When our president Christoph Borkowsky learnt that Oumou Sangare won the WOMEX 17 Artist Award, he celebrated with a double drink, a special cigarette and a two-step:
“One, she's the Muhammad Ali among the African divas in the arena! The Greatest! Stings like a butterfly, floats like a bee!”
“Two, she's not only a great artist but also an equally untiring and successful entrepreneur!”
Her latest enterprise is to build a cultural village and start the Wassoulou Music Festival in the Mali border region to Guinea-Conakry and the Ivory Coast, 200 km south of Bamako. It’s certainly destined to be another triumph once ready to go as is usually the case with all of Oumou's untertakings.
“We first crossed paths when she had her German premiere at the HEIMATKLÄNGE festival smash 'No make Palaver' in Berlin 1993", Borkowsky remembers:
"It was instant love between the audience and her, I had the luck to be the artistic director of the festival, the venue was the now legendary cultural circus TEMPODROM opposite the German parliament and the wall was just down. A perfect moment in time.”
And more innocent as well, as Oumou's and Borkowsky's snapshot of the occasion can easily proof:
Deep in the Piranha archive we found an unpublished video clip which was shot during Oumou's week-long residency that year: on the streets of Berlin - Oumou on a motorbike, Berlin in the nineties - a MUST see in every respect:
Congratulation to Oumou Sangare for the WOMEX 17 Artist Award for outstanding artistry, professionalism and contribution to the arts!
photo: Oumou Sangare