The BBC ran a competition last month as part of the London African Music Festival. The prize was a pair of tickets for the concert of your choice and when I saw that the legendary Malian guitarist, Boubacar TraorÃ©, was playing, I entered the competition, not thinking about the practicality of getting there from Rome. The BBC e-mailed me last Friday to tell me I’d won. Damn! I couldn’t find a cheap flight (when can you?) for less than â‚¬180. More than I can afford for a concert – even a free one, I wrote back.
No. There’s no happy ending. I’ve passed the tickets on to my sister.
To find out more about this wonderful musician, see here – be sure to check out the photos of him as the man who introduced the twist into West Africa. The trailer is also worth seeing. If you want to hear a truly original artist and get hit with some desert soul in your home, buy his CDs.
The only consolation is that Bamako is still on my list of possible future posts, working on an ilitaracy illetteracy whatever programme for UNESCO. The Beirut job was cancelled (oh … dear), but Noumea and Kingston are still looking good. Go Noumea!