“Independence cha-cha! In the 60s, this pan-African hymn to independence crossed the continent. A swaying rumba, inspired by the music of the blacks of Cuba, is one of the major trends in popular music in Africa, especially in French-speaking Africa. As decolonization took hold in Congo, Nigeria, Guinea and Mali, the 60s saw the emergence of numerous orchestras inspired by Latin music.
One of them will live an extraordinary destiny: “Maravillas del Mali”.
Cuba, women and alcohol
Ten young Malians, selected in 1963 on the basis of a simple letter of motivation, will study music in Havana. Hailing from different regions of Mali, they met up together for the first time in Bamako at the end of December. One is studying medicine, another is a postal worker, another a soccer player… Then there’s Dramane, from Ségou, for whom music is a passion. “But there was a preconceived notion that music was only passed on by griots. We couldn’t imagine it being a profession!”