It is a controversy that has caused a lot of ink to flow. Monday March 8, 2021, on the occasion of International Women's Day, the Leopold II tunnel, located in Brussels, took the name of Annie Cordy following a vote by the people of Brussels who had the choice between 14 female personalities. The reason ? The former King of the Belgians is a symbol of colonialism, especially in the Congo. Only here, more than six months after the death of the singer, this name change revives the controversy. Indeed, his title Hot Cocoa is considered racist by some citizens and gave rise to a heated debate on the plateau of RTL-TVI, Sunday March 14, 2021. Critics to which the song's lyricist, Vivien Vallay, replied in an interview with the RTBF, Tuesday March 16, 2021.
At the microphone of our colleagues, Vivien Vallay returned to the writing of these words. "At the time, I was working a lot, I had two jobs", he said before revealing the anecdote that gave birth to his idea: "One day, I was coming back from my shift, as a night watchman. It was 7 am, I was at home. And I am having my breakfast, my little cocoa." On the box it was written "Cho Kakao", the brand of the product. "And we imagine the bush. And you know what it is, when we sleep very little, we are not 'high' but almost. When we are very, very very tired, we are in a bit of a daze. . And, I then imagined that warriors were going on a lion hunt shouting 'Cho Kakao.' The song came like this. I introduced this to Annie Cordy. The music of the chorus and the words of the chorus, I did this over my breakfast, in fifteen minutes ", continued the French melodist.
"We don't have time to be mean"
For Vivien Vallay, "this song is nothing but good humor". And to add that Annie Cordy "liked to wake people up with a good mood". Regarding the current controversy, the author reacted as follows: "What I know is that when I do something, it's always the first degree. " And to specify that "there is no calculation. It’s so easy. I have known in the past that my song has been accused of racism, even pedophilia. It's incredible !" Yes Hot Cocoa vehicle of stereotypes about Africa according to several anti-racist associations, Vivien Vallay thus defended: "It was something natural because we wanted to make a slightly exotic song with percussive words like bamboo, toumba… to give cheerfulness, to bounce back, without thinking more wrong. We don't have time to be mean. " Will his statements be enough to ease tensions?
Read also : Omar Sy accused of racism? He replied by offering the film "Doudou"