Malian singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor Fatoumata Diawara sings in Bambara, the national language of Mali, and builds on the tradition of “songs of advice” from the culture of her ancestral Wassoulou region. Her lyrics address issues of the pain of emigration; a need for mutual respect; the struggles of African women; the practice of female circumcision and life under the rule of religious fundamentalists. Her main message, however, is hope. Diawara’s most recent album, FENFO, (“Something to Say”) was nominated for a Grammy in the Best World Music Album category.


Born in the Ivory Coast in 1982 to Malian parents, Diawara grew up in Bamako, Mali’s capital. She went to live with an aunt who was an actress and that eventually led to her appearing on film and becoming a celebrated child star. Defying the wishes of her parents, who wanted her to marry, Diawara fled Bamako at 19 and joined a French street theatre company in Paris. It was during that time music grew into a new career.

Diawara’s singing became a feature of the theatre company’s performances and soon she began appearing in the clubs and cafes of Paris. That led to her working with jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and Malian superstar Oumou SangarĂ© and, eventually, to her debut album, Fatou, in 2011.

Fatoumata Diawara - The Town Hall (New York) - In Concert February 21, 2020

At the same time, she continued her career as an actor, including a role in the 2014 film Timbuktu which received both BAFTA and Academy Award nominations and won Best Film at the 11th Africa Movie Academy Awards.

Stay Thirsty Magazine is pleased to present this video, entitled Nterini (My Love/Confidant), by the multi-talented and seductive Fatoumata Diawara in our continuing project to showcase music and musicians from around the world.

Fatoumata Diawara - "Nterini"


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