FATOUMATA DIAWARA – Kokoro

Fatoumata Diawara (Bambara: ߝߊ߫ߕߎߡߕߊ ߖߊ߯ߥߙߊ߫, romanized: Fatumta Jawara, born 1982 in Ouragahio, Ivory Coast) is a Malian actress, singer-songwriter and guitarist currently living in France. She received two nominations at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards for Best World Music Album for her album Fenfo and Best Dance Recording for “Ultimatum” in which she was featured with the English band Disclosure.

ENGLISH LYRICS
Kokoro (Ancestral Heritage)

Why are we not proud of who we are? We are black Africans, descendants of Sunjata Keita, the emperor of the Mandé people. We have our own culture and civilization, which we must be proud of. Instead, we want to look like Westerners, Chinese, Asians, and Arabs by bleaching our skin, selling off our land and resources, and adopting their fashions. As a result, we are lost and our traditions escape us. So who will come to defend our African dignity in our place?

Let’s not turn our back on our traditions
Let’s embrace them, be proud of them

Let’s not abandon our traditions
We need to welcome them, like a miracle
Let’s not turn our back on them

They want to destroy our traditional values
Because we are Africans
We have lost all our cultural references
Because they see us as slaves
Our ancestors have abandoned us
They want to kill our traditions
Because we are Africans
Our human warmth is disappearing

I bow before our ancestral traditions, mother
I pray to the spirits of our ancestors
I bow before our ancestral traditions

Why are we not proud of who we are?
We try to look like Europeans, by bleaching our skin
We try to look like the Chinese and sell off our resources to them
We think that being Muslim means to cover ourselves from top to toe
We want to look like Indians by applying their bindi to our forehead
Who will carry on Sunjata’s heritage?
I, Diawara Fanta proudly stand up and vow to carry on the ancestral heritage
Who will build Africa for us? Who will live the African life in our stead?
We have lost all our cultural references to western culture
If we do not respect ourselves, no one will ever respect us

Why are we not proud of who we are?

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