Monday, July 13, 2009

The National Anthem of Mali

Le Mali (popularly known as Pour l'Afrique et pour toi, Mali – French: For Africa and for you, Mali or A ton appel Mali – French: At your call, Mali) is the national anthem of Mali. The words were written by Seydou Badian Kouyaté (stamp on the left) and the music was by Banzoumana Sissoko (stamp on the right). Adopted as the national anthem in 1962, its themes are patriotism, national, and African unity. It states the willingness of the people of Mali to lay down their lives for their nation and for liberty. A common theme throughout the song is the desire to strive for a united Africa. Its music is a traditional European style military march.

It was officially adopted less than a year after independence, in 1962. It is traditionally played at state ceremonies by the band of the Garde Républicaine of the Armed Forces of Mali. The Malian Young Pioneer movement of the 1960s translated the anthem in the Bambara language for its rallies.

Seydou Badian Kouyaté, born in 1928 was a Malian writer and politician. Born in Bamako, Kouyaté studied medicine at the University of Montpellier in France before returning to Mali. Under president Modibo Keïta, he wrote the words for Mali's national anthem, Pour l'Afrique et pour toi, Mali. In the Plan of September 17, 1962 he was named Minister of Economic and Financial Coordination; however, with the coup d'état of 1968, and the rise to the presidency of Moussa Traoré, he was deported to Kidal before being exiled to Dakar, in Senegal. Associated from its beginning with the Sudanese Union-African Democratic Rally, he was removed from the party in 1998 for having opposed part of its plan to refuse recognition to certain institutions participating in contested elections.

Kouyaté is also internationally known as a writer; even before Mali's independence, in 1957, he had published his first novel, Sous l'orage. This was followed by two other novels, Le Sang des masques in 1976 and Noces sacrées in 1977. In 2007 his novel La Saison des pièges was published.