27 July 2016
Highlighting the key role played by oral tradition in the culture of West Africa. This is the objective of the two story telling sessions that Rototom Sunsplash has programmed for August 15 in one of its liveliest and most rhythmic areas: African Village (17:15 and 22:00). Headed by, Boni Ofogo. Griot. Jeli. Troubadour. Minstrel or, quite simply, a story ‘teller’ and conduit of traditions, myths and legends from this part of the continent. From Mauritania to the Ivory Coast. From Senegal to Cameroon, Ofogo’s country of birth, he defines himself as a “son of the oral tradition”, “the only way –he assures- to attain any kind of information or knowledge in the village where I was born and grew up”. Furthermore Boni Ofogo will, on August 14, be in another of the festival’s areas, MagicoMundo, in a family session.
Skill and improvisation, the tools of the griot trade, will also be on show in another of the activities in the African Village, like for instance the concert of Fanta Cissokho et les Griots du Temps(The troubadours of time) on the 18th . Daughter of a Guinean diva of mandiga sounds and one of the masters the Senegalese kora, Fanta Cissokho transports us to the present of African storytelling to share the rich cultural formula that combines the knowledge of tradition with the art of the“ here and now”.
Indeed the surname of this artist, Cissokho, is linked with the collective of the griots, one of the many into which the Mandé culture divides itself, along with kings, blacksmiths, hunters, warriors and healers.