On the initiative of artistic director Bocary Tioulenta, a collective of twenty-three young artists sings the appeal of “Mali Kura”, which means “New Mali”, with the aim of unifying the nation and rebuilding the Malian state in the face of the two coup d’états of August 2020 and May 2021.
Collectif Mali Kura - L’appel du Mali
The Mali Kura project was launched during an official ceremony at the Magic Ex-Babemba cinema in Bamako on Thursday October 21, 2021, with the support of the Support Fund for Drivers of Change (FAMOC) of the Royal Danish Embassy in Mali.
As soon as it was put online on October 23, 2021, the song was a great success with the Malian population. Indeed, this music conveys a message of hope for the future and of the union of Malian citizens to rebuild their country. We hear the words “Everybody stand up! Stand up! The time of a new Mali has sounded”. In addition, there is a desire to include all social strata of society, from the military to the nurse, but also by highlighting certain people who are discriminated against in Mali, such as people with albinism.
Moreover, although the song has a unifying aim, it highlights diversity. This is materialized by the commitment of several artists of different “ethnic groups”, who sing in their own language. For instance, we hear Bambara, Soninké and French. Here, diversity makes it possible to show the richness of Mali and not to divide a population.
Then, the collective insists on the importance of youth to participate in the refoundation of Mali. Indeed, most of the artists who participated in the Mali Kura collective are young. We can think of Iba One, Kirikou, Saccharose, or even Delphine Mounkoro. The young Malian generation has identified with these artists, whose songs have had a great influence on them.
The collective, through its words, invites Malians to take their role as citizens to heart. An artist declares in the song: “Pay your taxes, Mali also belongs to you” or “Forget money, take an interest in the programs”, evoking corruption during the elections.
However, this initiative is not in opposition to the Malian State. On the contrary, this music is supported by the Malian State, as evidenced by the fact that the Minister for the Refoundation of the State, Mr. Ibrahim Ikassa Maïga, attended the launching ceremony of the Mali Kura project, which he describes as “beautiful civic and patriotic action, an initiative as instructive as it is emotionally charged”.
To conclude, Mali Kura’s appeal is an initiative of young Malian artists that aims to foster the engagement of citizens in political life by uniting to rebuild a “New Mali”.
This article is a result of a collaborative project between #AuxSons and Alejandro Abbud Torres Torija, lecturer at Sciences Po Paris Campus Reims, and regular contributor to #AuxSons. As part of the class “Languages of the World/ World of Languages”, international students from Sciences Po Paris Campus Reims prepared articles presenting contemporary music from different parts of the world in connection with recent socio-political events.
The author :
Oceane Kante is a 19 year old a student at Sciences Po Paris in the Europe-Africa program, which focuses on economic, political, and social issues of sub-Saharan Africa. Listening to music is an important part of her life. She particularly likes reggae, soul and rock music.