Organisons le Fela Days, premier Festival afrobeat au Mali

Organize Fela Days, the first Afrobeat Festival in Mali

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Organisons le Fela Days, premier Festival afrobeat au Mali

After the success of the first afrobeat festival organized in Benin in 2016, we are organizing the first festival tribute to Fela Kuti in Mali in October 2018 and we need your help. The event will take place in Bamako, over a week and will offer the public several artistic events: concerts, exhibitions, promotion of local creators, theater, documentary screenings, master classes, ....

This event will allow: - to celebrate the work and memory of Fela Kuti and her fight; - to introduce the Malian public to the national and international Afrobeat scene; - to train women in the practice of wind instruments (brass and wood); - to organize awareness-raising actions on themes that echo Fela Kuti's life (defending human rights, peace, democracy and good governance, fighting violence against women, combating HIV AIDS ). For those who were not there, here are some videos of the Fela Day organized in Benin in 2016.


But why a Fela Days in Mali?

The potential of the Malian cultural industry ...

From independence, Mali knows a musical effervescence. Even today, many orchestras in Mali perpetuate these traditions. At present, Mali and its capital Bamako constitute a pole in the sector of the cultural industry.
Yet, despite this real potential, people have access to a limited cultural offer, while the right to culture has been recognized and taken into account as a factor of social as well as economic development. It is clear that there is little training and support for the sector. Certainly, the learning of traditional and classical instruments is developing, but there are no wind instruments while they are much sought after.
The other essential fact is that women occupy a minority place in the music industry, limiting themselves to singing, and with rare exceptions to the guitar or the bass.

The project :

The project consists of organizing the first tribute festival to Fela Kuti in Mali in October 2018 in Bamako. Through these activities we wish to create and strengthen the link between the different cultural, artistic and social actors of Bamako, to generate exchanges, to contribute to the emergence of new projects focused on the development and democratization of art and to favor the experimenting with the integration of art into educational projects for young people and women.
In summary, this event will: - promote the experimentation of the integration of art into educational projects for young people and in particular women through training courses and workshops; - to promote women's access to trades traditionally devolved to men; - to organize awareness-raising actions aimed at young people on themes echoing Fela Kuti's course (the defense of human rights, peace, democracy and good governance, the fight against violence against women, the fight against against HIV AIDS). - to contribute to the emergence of new projects focused on the development and democratization of art; - to introduce the Malian public to the national and international Afrobeat scene, especially young talents. 
The work has already begun with the arrival of Beninese musicians to prepare the saxophone and trumpet training in Bamako.

Who are we ? 

A collective composed of a French association, three associations and a Malian company was formed.
The association "Afrique Patrimoine" is a French association, law 1901 created in 2010, aimed at ensuring the safeguarding and encouraging restoration, and enhancement of archaeological heritage, historical and cultural African. In March 2016, it organized the first tribute festival to Fela Kuti in Benin, in partnership with several institutional actors including: the French Institute of Benin, UN AIDS, UNFP, the National Program against Aids, Expertise France, ... (
Tristan ROUTIER - President
Ameer SHAHEED - Executif secretary
The Malian company "BLACK BLIK MALI SARL" created in 2017 is specialized in communication. She has developed solutions to support the music industry sector in Mali (websites, mobile applications, support center)
The Malian association "Acte Sept" was born in Bamako in 1994. The association aims to contribute to the promotion of Malian culture and to promote the development of its members through artistic and cultural activities to build a world more fair and equitable. "Everyone must be able to participate in the cultural life of their choice and exercise their own cultural practices within the limits imposed by respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms"
Adama TRAORE - president  
The Malian association "Carrefour des arts" specializes in the broadcasting of live shows, in the accompaniment of artists and in the development of the cultural industry. She organizes cultural exchanges with abroad.
Djatala Barou DIASSANA - President
The Malian association "Afrofashion" was born in Bamako in 2009 (the parent company exists in Malawi since 2008). Afrofashion specializes in the promotion and revaluation of African fashion. She accompanies designers and artisans to make modern African clothing using traditional colorful natural fabrics.
Munnie SCHUMAN - President
In order to benefit from increased visibility and in a logic of exchange between veteran musicians and the new generation, an artistic committee has been formed. It is chaired by Cheick Tidiane Seck as honorary president of the festival.
Several internationally renowned artists have agreed to sponsor us in this project:
  • Tiken Jah Fakoly - Musician
  • Habib Koité - Musician
  • Adama Traoré - Playwright / Director
  • Cheick Diallo - Designer Artist  


