Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Alpha Blondy

A member of the Dioula ethnic group, Blondy was born Seydou Kone in 1953, in the Ivory Coast town of Dimbokora. Alpha Blondy was born to a Muslim mother and a Christian father and was brought up by a grandmother who taught him to respect everyone. Alpha Blondy's reverence for all religions and the spirituality he derives from them can be heard on tracks like “God is One” or “Jerusalem” where he sang for unity between all religions in 1986.

(Alpha Blondy - Jerusalem)
Alpha Blondy has always been a critic of authority. He calls himself a defender of free speech and since his breakthrough with “Brigadier Sabari” has fought against injustice as well as racism, harassment and corruption. In 2000 Alpha denounced the mismanagement of government funds for private gain in the album “les voleurs de la république” (thieves of the republic).

(Alpha Blondy - Brigadier Sabari)

(Alpha Blondy - Masada)

Despite the risk, he had the courage to denounce also the mysterious murder of the burkinabè journalist Norbert Zongo. But it was in 1998 that Alpha recorded his most controversial and criticised album: “Yitzhak Rabin”. He also wrote a song calling for the departure of the French military arguing that the Ivory Coast and other former French colonies did not need their services anymore, and the track “guerre civile“ predicted civil war if the politicians did not stop their corruption.