Bidding farewell to French colonialism, Niger ditches national anthem
The decision to alter the anthem was initially announced in 2019 after some criticism that the old anthem expresses gratitude to France.
According to Anadolu, quoting a legislative radio station that broadcast the discussions, a measure to alter the song from the French-composed "La Nigerienne" to "The Honor of the Fatherland" garnered overwhelming approval from parliamentarians.
Former Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou announced the decision to change the country's song in response to criticism that portions of the lyrics appeared to convey appreciation to the country's previous colonizer, such as the verse that states: “Let us be proud and grateful for our newfound freedom.”
A committee was formed to make changes and compose a new anthem that reflects Niamey's current situation.
In 2022, a new Nigerien administration announced its intention to replace the anthem created by French musicians Maurice Albert Thiriet, Robert Jacquet, and Nicolas Abel Francois Frionnet in 1961, upon the West African nation's independence.
A panel of national professionals wrote the words for the new anthem.
In the late 1890s, France began colonizing Niger. The Sahel nation won independence in 1960 as part of a broader decolonization movement triggered by political upheavals and Paris' surrender of African territories.
France retained its colonies in Africa roughly until the 1960s, exercising its dominance over North, Western, and Equatorial Africa. Shortly after the formation of the Fifth French Republic in 1958, countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Congo, Chad, and the Central African Republic gained independence.
Despite this fact, Paris failed to completely abandon the region, continuing to intervene in its internal affairs, including by military means.