October 30, 2012

Dog

While it appears my worst fears with regards to the outcome of the elections here in the Netherlands are slowly becoming reality, with both a continuation of the growing intolerance (of the kind which in the 1970s we used to call "repressive tolerance"), of the so-called 'joys & benefits' of privatisation and/or the deification of The Economy, it appears that elsewhere in the world people are facing even greater and more anti-human challenges.

I read a few days ago (here) that those so-called rebels in northern Mali are considering banning music. That certainly will help their cause and create acceptance with the local population.
Not.

How dumb can one get? In a country that has music, storytelling and rhythm in both its soil and in the blood of every single individual of its population!

So I think it is time for some serious countermeasures.

I will start off with a cunningly devious weapon, seemingly innocent but potentially lethal. A sweet looking woman, a girl even. Lovely smile, modest expression. But a voice like a dagger! Kankou Demba not only has a powerful voice, but matching lyrics. She has a strong social message and doesn't believe in sweet-talk.
"Don't stick your nose in my business, young bambara who doesn't work the land
don't interfere with my affairs for he who has no respect for his people is like a roaming dog
Don't stick your nose in my business, young blacksmith who doesn't fire up the forge
don't interfere with my affairs for he who does not respect his country is like a roaming dog
Don't stick your nose in my business, young Sarakolé who doesn't work as a trader
don't interfere with my affairs for he who has no respect for his people is like a roaming dog
Don't stick your nose in my business, young Peul who doesn't herd cattle on the land
don't interfere with my affairs for he who does not respect his country is like a roaming dog
Don't stick your nose in my business, young griot who doesn't play the guitar
don't interfere with my affairs for he who has no respect for his people is like a roaming dog"*, 
sings Kankou in "I Dabo N'ga Kouma Na" ("You don't have the right to speak"). And with this she refers to a crucial concept in Malian culture and society: fasiya. I suppose this can best described as a mix of legacy, role in society and lineage. Perhaps not a concept which is very 'now' in western society, but one that has a tendency to be a essential element in the understanding of Malian culture. And of Malian griotisme, for that matter.

Kankou Demba's own lineage is apparent from her singing style. She follows in the footsteps of Fanta Damba and Koni Coumaré, with a definite Ségou bambara base.

I have had this great cassette for well over twenty years and it has not tired me. The conviction, the straight-from-the-heart honesty of Kankou's singing should, no must do something to start the process of corroding the iron resolve of those misguided 'fundamentalist rebels'.

SS-34 or SS-34

*translated from the translation (into french) by Cheikh M. Chérif Keïta in "Massa Makan Diabaté, Un Griot mandingue à la rencontre de l écriture".

9 comments:

John B. said...

Can you find another filehost? This one tried to put a Trojan Horse on my computer.

Jaime said...

Thanks for the music. Your "serious countermeasures" are an uplifting way to remind us what is going on in Mali.

Anonymous said...

The download link is blocked by an ad where you'd be forced to enter personal information or sign up for something you didn't want.

WrldServ said...

@ John B. & Anonymous: I saw this filehost at the Freedomspear blog and I had no problems with it. It certainly did not try and put a trojan on my computer. And the downloads were really fast.

Things are getting a bit complicated at the moment with regards to filehosts. Mediafire is getting very annoying, and Adrive has been extremely slow (as a result of the tropical storm Sandy?). Rapid- and Zippyshare have serious limitations, and others range from too complicated to thoroughly unreliable.

I will see what I can conjure up this evening.

nauma said...

in fact its the Avast antivirus program as far as I know,that perceives packupload as a virus...
and thank you WRLDSERV for this great cassette of Kankou Demba.
and may the irons of fundamentalism of any kind remain forever rusted in the cupboards of History.let's see what the future will bring
and act for the best.

WrldServ said...

@John B. & Anonymous: I have added a link to an alternative fileserver.

Tim said...

Thanks WrldServ.

David said...

It seems it's not just in N Mali that religious fundamentalists are trying to capitalise on someone else's rebellion. Fingers crossed for much of the mid-East and north Africa. I hear as well that at least some of the Tuareg/Bedouin/Amazagh are now asking to rejoin Mali, to drive out the fundamentalists!

Still, as long as the music is there, let us enjoy it! And support those who are working for peace and humanity in N Mali.

David

NGONI said...

Then this girl in the picture is Kankou Demba,I have a video, had mistaken Kankou with Nanou Coul also from Segou, singing Armé Mali, the ngonifola at the video is Mama Sissoko, I'll change the name in the video, maybe another, Kankou Damba I found, is the same twenty years later.

I started to read that article in The Guardian, but it is more intoxicating than the news yet.

The music was banned and radio closed from the moment those terrorists arrived to take control of northern cities, but even worse is that the meetings were banned at traditional meeting places that exist in all the villages to chat.