It is an ordinary afternoon for young Mabo Keïta, at home, in Burkina Faso (West Africa). While his parents are taking a nap, he reads a schoolbook on the front porch when a stranger – an elderly man carrying his own hammock – appears for an unexpected visit. It turns out that the old man is a griot, a West African musician/entertainer whose performances include tribal histories and genealogies. The position of a griot is a time-honored one and passed down from father to son for many generations. —IMDb
Kouyaté was born in 1961 in Bobo-Dioulasso. He is the son of one of the first Burkinabé actors, Sotigui Kouyaté, and is a member of the Mandeng ethnic group. Kouyatés have served as griots for the Keita clan since the 13th century. The Kouyatés guard customs, and their knowledge is authoritative amongst Mandengs. Keitas have to provide amenities to Kouyatés, who in turn should not hesitate to ask for Keita help. The word Kouyaté translates as “there is a secret between you and me”.
The junior Kouyaté trained at the Institute Africain d’Education Cinématographique in Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou before travelling to France for five years of study at the Sorbonne where he obtained a Master’s degree in Cultural and Social Marketing. He also received a degree from the International School of Anthropology in Paris, and an advanced degree in Cinema from the University of Paris at St. Denis. From 1990 to 1996 Kouyaté toured the United States and Europe as part of “La Voix du… read more