Feb. 12 (GIN) – The blind musical couple Amadou and Mariam from the embattled nation of Mali is this year’s winner of the French Victoire de la Musique prize for the best World Music album entitled ‘Folila’.
In 2005, they won the same prize for their song: ‘Les Dimanches Bamako’ (Sundays in Bamako) – a day normally reserved for weddings.
The couple received a giant trophy from Youssou N’Dour, Senegal’s music icon who is currently that country’s minister of tourism and entertainment. “I’m proud that Mali will be honored tonight,” he said, “so that the world recognizes this source of world music, which comes from Mali. Tonight we all Malians.”
The duo performed the lead song of the winning album ‘Africa my Africa’ and were accompanied by children wearing T-shirts bearing Mali’s national colors: red, yellow and red and with the inscription “Peace in Mali.”
‘Folila’ means “making music” in Mali’s national language, Bambara. It is the couple’s eighth album.
In December 2009, they played for the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for President Barack Obama in Oslo. Both artists were also presented to the U.S. President for the occasion. Their music is widely available on YouTube.