Sunday, November 11, 2012
Kanté Manfila was born in 1946 in Farabanah,his family moved to Kankan 80 km to the north where Kanté went to school up to the age of 14.
He then moved to Abijdan to live with an uncle since he could play already titles like tourbaka,kaira and kensa on balaphon and guitar,
he was able to earn some money by playing at marriages and other festivities of Guineans living in the capital of Ivory Coast.
He soon found a sponsor who liked the boy's playing so much that he payed him some studies at Abidjan's school of music.
the first band that featured Kante's guitar was "Independence jazz" ,then he joined "rhythm de I'bia".Soon he had his first single out"horoya" freedom
which was quite successful in Abidjan,so more singles followed.Kante's band in Abidjan "African style" didn't live long,because their ancient amplifiers broke down
so when his best friend had to return to Mopti for a family affair he joined him.In April 1970 Kante learned about the death of his father
and decided to return to Kankan.When he got to Bamako,friends warned him that he might be arrested if he crossed the Guinean border.
He decided to delay his return for three months and looked for a job.By chance the Ambassadeurs du Motel
had a vacancy-three months turned into nine years and Kanté Manfila became "chef d'orchestre".It was Kanté who introduced new compositions based on traditional tunes
before his arrival les Ambassadeurs interpreted Latin American tunes,valses mussettes,Nana Mouskouri and songs like "strangers in the night"........
things didn't turned out smoothly in Bamako so the Ambassadeurs tried their luck in Abidjan,where their arrived in August 1978.After one year of suffering they made it to the top ,they sold
more records than any other artist there.But with the fame came the relatives,who filled up their house in Abidjan,staying there for months.And when some of the glamour around the band faded away
when the economic situation in Abidjan became harder,in 1985 they decided to move to Paris;
first Salif Keita on his own ,then Kanté Manfila and the rest of"les Ambassadeurs".
Kanté Manfila left this world on 20 July 2011
I will always remember and thank him dearly
Djanka Diabaté & Oumou Diabaté-vocals