|AFRICA: Salif Keita Africa Nations Concert Against Albino Killing|
One of Africa's all time great musicians, Salif Keita, is set to play a special gig in major Africa capital cities to condemn the killing of albinos.
According to the event coordinator, Cletus Pius of Red Cross Africa, the concert, aims to advocate war against witchcraft-associated killing involving albinos. The killings are fuelled by superstitious beliefs that human albino body parts will bring wealth and success, with some callous individuals using them as charms to bring them good fortune. Keita, the son of two black African parents, was born "white', inheriting albinism, a lack of skin pigmentation.However he instantly stood out among other Africans and stood out as a spokesperson for tolerance in all forms. The Afro-pop pioneer will perform his latest album 'La Difference' in which he addresses this deep issue - albinism in Africa- and gives it an urgent global resonance that takes his songs from Bamako to Beirut.
As Keita's famed "golden voice" cathartically croons in the title track, "I'm a black man, my skin is white and I like it, it's my difference/I'm a white man, my blood is black, I love that, it's the difference that's beautiful."
The distinction is often interpreted as an ill omen in his native Mali, and invited a life of ridicule, making Keita an outcast in his own community. Society, including public schools in Mali, harmful beliefs about albinos as they are often shunned, ridiculed, and even killed for superstitious purposes. Although he and others have come to terms with albinism, Keita has struggled long and desperately with the stigma attached to his skin colour. Though born into a noted caste of musicians with direct links to Sounjata Keita - the heroic 13th-century warrior-prince who edified the ancient Malian Empire - Keita was forbidden to play music growing up.
He was also disowned by his father, kicked out of school, and rejected by the local aristocracy. Filled with unrealized musical ambitions, Keita had no choice but to leave Mali as a young man. Armed with the strength of his convictions, he travelled to neighbouring Ivory Coast, then Paris, London, and New York, where his skin colour could not keep him from expressing his artistic vision.
His perseverance paid off throughout the 1970s and 1980s, as he became an internationally recognized icon, thanks to his gravelly voice, innovative musical arrangements, and profoundly poetic lyrics.In 1997, Keita's fame helped him to overcome the stigma attached to albinism that persisted in West Africa, allowing him to make a triumphant return to Mali. Cautiously re-entering a community that once shunned him, he discovered a newfound acceptance, which allowed him to re-establish roots there, including building a studio in the capital of Bamako. For years, a highly successful African star on the world music stage, in 2000 Keita returned to his roots in Mali to live and record, and his first major work in 2002 after going home, Moffou, was held as his best album in years, following which he built his own recording studio in Bamako.
Keita's 'La difference' concert has since held in Kampala, Uganda, Nairobi, Kenya and so on.