On Timbuktu , Fatoumata Diawara and Safaricom Jazz


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”.timbuktu-desert-vegetation

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 .fatoumata-diawara-04


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 .