It’s barely one month since the famous Guinean musician, Trienke Sidime, described Minnesota as ‘home to African musicians.’ Her visit to Minnesota drew the attention of many, especially Mandingo women who had no options but to diminish their muscular fatigue from what they call “American jobs.” Trienke’s visit was organized by the Minnesota Mandingo Association, MMA. As if her visit was not enough, another instrumentalist has been invited by the MMA.
Fode Kuyateh, a renowned folk singer from the Republic of Guinea, West Africa, will this Saturday October 27, 2012 entertain members of the African community in Minnesota. The folk singer who is known for his powerful rhetoric in Mandingo uses his tuneful voice to entice his kinsmen.
Like Trienke Sidime, Fode Kuyateh’s songs detail intercultural connections among Africans. Intercultural connections link Africans together as family under a unique umbrella.
As per African tradition, Fode Kuyateh as well as other Mandingo musicians like Sirleaf Keita, Mory Kante, Djoma Fanta Fofana, and Masabe Kamara amongst others, use folk songs to reinforce marriage.
In Mandingo culture, folk songs are used as forms of verbal advice which supplements that of the ancestors. Most of the songs talk about safeguarding marriage, and how to build mutual respect as a team; it also details cultural inheritance.
Retrospectively, folk songs were used to encourage African warriors during colonialism. Smithsonian Folkway, promoter of folk music described folk songs as “Minister of the spoken word.” (Folkways)
The musical promoter said on its website www.folkways.si.edu that West African griots are gatekeepers of their culture, repositories of oral tradition. It is not yet clear how many spectators will attend this ceremony in Minnesota, but the Chairman of social committee of the Minnesota Mandingo Association, Mr. Ahmed Konneh of Minneapolis has promised huge turnout, the only way this can be proven according to Mr. Konneh, is to witness the program yourself.
As for Mandingoes who have resided in the United States for a while, the arrival of Mr. Fode Kuyateh will be a refresher course for them to abreast themselves with their rich culture. If all goes well, the entrance to the traditional musical program will center around twenty dollars, but experiences gained from the ceremony would worth a million. The program will be held at 6510 Zane Avenue North, in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, 55429.