How I learnt to sing in Yoruba –Doren, Dutch singer

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Dutch gospel singer, Doren Jacob wowed everybody that came for Tope Alabi's concert recently when she started singing in Yoruba. It was incredible as so many people were stunned seeing a white person singing in the language as if she is from Yorubaland.

In a chat with Saturday Beats, Doren who was given the name Oluwakemi by her Yoruba husband, explained how she was able to learn the language.

“I am originally from Netherlands. I have three children and I have been singing and playing music in choirs from a really young age. I met my husband in Holland. I learnt to speak Yoruba over the years. I always tend to pick up languages easily but I was more fascinated by Yoruba language because of my husband and also Yoruba people in the Diaspora love to communicate in their language rather than English. To make conversations with them, I needed a certain understanding of the language.

“When I showed interest in the language, my husband started to teach me and I looked for means I could also infuse the language into my music. It is funny because I can't actually speak Yoruba fluently but I understand most conversations. Ironically, I sing it fluently. It did not take me long to grasp a song or new melody. Although I needed time to be able to sing along with the African rhythm and drums because back home in The Netherlands, we only sing along with a piano. My husband and God taught me the language and now my music has gone international. I have been all over Europe, America and Nigeria,” she said.

She also told Saturday Beats that when she married her husband, things weren't so easy because inter-racial marriages were not common then.

“When we got married, it came with its trials. The advantage of an inter-racial marriage is that you can combine the best of both cultures and pass it on to the children. Our children know how to behave and show respect in both our families and they are aware of the differences,” she said.