September 05, 2012


This is a short post about yet another Malian legend who has passed away. Although a virtuoso ngoni and guitar player, Bouba Sacko was perhaps not so well known as others, like Djelimady Tounkara. His career, however, is at least as impressive. In Mali he was well known as an accompagnateur of Malian divas. He played with them all. Rising stars knew they could boost their career by calling in the help of Bouba. For being accompanied by Bouba Sacko almost was a guarantee for success. You can read more about his musical career in this article by Banning Eyre on the Afropop blog.

Bouba Sacko was less fortunate in his private life. I remember rumours went in the late 1990s that he had turned mad. Luckily he resurfaced and picked up his career. Just a few years ago, on October 11, 2008, his wife Djessira Koné, herself a jeli muso of great repute (certainly largely as a consequence of her marriage with Bouba), died. The loss - once more (according to some) - threw Bouba into a deep depression.
Even in death Bouba Sacko appears to be unlucky. According to reports he was quickly buried by the hospital after his demise. He didn't get the burial, with all the ceremonies which are a part of Malian culture, which he should have deserved given his status as vedette de la musique Malienne.

We have his music to remember him by. As an example I would like to share with you this video from the early 1990s. After seeing this I am sure you will recognise him again and again in all those wonderful Malian videos which can now be found on YouTube, - and particularly on Ngoni's great channel.

May he rest in peace.

P.S.: After uploading the video I saw that Ngoni too has uploaded a more recent version to his channel. I have the impression that the sound of my copy is slightly better, while perhaps the image of Ngoni's copy is better than mine. But I leave you to be the judge of this....


Mark said...

this is almost beyond wonderful. Thank you, and yes, rest in peace.

mela.... said...

Bouba was superb
... also Djessira (*)

(*)She was not his Yoko Ono

thiol said...

Magnifique ensemble.
Merci pour la découverte!

Anonymous said...

I am almost lost for words.
This music went right to my soul.
Bouba,who I admit,I had never heard of before today,was simply brilliant,if I may say so.
The way he was treated towards his end,in the Hospital,reminds me of how another legend of African music,was himself grossly mistreated,when he was taken to hospital,after he was involved in car accident.
From what I heard,and there is no way,I can verify it now,he was left there in the open,bleeding,unattended,all the public looking at him,while the medical staff were doing nothing to help him.
He passed away,and the medical staff explained latter that they was a shortage of blood,and as such they could not take him to the operating theatre,to try to save his life.
African elite and their families are flown to Europe when they catch a cold,but treate these truly heroes wih contempt.
Let them look at their concience.
Rest in peace Bouba,his wife and Soloist National,Mbaraka Mwinshehe Mwaruka.
Thanks a lot,Stefan.

boebis said...

waou, amazing! So many discoveries here :)

gilli said...


first of all thank you for introducing me to this great gem. i'd like to know who's that amazing lady singer, and if there's any way to find a proper discography of bouba sacko - i'm possessed!

thanks in advance,

Gilli (Jerusalem)

Unknown said...

i'm mesmerized by bouba sacko's guitar playing... is there anywhere on your site with a link to a record of his?

Unknown said...

i'm mesmerized by bouba sacko's guitar playing - do you have a link to any of his records?