guy he can't, he can't, feel what I feel when I'm walking on the street. He can't feel that."


Shalea Harris

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.

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Soultana's hit single "The Voice of Women" is her anthem.

"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.

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    "Soultana (her alias), it's stronger than Youssra (her given name). Soultana she is the one who is talking about all that is happening in Morocco. But I think, in the last of 2012-- they will both of them come together. Soultana and Youssra at the same time. Both of them are talking, both of them are playing, both of them are having the same goal, the same aim, are trying to solve problems. Both of them are traveling outside of Morocco and inside Morocco to make people understand what is rap music."


    Shalea Harris