Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



'Les Basketteuses de Bamako': When basketball, art meet

'Les Basketteuses de Bamako' during their stage performance in Lome, Togo   -  
Copyright © africanews


'Les Basketteuses de Bamako', a group of six Malian artists and basketball players took to the stage in Lomé, the capital of Togo. Their daring and creative show combines juggling of the ball, drumming, music and dance.

"This project is based on rhythm and sound. We play with balls, sneakers, drums, and sticks. There's a lot of equipment and dancing. It's not basketball, but it's basketball mixed with music," said Kadiatou Togola, a member of Les Basketteuses de Bamako, underlining the importance of this artistic fusion.

Under the direction of Thomas Guérineau, a former juggler with a passion for the intersections between movement, rhythm and music, these Malian artists use the ball as the central instrument of their artistic expression.

"This is work I created with Malian artists, women basketballers from Bamako. I started working with them in November 2021. So it's been over two years," explained Guérineau.

"What's surprising is that when you hit a basketball, it's actually a three-beat sound, a syncopated three-beat,'' he added.

A syncopated three-beat is a musical rhythm in three beats, creating a sensation of displacement or surprise. Syncopation consists shifting the usual accentuation, giving the piece a particular rhythmic dynamic, often used in music to add complexity and movement.

"I found it very innovative, because it's not common. I found it very interesting", wondered spectator Makafui Zandji.

The Basketteuses' performances are not limited to juggling. They also sing and dance, creating a veritable visual and audio symphony, an enriching cultural fusion.

"This is the first time we have played this show in Africa. The performers, who are all Malian and therefore African, had high expectations. It's been great, because we've had a really warm welcome," said Guérineau.

Prior to their show in Lomé, the Basketteuses shared their knowledge at a masterclass with young Togolese students. This initiative enabled participants to discover and explore this innovative art form, opening up new perspectives and inspirations for future generations.

The "Basketteuses de Bamako" not only made their mark in Lomé with their exceptional stage performance, they also sowed the seeds of a new passion for art and creativity among Togolese youth.

View more