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Fatoumata Diawara (Mali)

Fatoumata was born in 1982 in the north of Côte d'Ivoire to Malian parents. She was brought up by an aunt in Bamako where she was discovered as an actrice. Being 20 years old, she decided to flee in the middle of the night after her parents refused her to join a French theatre company and succeeded to board a plane to Paris. There she became inspired to sing.

One of her first performances was in the Netherlands. In 2010, still relatively unknown, she performed on our stage in Hertme. A year later, after the release of her first album 'Fatou', she instantly became one of Africa's leading voices after which she played with numerous musicians and continued acting in films including the acclaimed 'Timbuktu'. Her second album 'Fento' (something to say) came out 7 years later. In her songs, she explores themes of war, violence against children and women, happiness, tradition, longing and humility mostly sung in Bambara, the lingua franca of Mali, and Wassoulou. Her music is rooted in Wassoulou tradition, while also playing afro-pop and blues.

Fatoumata performs on Saturday night 6 July!

Brave, faithful to her Wassoulou roots and breaking borders.


Fatoumata Diawara, lead vocals, guitar Jean-Baptiste Sekou, percussion, drums Sekou Bah, bass guitar Yacouba Koné, guitar Arecio Smith, keyboards

foto: Aïda Muluneh