Expected results

At the end of the KissKissBankBank project, the following results are expected:
- Five (5) paying concerts are organized;
- Four (4) free concerts are organized for the benefit of children, young people and vulnerable populations;
However, Fela Days is part of a more global approach and offers a series of workshops.
Once the funding is obtained, the following results are expected:
Seventy-five (75) young people are trained in theater, video and audio production, music and photography;
- Seventy-five (75) young people are sensitized through artistic practice to the themes of society such as citizenship, living together, gender equality, Pan-Africanism;
- Ten (10) artists are associated with the launch of the KalaKuta App;
- Fifteen (15) artists / professionals from the cultural and music sector participate in masters classes and benefit from capacity building;
- Ten (10) girls are trained to practice wind instruments (wood and brass);
- Nine (9) young people participate in the class masters and discover the trades of arts and entertainment;
- Civil society and local authorities are made aware of the benefits of artistic and cultural activities for young people through communication around the project.

Presentation of activities:


Pay Concerts: Five (5) paying concerts will be organized to introduce the Malian public to the national and international afrobeat scene. The concerts will be organized in several venues (Radio Libre, AfroFashion, Maya Cultural Space) and will take place on Saturday 6 and Saturday 13 October.
Free concerts: Four (4) free concerts will be organized for an audience of young people and people in vulnerable situations to promote the democratization of art: facilitate access to shows to a public often deprived of artistic offers and to develop cultural actions for the poorest populations. The concerts will be organized in three school groups, in an orphanage and in two public spaces. They will take place during the week, Monday 8 to Monday 15 October.

Programming :

Anonymous Afrobeat Orchestra: As was the case for the Benin Fela Day, an orchestra was formed to allow the musicians of Mali to reclaim the afrobeat. It works like a collective, allowing a mix by bringing together musicians from different backgrounds and promoting peer learning. This is the orchestra that will be used to communicate before the festival (and as you can see in the video below the work has already begun and the public is asking for more).

Balaphonics: For years, Balaphonics has been dancing the public to the sound of balafons accompanied by a powerful copper section. Their collaborations with Malian artists, and the influence of Fela Kuti's work on their compositions make them special guests. In addition, there is strong expertise in the field of cultural management, which will be used during the capacity building actions of cultural sector actors in Mali.
Abomey Afrojazz Orchestra: Created in 2015 as part of the Fela Day Benin Festival 2016, Abomey Afrojazz Orchestra has set itself the mission of giving Afrobeat its acclaim in Benin but also in the sub-region. Their music, strongly marked by the work of the Black President has found new inspirations in the musical heritage of Dahomey, cradle of Vodun and its rhythms so characteristic.
Ko Saba: Their music, at the confluence of "Mandingo rock", reggae, jazz and traditional music draws its inspiration both from the ancestral rhythms of the Mande terroir and from the meandering of the urban Bamako jungle. The specificity of Ko Saba lies, regardless of their musical color, in their unique stage performance. All of this makes an explosive mix that makes Ko Saba a really attractive group.


