The West Knows Maybe 5 Percent of African Culture

What we produce, is music of the heart. We make every mask out of love. When you play music, peace prevails. When you play music, unity prevails. You link arms as brothers and sisters. The instrument is my soul, I was born for this. Each instrument has its orator. Nothing was written, everything was oral. Our histories were accompanied by music, always. The traditional instruments are my strength, they support me. They make me who I am.

Mali has always been married to its tradition. Mali has been the capital of the Manding empire for 7 centuries. If our children know our culture, they can’t get lost. If you follow your forefather’s footsteps, you can’t get lost.

Here, we have only known brotherhood and solidarity. So how did jihadists and terrorists come to Mali? These last years, there is no Peace. Outsiders brought us things we have not known before. They have brought us a sadness that we did not know before. When the religious extremists came, they did not like our music. They broke all of our instruments, even the n’gonis.

If these instruments no longer exist, we have lost everything. I do not know how we will pass on our history. Because the music itself permits us to know our past, to help us live, even today.

There is insecurity at home, we can’t play like before. Before, we would play every night, when we wanted, where we wanted. But now, it’s not like before. It’s a little risky. Through music, we can have peace. We can convey a message of peace that will reach everyone.

I make it my mission to educate people. To raise the youths awareness. Raise the consciousness,and provoke reflection. Because in the building of a state, of a nation, every person has a role to play. They have their role in the political management.

We the youth, all we want is to live like everybody else. Live in peace and liberty, free to do what we want. Like everyone else in fact. That’s all.