Podor ~ Senegal
Baaba Maal is a very inspiring musician who has a great influence on the development of music in Senegal. He combines African musical elements and instruments in work which has an appeal far beyond Africa. His texts demonstrate his firm commitment to the recognition of the many different cultures in Senegal and beyond. Baaba Maal is one of the Haalpular, a people in the Saint Louis region of Senegal with a rigid social order based on the caste system. Baaba Maal himself belonged to the very low social group of fishermen. In many different ways - in his texts or with his goodwill concerts - Baaba Maal is like an older brother to young musicians in Senegal. (These concerts, which also sponsor charitable activities, turn into tremendous popular festivities). He is an authoritative role model for young people and a key figure in the emancipation of women and the socially disadvantaged. He offers self-respect at a time when large-scale, threatening changes are occurring - changes of a social, political and economic nature.