Posts Tagged ‘multicultural coexistence’

The price of convenience in Mali

Posted in West Africa on September 3rd, 2009 by Edward Bussa – Be the first to comment

In the last post from West Africa, I introduced you to Emmanuel Kamate of Mali. Emmanuel runs a convenience store in the capital city, Bamako. The store has everything you might need to get you through the day; eggs, sugar, cooking oil, powdered milk and bread (in bags on the counter).


Emmanuel Kamate and his son Abel

An introduction in Mali is only complete after everyone has been given a good humored ribbing over their traditional background, revealed by their last name. The name Kamate comes from an ethnic group known as the Bobo who are farmers by tradition. Emmanuel was born in 1972 and went to school through the sixth grade. read more »

The Road to Segou

Posted in West Africa on April 14th, 2009 by Edward Bussa – 4 Comments
Bus at Douane Stop

Douane Stop

Segou is a historically important city.  It served as the capitol city for the Bambara Empire and the French Colonial era.  Since Mali’s success on the international music stage, the city has become popular for its annual music festival where musicians perform just off shore on a special barge.  To get there, we left the capitol city of Bamako and headed northeast and arrived in Segou about 3 hrs. later.  The road to Segou is peppered with douane stops where a small toll is collected for the privilege of continuing on.  These stops are opportunities for travelers to buy food and drink from the local women who offer prepared snacks for sale.

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Sonorous Sahara

Posted in Xyz on April 5th, 2009 by Edward Bussa – Be the first to comment

With its clear air and warm nights, Mali has always had a rich musical heritage. This heritage comes, in part, from the cultural melding that occurred during the Mandingue Empire where entertainers of the day, the griot, would bring musical styles from across West Africa to be played for the king. More recently, Mali has seen a string of musicians gain success on the international stage.  The father of  the popular “desert blues” style,  Ali Farka Toure, died in 2006 but his success paved the way for many artists including Salif Keita, Mangala, Bassekou Kouyate and Amadou & Mariam. If you are looking to expand your musical horizons, any of these artists are worth a listen.

Welcome to Mali

Welcome to Mali

To get you started, Chicago Public Radio’s Sound Opinions recently reviewed the March 24th release by Amadou & Mariam, Welcome to Mali.  You can listen to the show’s entire podcast, or simply fast forward to the review of Welcome to Mali starting at the 45:58 mark. The show’s music review segment features a Siskel & Ebert format where two reviewers compare notes.  They give this release a double thumbs up – way up.  To explore further, this release is currently featured as an online exclusive at the music service where you can play up to 25 free tracks per month.  Also, they’ll be touring the U.S. on their own this spring and then with Coldplay this summer.

Enjoy! Ed.

Mali, Molly, Maui and Malawi

Posted in West Africa on March 26th, 2009 by Edward Bussa – Be the first to comment
Map of Mali

GIANT MAP OF MALI (yes, that's me)

Oh the confusion!

The location of the West African country of Mali is little known.  When I try to explain where Mali is, most people have never heard of it.  Sometimes it helps to make it clear where Mali is not.  The name that comes to the mind of many is the tropical island of Maui, one of the Hawaiian Islands.  Mali is not Maui.  It ain’t Malawi either. Incredibly enough, even some post offices around the world haven’t heard of Mali.  The people I know who live there tell stories of mail being lost for weeks because it was first routed to the country of Malawi — a different African country more than 3500 miles away! read more »