In Belgium, Annie Cordy accused of racism for her song “Chaud cacao”

The essentials The assignment of the singer’s name to the Leopold II tunnel in Brussels has sparked controversy over one of her most emblematic titles, “Chaud cacao”.

The Brussels municipality has to bite its fingers. On March 8, International Women’s Day, the Brussels Region announced that Belgium’s longest tunnel in Brussels will be renamed after the Belgian singer Annie Cordy, who died last September at the age of 92. This choice was made by internet users who took part in an online consultation. To make people forget the name Leopold II and the accusations of racism surrounding him, the city of Brussels has only fueled a new debate because the singer is again accused of having conveyed a certain form of racism.

“Hot cocoa” asked

Controversial: the flagship title “Hot Cocoa”, which would combine stereotypes about Africa. The debate was particularly noticeable on the set of RTL-TVI, which wanted to deal with the topic. “It is a song that cannot be erased from Belgian heritage or Annie Cordy, but the most important thing is to be aware of it,” says Mireille-Tsheusi Robert, President of BAMKO – Feminist Center for Reflection and Action Against Racism Against Blacks The president also said she was disturbed by the “spirit of song”.

Michèle Lebon, Annie Cordy’s niece, does not understand these words: “I know the song by heart and am still looking for something that can be racist in it.” She also makes sure that there was no racist intent in this singer’s song.