November 07, 2008


There was a time when Salif Keita didn't feel too happy in his own country. The reason for this unhappiness was a concert in Ségou with Les Ambassadeurs. And this was the song that caused the trouble.
The public started throwing stones and the band had to run for their lives.

Quite a contrast to the concert I saw in Amsterdam, where the public, ignorant of the significance of this song, kept asking for more, after Salif had sung this ode to Guinean president Ahmed Sekou Touré.

EDIT: I have shortened the video very slightly so it will fit within the parameters of YouTube. So if you prefer YouTube, you can find the video here.
EDIT August 9, 2015: I have changed the video to the YouTube version.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic surprise to see Keletigui Diabaté playing violin and balafon with the Ambassadeurs, I saw him playing Balafon with Salif on tours, but in Ambassadeurs with violin and dancing is not imagined,I was also surprised Kante Manfila with so aggressively guitar.
Thank you.

symbolkid said...

what an intense perfomance! it seems that Guinean president was a rather contradictory figure. not a straight ahead tyrant, since Salif keeps on praising him even outside a country. could you clear the situation more?
oh, and thank you for your outstanding blog. exteremely interesting.

WrldServ said...

Sekou Touré is indeed a controversial (rather than contradictory) figure. But like many controversial African presidents there was a period when they were really popular in their own country. Looking back from our present position in history this perspective can get distorted.
But I am sure Sekou Touré will turn up in later posts, as he had a huge influence on Guinean culture.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the offense of the young Salif in Segou was the mistake of a Griot amateur, who unknown part of the History.

Surely the Bambara of Segou not feel much pleasure to hear the praises to the family Toure, as it appears that the grandfather of President A. Sekou Toure, Samory Toure had alliances with Ahmadou of Segou, the second generation Peulh who kept the Segou Bambara Kingdom submitted until its defeat by the new invaders, the French colonial army.

symbolkid said...

much more interesting info! thank you very much, ngoni.