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Salif Keita says countries should do more to protect albinos

Salif Keita has routinely used his star status to raise awareness about albinism   -  
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Albinism Awareness Day

"The situation of albinos must be better known throughout the world," the acclaimed Malian singer said.

The defense of the cause of albinos requires more support on all forms in order to be able to deter those involved in inhumane treatment, Keita added.

"This year, five albinos were sacrificed in Mali. During election time, the situation is more serious. When there is an election, we try to keep them safe to avoid the worst. When a big personality asks to sacrifice an albino, he is not punished because he has the power. We need the rest of the world to join our cause so that we can punish those involved in albino sacrifices," he said.

If being albino remains a difficult situation to live both in terms of health and social in Mali and even in other countries of the world, notable progress has been recorded, said the legend of African music.

"There is a change in the situation of albinos in Africa. Before, it was unknown to the masses," he said. More and more, the problems they are going through are known and the masses are interested. I think there is a big change. People with albinism were also unaware of the usefulness of products such as sun protection cream, but now they know how to use them. On the other hand, there were difficulties of social insertion in school for example, cases of stigmatization among the masses. More and more, there is progress in the situation of albinos.

Salif Keïta's soundtrack, "Tomorrow-Ali," is featured in the documentary tracing the journey of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, who he said was a pride for the black race.

"He was fighting for a community that was stigmatized and racially victimized. We were all concerned about the success of his fight. When I was asked to do a song for the Muhammad Ali movie, I did it with a lot of love and courage, and I was very happy about it. Muhammad Ali was fighting for a community that was being victimized by racism, and I am fighting for the cause of albinos. I liked his arrogance, the fact that he was a rebel and of course his talent as a great boxer, noted the "Golden Voice of Africa".

I have been trying to carry the voice of Africa around the world for more than forty years. I consider myself a rebel, and I always have been. Currently, I work alongside the military junta in power in Mali. I am part of the CNT [National Transitional Council]. I am a deputy. We have decided to liberate Mali and we are going to do it."

Initially, making music was not easy for him because of coming from a royal family, he noted, adding that some generations are made to open doors for others.

The author of 25 albums, with many successful titles such as "folon" "mandjou" or "yamore" performed for the very first time in Türkiye, which he heard about in humanitarian actions around the world and especially in Africa.

"As far as imminent projects are concerned, I prefer to keep quiet for the moment because you never know what will happen. I am thinking about the projects and when the time comes I will make an announcement. For the rest, it is God who knows", concluded Salif Keïta.

The Capital Culture Road Festival was launched on May 28 by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It aims to present the cultural, architectural and historical heritage of Ankara internationally, and will host 560 events with 5,971 artists, 179 scholars and historians.

In addition to Salif Keita, Latin Grammy Award-winning singer Concha Buika and Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska will take the stage in Ankara as part of the festival, which runs until June 12.