LEGENDARY SINGER-SONGWRITER KHAIRA ARBY FROM MALI HAS DIED AT HOSPITAL IN BAMAKO

The legendary singer-songwriter Khaira Arby from Mali has died at hospital in Bamako, aged 59. A native of the northern city of Timbuktu, she was a staunch campaigner for peace and notable for performing in multiple languages including Arabic, Bambara, Fula, Tamasheq, Songhay and French.

Khaira Arby (Mali) at Sauti za Busara 2013 (photo: Peter Bennett)

Her songs were sung in Arabic, Bambara, Tamasheq and Songhai, languages reflecting the diverse ethnic mix of the vast Sahel country.

Many carried a strong social theme, touching on fame empowerment, female genital mutilation and the suffering of a country struggling with ethnic and jihadist violence.

Culture Minister Ndiaye Ramatoulaye Diallo said Malians felt “great sadness” at Arby’s death.

“Some called her ‘The Nightingale of Timbuktu’ but the truth is that, from the Berber blues of the Sahara to mandingo groove, she was also open to diversity, soaking up the fertile breath of mixity, taking up her social role as a weaver of links” between communities, she said.

Khaira Arby (Mali) at Sauti za Busara 2013

Inna Lillaahi wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’un.

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Oludare J. Olusan
Oludare J. Olusan 245 posts

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