Master class (depending on the resources mobilized):

On the sidelines of the festival, it is planned to organize four Master Class allowing amateur musicians and technicians to improve their skills with professionals.
- Home production - Number of beneficiaries: 10
- Wind instruments and jazz - Number of beneficiaries: 10
- Musical writing - Number of beneficiaries: 10
- Initiation and practice of wind instruments (this workshop will primarily target young girls) - Number of beneficiaries: 10
These exchanges will take place over three days and at the end a performance will be organized as part of the festival. These masters class will be addressed to artists and sound engineers selected by the artistic committee of the festival with the support of technical partners: INA, CNAM, CSOs working with young people and women.  

Documentary projections:

The documentary "Music is the Weapon" will be screened twice to raise public awareness on themes echoing the path of Fela Kuti (the defense of human rights, peace, democracy and good governance, pan-Africanism, citizen engagement, the fight against violence against women, the fight against HIV AIDS).
The documentary "Grands ensembles du Mali" retraces the history of the great orchestras that emerged after Mali's independence until their decline. Following the screening a debate will be organized with the director Moustafa Diallo. The screenings will take place in Afrofashion on Monday 8 and Monday 15 October and will be free.

Photographic workshop (depending on the means mobilized):

Given the excitement of the world of photography in Mali, it is planned to introduce young Malian photographers dealing with the themes of the festival. A training workshop for young people in photography will be organized. It will end with an exhibition intended to present the work done.
Number of beneficiaries: 5  

Video capture and editing workshop (depending on the means mobilized):

A training workshop on video and audio production techniques will be organized. The activities and exchanges will take place over three days and the learners will participate in the video capture of the festival activities. These workshops will be addressed to technicians selected by the artistic committee of the festival with the support of technical partners: INA, CNAM, CSOs working with young people and women. This activity will be entrusted to the Acte Sept association
Number of beneficiaries: 5  

Workshop and animation on the theme of corruption and its consequences on development (depending on the means mobilized):

A theater workshop will be organized. The writing and staging work will be done with children who will participate in the performances. During the workshops, the children will be able to discover the various trades of the theater (director, playwright, costume designer, props, etc.). It will be proposed between the concerts of skits and sketches on the theme of corruption in its various forms. Festival-goers will thus be made aware of the consequences of such practices for development and the means of combating them. This activity will be entrusted to the Acte Sept association, created in 1994 and at the origin of the "Théâtre Réalités Festival".  
Number of beneficiaries: 5

Workshop "Prêt à porter" (depending on the means mobilized):

Training workshops on sewing and related fashion trades will be organized to allow ten (10) young people to try these trades with personalized support. A parade will be organized to close the course.
Number of beneficiaries: 10  

Fashion show (depending on the means mobilized):

The actors of the fashion and the craft contribute by their talent and their creativity to give an identity and a brand image to their sector of activity, but nevertheless suffer from a lack of structuring and activities to expose or sell their products. In the logic of promoting African innovation, it is planned to organize a fashion show to make known more local designers combining tradition and modernity. The parade will be accompanied by a live musical performance. A partnership has been initiated for this purpose with the Afrofashion association.
Number of beneficiaries: 10  

Village craftmade products

Always in the same perspective of promoting local entrepreneurship, the festival will provide an exhibition space for craftsmen also combining tradition and modernity. A partnership will be established with a platform bringing together young women entrepreneurs to promote their activities.
Number of beneficiaries: 10

Why support us?

