Tribune / Presse
Article paru dans
N° 480 - 19/04/2005

Artists attack the pirates

Mali K7 and Seydoni/Mali are closed because of piracy since more than one month (March 16 - April 16, 2005). Not being able any more to support this situation, the Malian artists are now determined to prevent the pirates from ruining them and to force the government to take its responsibilities.

Thus, the artists met last Friday at the CCF to discuss about the attitude to adopt with respect to the closing of Mali K7 and Seydoni/Mali, victims of piracy. They were about thirty to make the displacement among which Oumou Sangaré, Nènè Sourakassi, Cheick Oumar Diabaté, Afel Bocoum, Bassékou Kouyaté, Tata Pound, Nampé Sadio, Mariétou Diabaté…

Together, they are decided to prevent the pirates from "working" in impunity. Thus, initially, they will tackle the itinerant salesmen. Swipes are thus envisaged for filling stations, bar-restaurants, hotels… to prevent them from selling off their fraudulent goods. "We do not bear these children a grudge. Our ambition is only to prevent them from helping the pirates to kill the Malian music and culture", underlines Oumar Diallo "Barou" (ex-Farafina Lolo), one of the spokesman of the artists.
"We will simply ask them politely to return us the paperboards. If they don’t cooperate, we will be obliged to tear off their goods from them ", specifies King Lassy Massassy, the other spokesman of the artists. The seized cassettes will be counted and deposited at the ministry for the Culture. "We want the authorities to witness our dissatisfaction. We want them to go out of their indifference to really fight this plague as they fight against the traffic of drug, the smuggling of cigarettes and tissues…", underlines Barou. "The Minister of Culture is an artist like us. He thus suffers from piracy as much as we do. We have no doubt about his engagement in this combat. But, we think that he needs the support of the artists so that the government gives him the means of his policy ", he adds.
"We will remain mobilized until the market is cleansed and disencumbered of the pirates. We will maintain this dash in order to not lower the arms any more as it’s the case each time the authorities promise us to act. We are tired of these unfulfilled promises. We want concrete acts. And we are ready, young artists that we are, to do anything to push the government to acted ", King ensures. "We count on our elder like Salif Kéita, Ali Farka Touré… to take the direction of this combat. The presence of Oumou Sangaré at the meeting of last Friday comforted us a lot. Her remarks prove her engagement. If all our stars followed Oumou and Idrissa Soumaoro by our sides, I am sure that we can push the authorities to be acted against the plague ", he specifies.

The artists are still angry against the Malian Office of the authors’ rights (BUMDA). "Instead of finding a solution supporting the reopening of Mali K7 and Seydoni, the BUMDA delivers authorizations to false producers so they can manufacture tapes elsewhere. That is inadmissible. Even if we have managed yet to gather all the proofs against them, everything leads to believe that many of these people are pirates disguised into producers ", says Barou.
For King, «authorizing these people to manufacture tapes abroad means to encourage them to import pirated cassettes in Mali. How people who often cannot order more than 1.000 cassettes on the spot can allow themselves to order cassettes by containers? The robbery is there!".
"Seydoni and Mali K7 do not only make the duplication of the cassettes, they also ensure the distribution and the production of the artists. How many young artists do have the means to go to record abroad? Very little. But, thanks to Mali K7 and Seydoni much young people like us had the opportunity to show their talent. That is an essential aspect that the Bumda should not neglect any more. We will take care of that ", they ensure.

Their determination and their engagement are real. The artists are ready to fight with those who despoil them from the fruits of their work. Unless the authorities quickly concretize their promises by vigorous initiatives in order to dismantle the network of piracy in Mali.

Moussa Bolly