Fatoumata DIAWARAScène Moulay Hassan
As a child, she danced in her father’s troupe; she perfectly executes the extravagant Didadi dance of Wassoulou, the land of her ancestors in western Mali. Independent by nature, the adolescent Fatoumata Diawara refused to attend school, and so her parents sent her to live with one of her aunts in Bamako. Soon afterwards, Fatou played her first role in the film Pouvoir des femmes (The Power of Women). Cheikh Omar Sissoko entrusted her with one of the leading roles in La genèse (Genesis) in 1999. She co-starred with the actor Sotigui Kouyaté, who would become a reference in her film career. At 18, Fatou left for Paris to appear in a theatre production of Sophocles’ Antigone, and to escape from a “well-ordered” life where women are expected to conform. After touring with the troupe, she returned to Mali to film Sia – a film that told the story of a legendary West African heroine - in which she played the title role. In January 2013, in response to the social situation Mali, Fatoumata Diawara brought together forty well-known Malian musicians to record the song Mali Ko. Those answering the call included Amadou & Mariam, Oumou Sangare, Bassekou Kouyate, Vieux Farka Touré, Toumani Diabaté, and Tiken Jah Fakoly. Fatoumata Diawara continued with her musical career by sharing the stage with many other artists such as Mayra Andrade, Omara Portuondo, and Oumou Sangaré. Today, the singer complements her solo concerts with various other projects like the Mali Blues tour, Matthieu Chedid’s musical project M and his Lamomali tour, with Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté, and the Olympic Café Tour project with Moroccan singer Hindi Zahra. Despite the fact that she is forbidden from singing in the North of Mali, she continues her combat for freedom, defending her positions through her music.