A showcase to allow young people and women to discover the culture industry
The first objective is to provide a framework for discovery, exchange and learning between young people, women and professionals from the cultural sector in general and music in particular.
To do this, we propose to organize activities related to the work and the fight of Fela Kuti (because of its commitment to democracy, the rule of law, the fight against violence against women or children, etc.).
The activities will cover the different artistic fields: music, dance, photography, video, fashion, crafts, etc ... and will allow selected children and young people to discover the different professions and try it under the supervision of a team of professionals . Selection will be done in collaboration with cultural and educational institutions. Attention will be paid to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children (children with disabilities, sexual minorities, visual minorities, etc.).    
An event committed to gender equality and the advancement of women
The question of gender equity is crucial in Mali. The highly patriarchal society significantly hinders girls' participation in the economic, political and social spheres. They are most often disadvantaged compared to boys in access to education and are confined to domestic activities.
To fight against an archaic perception of the role of women and to reaffirm their place in society, we propose to act on mentalities and representations.
By training 10 women to practice instruments traditionally devolved to men like the saxophone, trumpet and trombone. The objective is that in the end, in the Malian collective imagination, the image of trades traditionally devolved to men progresses.
A public event
The ambition of this festival is to succeed in attracting the general public. Culture is a universal right and contributes to both social and economic development. The place identified for the festival: given the geographical configuration of Bamako, it is proposed to organize the activities of the festival in several places in order to facilitate the access of the festival-goers. It is planned to identify places on both banks of the Niger River. Several locations have already been identified and consultation with site managers is underway. Given the challenge of mobilizing a broad audience, communication will be essential. Upstream of the festival's organization, there are concerts in different places in Bamako, very popular with the public (Radio Libre, AfroFashion, Maya Cultural Space, French Institute of Mali). Lastly, the program will also be geared towards youth by bringing together Malian and foreign artists enjoying a strong popularity in Mali ("veterans" Tiken Jah Fakoly, Rokia Traore, Habib Koité, and "young talents" Master soumy, Iba One ...). In order not to limit participation to a privileged class, and given the economic and social constraints, it is proposed to organize free concerts by relocating the stage to popular neighborhoods.
A committed festival
If the project aims to provide a framework for discovery, exchange and learning between children and young adults and professionals, another objective is to improve the access of the general public to the culture of youth in particular . It is finally the occasion to convey messages to the festival-goers. The festival will offer free concerts in public places (public square, stadium, etc ...).  
A digital festival
In order to be part of a dynamic of innovation, we propose to create a series of digital tools (websites, mobile applications, start-ups) for both the communication around the event but also within the framework of the activities training for professionals in the cultural industry.
A pan-Africanist festival inscribed in the long-term
Like the "Fela Days" and "Felabrations" organized on the African continent, in Europe or in America, the objective is to register this meeting in the long term to propose each year a week dedicated to Afrobeat and message from Fela Kuti. This experience is likely to succeed, as evidenced by the annual organization in Mali of tribute concerts to Bob Marley. Ultimately, the objective would be to establish a partnership with another "Fela Days" or "Felabration" existing in the sub-region and to support exchanges between artists (for example with the one organized in Cotonou or that of Ouagadou
A living festival!
For this first edition, we plan to program several activities (concerts, screenings, exhibitions) over several days. The aim is to tell the story of Afrobeat, through various artistic performances and to put this history in perspective with the situation that Mali is currently experiencing and the challenges that the population is facing. We wish to create a space of exchange and artistic creation through the various disciplines related to Afrobeat to carry out actions of sensitization: photographic exhibition - theatrical performance - concerts - dance - street art - documentary screenings - conferences - fashion show - start-up incubator ...  

The organization of the festival Date and place of the festival 


The festival will run from Saturday 6 to Monday, October 15, 2018 (anniversary date marking the 80th anniversary of the birth of Fela Kuti). The concerts will take place in several places of Bamako, Mali (Radio Libre, AfroFashion, Maya Cultural Space, French Institute of Mali) and will be organized preferably during the weekend (from 21h to 1h in the morning) and the other activities will be spread over different days of the week (afternoon).


