In Mali, Salif Keïta pays homage to a murdered albino girl during a concert of the event


Mali singer and musician Salif Keïta in concert at the Fana on November 17, 2018.
Mali singer and musician Salif Keïta in concert in Fana, November 17, 2018. MICHELE CATTANI / AFP

African song legend Salif Keïta presented his new album on Saturday night, 17 November in Fana, a small town in Mali where a 5-year-old albino girl was killed in May during a tribute concert also aimed at denouncing the ritual murders of albinos in Africa.

In a marvelous football stadium, an event never seen in this city of about 20,000 inhabitants, located 120 km from Bamako, the 69-year-old musician, himself a native of albinism, was surrounded by Senegalese Ismaël Lô, Georgian albino artist Bera, the Malian comedian Yaro and the Malian singer Safi Diabaté and the Senegalese Maah Koudia Keït, also supporter of the albino people.

Read too Salif Keita: "In Africa, ignorance leads to the sacrifice of albinos"

On May 13, Ramata Diarra, a 5-year-old girl, was kidnapped in the middle of the night by armed men while she slept in the courtyard of the family compound. His decapitated body was found a few hours later next to a mosque. Associations had reported "Ritual crime" as the presidential election approaches. "Why do we take the life of an innocent 5-year-old girl?" "Why do we attack albinos?" "We are like all other humans, we do not want to see this in Mali anymore.Salif Keïta said on the stage.

Last album

Each year, dozens of albinos are victims in Africa of attacks, deaths and amputees of their members, which are used for rituals that are supposed to bring wealth and luck. "Today, everyone knows that a 5-year-old girl was murdered in Fana because she was an albino. The world mobilized for my daughter's sake, let this world stop falling so the albinos can live in peace all over the world.", the mother of the girl, Diarra Awa Toure, told AFP on the fringes of the concert.

In the space reserved for the guests, right in front of the stage, Ousmane Wele Diallo, all dressed in white, explains that he came from Bamako with his wife and children to "Follow the concert and support our cause by paying tribute to Ramata Diarra". "I do not like it when there are many lights, especially the giant lamps on the stage, but tonight I accept because of us"adds the father, who, like many albinos, suffers from vision problems.

Read too Malawian albinos tell their stories

"We are here to make sure that what happened in Ramata never happens again, and that must be the struggle of all of us. Never again in Fana, Mali, Africa and the world", released from the scene Ismael Lô. "No one should sacrifice an albino for his power, no one should sell the hair or organs of an albino"asked Safi Diabate. "I am Fana, I am Ramata, I am all the victims of the ignominy of some thirsty for power"added the grumpy Karim Diallo.

While the night is well advanced, Salif Keïta enters the stage for a 45 minute show during which he defends his album, Another white, his last according to him, for which he appealed to former accomplices like Ivorian Alpha Blondy or Beninoise Angélique Kidjo, while multiplying the winks for the younger generation. "I wanted to say goodbye to all my fans, because if I'm still going to make music here and there, I will not have time to make an album anymore.", he told AFP, considering that he had "Right to rest" after fifty years of career.

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