My band BANTU and I were recently invited to perform at Segou Festival by the banks of the River Niger in Mali. We shared the stage with a cross section of African musicians such as Malian superstar Salif Keita, Senegalese rapper Didier Awadi and Ali Farka Toure.
The 13th edition of the 5 day festival in Segou, a town located 235 KM from the Malian capital Bamako attracted over 16.000 visitors from all over Mali and neighbouring countries. It featured art exhibitions, music workshops, and theatre performances.
We travelled by road from Lagos to Mali via Benin Republic, Togo, and Burkina Faso. All in all, we covered 5000KM.
Someone asked me why we would go through all this stress for a festival in some remote place. It’s simple we were determined to show solidarity with our fellow brothers and sisters in Mali who have been battling with Islamic insurgency for years. This festival was important to help heal wounds and build bridges