The organization of the festival requires a substantial budget (communication, equipment rental, artist stamp, employee salaries, ...). There is a need for revenue diversification, including seeking financial and in-kind support from public and private partners. Certain expenses could thus be taken care by partners through the provision of equipment or services (stamp of some artists, sound equipment, drinks, etc ...).
To maximize the chances of success, and to create a snowball effect, it is recommended to mobilize resources through crowdfunding platforms in order to have a contribution of at least 10% of the total budget. This first fundraising will provide an envelope to cover the essential expenses related to logistics and organization, especially for concerts.
The estimated budget for the organization of the main activities of the festival is 10,000 €.
These are concerts and video projections. However, the festival is part of a broader approach. Indeed, we want to offer training and capacity building activities. We have planned for this different modules of activities (exposed above: video / audio workshops, master-class, ready-to-wear workshops, ...). Fundraising and partnerships with technical and financial partners working in Mali have been underway for several weeks now. The estimated budget is accompanied by an estimated budget of eight-thousand one hundred and fifteen euro (8115 €) which will be used to finance the expenses related to the organization of the concerts (artists' accommodation, transport, equipment rental ,. ..).
The expenses already incurred by the organizing committee of the festival already amount to 4000 € (organization of rehearsals and concerts, realization of the teaser and the website, support for the cost of transport, accommodation and catering of Beninese musicians to train saxophonists, trumpeters and Malian trombonists). To this is added the hours of work of the members of the organizing committee, who have been volunteering for months for the realization and success of this project.

Recipes, donations & grants:

The organization of the festival requires a substantial budget (communication, equipment rental, artist stamp, employee salaries, ...). It is important to diversify revenues, including seeking financial or in-kind support from multiple public and private partners. Recipes: Proceeds will consist of the sale of festival tickets and other products (Fela Days Bamako T-Shirt / Drinks / Catering / Festival DVD).
The funds generated will be used to cover expenses related to the organization of the concerts, the documentary screenings and the craftsmen's village. In the event that the benefits exceed the expenses, it is planned to use the remaining money for the recording of an album in the studio in Bamako with the young people who took part in the activities.

Donations / Sponsoring:

The use of sponsorship will provide in-kind donations (personalized drinks / T-shirts whose sales will be donated to the festival, gifts and prizes to be offered to the public through a competition organized during the festival) .
A specific presentation file is available.
The festival counts on the competition of institutional and private partners. The dossier is accompanied by a detailed budget proposal for institutional and private partners.  


The project of organizing the festival "Fela Days" - Tribute to Fela Anikulapo Kuti came from the observation concerning the situation of children and young people in Mali and the absence of structuring devices allowing to accompany young people to participate in life of their country and to train in the trades of the artistic and musical industry in particular. Our project, which is part of an inclusive, pan-African and sustainable approach, will create a framework for discovery, exchange and learning between young people, women and professionals in the cultural sector in general and the music in particular.
The national and regional music scene is a real asset to organize such an event. The city of Bamako appears as an ideal location because of the dynamism of the artistic and musical scene in particular. Finally, the current context in Mali pushes us to engage to promote values ​​of tolerance, exchange and diversity. The musical style "afrobeat", tinged because of the commitment of its creator, Fela Kuti, against nepotism and for peace is a haven of choice to defend these values ​​of humanism and tolerance.

Waar dient de collecte voor

We request your support to raise 5000 € for the organization of this project.

The entire collection KKBB will be paid to the account of the President of Africa Heritage (Tristan Routier) and funds collected will be managed by the Organizing Committee of the Festival composed of BlackBlik Mali SA and Association Act Seven (Mali), Afrofashion (Mali), Carrefour des arts (Mali) and Africa Heritage (France).

The 5000 € are intended to take care of essential expenses namely:

- The concert of Balaphonics: 1000 €

- The concert of Abomey Afrojazz Orchestra: 1000 €

- The concert of Ko Saba: 1000 €

- The concert of Anonymous Afrobeat Band: 1000 €

- A contribution to Balaphonics transportation costs: 500 €

- A contribution to the transport costs of Abomey Afrojazz Orchestra: 500 €

Total: 5000 €  

Other essential expenses will be self-financed by the Festival Organizing Committee and will be reimbursed through the sale of tickets for paid concerts and the sale of beverages.

A projected budget with a high range of € 15,000 and a low range of € 7,000 has been drawn up.

Detailed budget and projected revenue are available upon request.

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