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Salif Keita coming to town

Entertainment crazed Ugandans will yet again have to deplete their disposable income reserves to enjoy the sounds of the iconic ethno-music artiste Salif Keita.

Keita jets into town this Friday October 15, 2010 for a concert. The venue is Kampala Serena Hotel and the ticket charge is Shs 100,000 (for those bought in advance). The Malian star will be lending his musical clout to draw attention to a social cause.

Keita is an albino who has overcome so many odds to become a globally acclaimed world music artiste. He runs a charity that focuses on people living with albinism and will be here to inspire and dine with them.

The concert is also meant to highlight the killings of albinos based on occult practices that have rendered them an endangered part of humanity.

“In East Africa they are unable to move liberally to do business, study or cultivate fields for fear of albino hunters in search of body parts and hired mainly by witch doctors and big-money traders,” explains Desire Julia Barugahare, the spokeswoman of the concert organisers.

“Even before the killings began, albino people in tropical Africa suffered a range of problems that made physical survival a frantic struggle. These included, above all, needlessly high rates of fatal skin cancer that are the result of their acute sensitivity to sunlight,” she adds.

The 51-year-old Keita was cast out by his family and ostracized by the community because of his albinism, seen as a sign of bad luck in the Mandinka culture. His music combines traditional West African music styles with influences from both Europe and the Americas, while maintaining an overall Islamic style.

Musical instruments that are commonly featured in Keita’s work include balafons, djembes, guitars, koras, organs, saxophones, and synthesizers. His latest album, La Différence, is dedicated to the struggle of the world albino community.

“I am black/ my skin is white/ so I am white and my blood is black [albino]/... I love that because it is a difference that’s beautiful…“, “some of us are beautiful some are not/some are black some are white/all that difference was on purpose.. for us to complete each other/let everyone get his love and dignity/the world will be beautiful,” so goes the lyrics on the title track of the album.

serugo@live.com

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