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Ian Birrell: Banning music in Mali is outrageous, not least because it's crucial to the country's wellbeing
At dinner last month after a concert by the Congolese rapper Baloji, I found myself sitting next to his drummer, Saidou Ilboudo. As we chatted over thechicken, he told me the remarkable story of how as a teenager growing up in Burkina Faso he had beenrecruited one day by Thomas Sankara, the country's president, to play in a state band.
Sankara is an almost-forgotten figure these days in the west, but in the mid-80s he was one of the most charismatic leaders of his age, a revolutionary known as "Africa's Che Guevara" who pushed public health, promoted feminism and faced down the global financial institutions causing such damage to the continent.
This was an amazing break for a boy just out of school. For a few years, he enjoyed the privileges and security that went with being part of the president's circle, while playing in a band that had a dual purpose: to entertain young people while proselytising political messages. Then, in 1987, Sankara was murdered in a French-backed coup and life became trickier.
The idea of publicly funded pop groups might sound strange, but many leading figures of African music served time in such institutions. Given the continent's oral tradition, there is a proud history of praise singers, and musicians were for centuries vital voices, used and abused by politicians and tribal leaders who understood their power. Think only of Franco, whose liquid guitar-playing made Congolese rumba the heartbeat of Africa while promoting the messages of Mobutu Sese Seko, his thieving president.
After the end of colonialism, musicians were used to fuse countries carved out of often disparate communities. Nowhere was this truer than Mali, a nation on the faultline between the African and Arab worlds in which music is more threaded into the fabric of cultural, social and political life than perhaps any other place onEarth.
Salif Keita, the honey-voiced albino singer, first achieved fame in a band set up by the minister of information to play a residency in a station hotel. He was then poached by the chief of police to join their rivals, whose guitarist was Amadou Bagayoko, now a global superstar with his gold guitar alongside his wife, Mariam. It is hard to envisage coalition ministers, let alone Met police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe, performing a similar role.
Alloka

Alloka (37)

Alloka
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Islamist extremists banned all international music and traditional storytellers in Mali. All previous and current leaders of Mali got involved famous Mali's bands and singers to perform during their political campaign. Mali is the country, where music is threaded into the people's life more than in any other country in the World. To ban music there it means to ban being human.
Islamists abuse and poach national musicians because they realize that music has a power, inspire people and fuse countries.
Since busuu doesn't let me to leave comments, I thank you, friends, in advance for your corrections.))

nitsugagore

nitsugagore (29)

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Very good

vvvps1

vvvps1 (57)

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What  you wrote was very well written and interesting. But you didn't intrepret the article above!

Islamist extremists banned all international music and traditional storytellers in Mali. All previous and current leaders of Mali got involved famous Mali's bands and singers to perform during their political campaign. Mali is the country, where music is threaded into the people's life more than in any other country in the World. To ban music there it means to ban being human.
Islamists abuse and poach national musicians because they realize that music has a power, inspire people and fuse countries.
Since busuu doesn't let me to leave comments, I thank you, friends, in advance for your corrections.))

Islamist extremists banned all international music and traditional storytellers in Mali. All previous and current leaders of Mali involved famous Mali bands and singers during their political campaigns. Mali is a country where music is threaded into the people's life more than in any other country in the World. To ban music there means to ban being human. Islamists abuse and poach national musicians because they realize that music has the power to inspire people and fuse countries

Alloka

Alloka (37)

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No. I did it. In my way, but did it.
Thank you for your corrections!))

xParzival

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Islamist extremists banned all international music and traditional storytellers in Mali. All previous and current leaders of Mali got involved  Mali's famous bands and singers to perform during their political campaigns. Mali is a country, where music is threaded into the people's life more than in any other country in the world. To ban music there it means to ban being human.

Islamists abuse and poach national musicians because they realize that music has the power to inspire people and fuse countries.

Good job! But the article that Busuu provides is very poorly written! The headline indicates an important and troubling subject - but the article failed to deliver it! From what I understand from other news, Islamists are preventing musicians from performing unless they only sing Islamist dogma (e.g. the Qur'an). 

 http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2013/01/25/mali-music.html

 

 

Alloka

Alloka (37)

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Thank you, Charlie! Yes, I've read about it.
Have a nice day!))

Alloka

Alloka (37)

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Thank you, Franco! You are very nice.))

jonmaz

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So there are differing opinions about the article used in...""Mali is the country".

 

 

 

 

Your assertion, Mali is the country, tells us that you believe that it is the only country with that policy.

The corrections, Mali is a country, could tell us that your correctors believe it is one of a number of countries with similar policies.

 

As we are not here to debate the political facts, I say that we must comment on your English only and I am happy with your use of the definite article. 

 

jonmaz

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 Mali is the country, where music is threaded into the people's life more than in any other country in the World 

Well.   I feel stupid because I have just read your words and you are certainly referring to one country only.    This further supports your right to use the definite article.

 

 

I picked te wrong day to give up sniffing glue.

xParzival

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I like any reference to the movie "Airplane!" =)