Timbuktu, the ancient Malian city, full of mystery, culture, legends and so much more. It was the site of one of the earliest universities in Africa which was tragically destroyed , erasing enormous chunks of Africa’s precolonial intellectual thought. It’s also a city who’s fate was closely tied to that of the great Mansa Musa who essentially established it’s reputation as the “city of gold”.
It was interesting that I got to hear Fatoumata’s soulful , sultry , golden voice on the soundtrack of the movie Timbuktu known as Timbuktu Fasso. I was completely enraptured by her voice as she sung an ode to this ancient city. And for the longest time I was haunted by the vocalist behind it as the soundtrack was attributed to Amine Bouhafa. I did not look into it further. But as it turns out they worked on it together, with Bouhafa being the genius behind the instrumentation and composition. The instrumentation being a unique blend of African traditional instruments and Western instruments .
However, just like the ever mysterious city , she resurfaced through the Safaricom Jazz Festival. After seeing the poster I kept wondering who this Fatoumata Diawara was. Her name sounded like poetry, like it belonged to some siren of the sea or something. So I decided to look her up and as soon as I heard the first song. I knew I had found the enchanting voice behind Timbuktu Fasso. You can check it out right here and I’ve also included a peformance of her and Roberto Fonseca .