"Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points." ~D.T. Suzuki

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Salif Keita

or The Golden Voice of Africa
Salif Keita

Happy Birthday To
The Golden Voice of Africa
Salif Keïta is a singer-songwriter known as The Golden Voice of Africa.
 He combines traditional West African music styles with influences from both Europe and the Americas.
And yet, his music preserves his ancestors culture and he has always been rooted in his homeland, Mali.
He was born on August 25, 1949
 in the village of Djoliba.
The direct descendant of
Sundiata Keita
the founder of the Mali Empire

Souareba is a tribute to the mansas (kings) of the Mali Empire
Souareba was released on the album "Soro" in December 1987 
The instruments commonly featured in Keita's music include:
balafons, djembes, guitars, koras, organs, saxophones and synthesizers.
"The Golden Voice of Africa"

Salif Keita has a natural talent for music but had a very tough childhood. As an albino, a sign of bad luck in Mandinka culture, he was cast out by his family and ostracized by the community. From a young age he suffered greatly from the fierce African sun and from the social isolation. He was even kicked out of school (because of his albinism). On top of all this, under the Malian caste system, his royal heritage meant that he should never have become a singer.

In December 2004, he was named United Nations Ambassador for Music and Sports and dedicated himself to causes like Malaria, AIDS and the plight of Albinos in Mali and around the world. With his Olympic medal winning albino niece, one of his children born albino and the memory of the loss of his albino sister from skin cancer a decade prior, Mr. Keita founded The Salif Keita Global Foundation in 2005 to raise awareness and money for free healthcare and educational services for the care and integration of Albinos in Africa and to create international advocacy for the plight of people with albinism.

Since 2006, Salif Keita has personally donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase sunscreen lotions and make other donations for the aid of people with albinism in Mali. He has acquired land for his foundation to build a school and health clinic for albinos in Bamako, Mali. Private and public funds have also been allocated for use in Mali for lotions and sunglasses for people with albinism.

to know more about his Foundation.

Salif´s music and extremely moving voice are musical treasures of my memories of 1987 when I first heard his album Soro and even though his words where in mandinka dialect, I was so moved by it I just had to have more.


Salif Keita - Cono 
© 2013 MU-Peter Shimon

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