Exclusive interview with Koroga Festival’s music sensation Baaba Mal

written by Jeannette Musembi 14th June 2014

Yes, for those who are privileged to be attending the Koroga Festival edition 2 at the Arboretum Grounds, you will be greatly entertained by Senegalese singer and guitarist Baaba Mal. Kenyan musicians Chris Adwar and The Villagers Band, Aaron Rimbui, and Eric Wainaina will be setting the stage for Baaba.

He is the most internationally famous musician from Senegal afteYossou N’Dour

Baaba’s voice is deeply rooted in the African tradition but is at the same time incredibly modern and original. He has been touring the world with his band for the past three decades and has experimented with different fusions of traditional African music with latin music, pop or blues.

Baaba is also known for his personal commitment for peace and social concerns and his ambassadorship at the United Nations for Development.

Baaba Mal with Peter Olale Awuor | Director of Sales & Marketing InterContinental Hotel

Baaba Mal with Peter Olale Awuor | Director of Sales & Marketing InterContinental Hotel


What makes this talented African man tick? With a little help from our friends at InterContinental Hotel (which happens to be where he is staying for his duration in the country) we bring you this insightful interview.


First and foremost-How do you start your ordinary day? How does it end?

I start my day Like a car , very slowly . I do not like rushing through my day at all .  I start with meditation , breakfast then I flow into the day . but my evening’s are crazy . The total opposite of my morning .  I do not even know how to sleep early , I have dinner at about 11 then maybe go out dancing or a movie then just come home and sleep.


Did you always imagine yourself working in the Music/entertainment industry?

yes very much so , all I know is entertaining and only entertaining


If you weren’t in your current (musical) profession what would you be doing?

I cannot see myself as anything else


In this largely dominated and competitive field, what is your greatest selling point?

I believe it is the fact that I like doing or rather music has to come to me naturally.  So my greatest point is music comes naturally to me .


Is this your first time in Kenya? How do you find it?

It is my 3rd time actually




Any Kenyan cuisine that has stricken your fancy (or that you already like)?

The spicy Bhandini Indian food .  It is delicious .


Where are your favourite places to eat out; business lunches or leisure? 

My girlfriend does not agree with me but Los Angelos has great food joints .


Still on the same note, Are you a whiz in the kitchen or do you tend to order out when you have to fend for yourself?

I have come to love cooking and I make a mean Senegalese rice and Fish .


What inspires  what you do most?

I get my inspiration from everywhere , from travelling , people , talking to people and the airport .


Why the airport ?

All the cultures in one millisecond , the different faces, people at one place.


Is it your first time at InterContinental Hotel Nairobi ? What do you think ?

No actually, it is the 2nd time . Last time I was here I had the view of the highway, this time I am facing the parliament.  I love this place, I love how friendly they are, the security is tight here as well , I t is spacious and clean as well , the standards are high .





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