Sidikiba Coulibaly plays the simbi, the Mandinka hunter’s harp. “If the simbi dissapears, when there is not one simbi player left in Mande, it will mean the end of the Mande culture. The simbi gives Mande it’s reputation.”

Function of Tradition: This Simbi is played for all major hunter’s ceremonies including initiations, deaths, and important reunions. When played for hunters, the music provokes bravery and incites hunters to perform acts of courage. Simbi players function as griots for hunters, singing their stories and recounting their exploits, reminding people of the role of the hunters throughout the history of Mandé.

Reason for Disappearance:
The youth are not interested, they believe it is not a respectable career path and won’t earn them money. Parents discourage their children from learning the simbi because it is associated with animism and is not Muslim. The society that supported artists like Sidikiba has been in decline for many years. Development and globalization, secular and non-secular, are the latest wave of change affecting tradition lifestyles in Mali.

Nana

This is Nana. She is 10 years old and she lives at the Togola Community Center in Bamako, Mali. Like many children her age, she needs to build confidence in her abilities as she moves into the upper elementary grades. Like many other children in Mali, she needs your love and support to have access to an education and emergency medical care.

Thanks to your generous donations, Nana is proud to be a 4th grader in the Jigiseme School in Sabalybougou. She says Monday is her favorite day of the week because she gets to go to school. She loves reading and dreams of being a doctor so she can “help sick people”.

A $20 monthly donation will pay for school tuition, traditional arts training and medical care for Nana. The Instruments 4 Africa program provides the tuition for a modern education in reading, writing, math & science, as well as traditional arts training in music, dance and theater. Nana’s education gives her hope for the future and her arts training draws strength from the past. If you would like to help Nana stay in school and be able to receive emergency medical care please click here to donate via facebook or contact me at info@instruments4africa.org.