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Pre-Course Assignment #1- Fatoumata Diawara

Fatoumata Diawara is an inventive singer who was born in the Ivory Coast. She began her career as a child actress, appearing in many feature films. She later took up guitar and started composing her own material because she was inspired by the Wassoulou traditions of Southern Mali, where her parents are from. In the Wassoulou music tradition, women often address issues of childbearing and polygamy. Fatoumata often performed backup vocals for other Malian musicians, such as Oumou Sangaré and Cheick Tidiane Seck. It was not until her debut album, Fatou, was released in September 2011 with World Circuit Records that she was internationally recognized for her sensuous, sweet voice and messages of empowerment in her songs. Fatoumata addresses war, abandonment of children, and female circumcision in her album. Her steady singing complements the guitar, drums and shakers that can be heard in many of her songs.

This video shows Fatoumata performing her upbeat, lighthearted song “Bakonoba”: