Baaba Maal to bring Africa to Olympics
16 May 2012, 12:46
Wodobere - Senegalese singer Baaba Maal has announced plans to show
the world all "Africa has that is beautiful" during the Olympic Games in
Britain in the summer.
"People have given me a a responsibility
that is imminent. During the Olympic Games in London (from 27 July until
12 August), there will be five platforms that represent the five
continents," Maal, 58, said in a weekend interview at Wodebere in
northeast Senegal while on tour.
"For the African continent, I
shall work with the South Bank" cultural complex at the heart of
Britain's capital "to present everything that Africa has that is
beautiful," he told AFP.
the singer, who has been touring in partnership with the charity Oxfam
to promote the fight against food shortages in the Sahel, the games will
provide an occasion to show "what Africa has to offer, in terms of
fashion, music, debate, literature, dance and technology - something
that everybody can make their own".
"There are many artists who will be present," he added.
the big names on Africa's musical scene, artists include Angelique
Kidjo from Benin and Mali's Oumou Sangare, with the Senegalese rapper
and producer Didier Awadi, as well as "many young people who will come
from just about everywhere in the English-speaking countries".
poet Amadou Lamine Sall, the spiritual heir of Senegal's first
president and poet, Leopold Sedar Senghor, will also take part.
Maal was born in a fishing family in Podor in the northern Fouta
region. He studied in his homeland and then in France, where he took
lessons at the Conservatory of Music, before returning to Senegal and
forming his own group, Daande Lenol ("The Voice of the People" in the
He has made several albums (Taara, Baayo, Lam Toro, Firin' in Fouta, Nomad Soul, Missing You and Television), working with artists from many different backgrounds.