Bobo Sin - Bwaba / Bwa - Balafonrhythms - Paul Nas
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Pentatonic balafon

Bobo Sin

Last update 18 October 2021

Dutch French

B Bobo Sin pays tribute to the city of Bobo Dioulasso. It literally means Bobo is good, is soft. (Youssouf says, “Bon et doux”). It is a rhythm / song created by Aladari Dembélé a Bwaba balafonist (from the Nouna region) who died in 2005. The song is in Bwamou, with a single Djoula / Bamabara word in it. In the original recording, for some, Bobo Sin (compared to the arrangement Youssouf made) is difficult to recognize. This Bobo Sin is based on its second version.

Bobo ssie lo Bobo, Bobo ssie papa ra a
Bobo ssie lo Bobo, Bobo ssie papa ra ka
Bobo Dioulasso is soft, is good, Bobo is good, yes really!
(sin; pronunciation ssie with a loud s)
Bobo Sia a-ouw-nitié, yan ka lou né ba ouw fo
All the people of Bobo: Thanks! (Anitié), all the people here; I salute you!

Bobo Sin

Aladari Dèmbèle (died 2005)

Recording “Sodassiya” by Aladari Dembélé from cassette



Recording “Voyassi” by Aladari Dembélé from cassette

From worldservice blogspot: “Sodassiya is a title that tells the story of a military service deserter in Burkina Faso, formerly Upper Volta. This story is told with humour in the language Dioula / Bambara.
It is said that it is autobiographical for the singer himself in 1978. Aladari, born in the province of Kossi in the Boucle de Mouhoun region in Burkina Faso, seems to have lived a fairly anonymous life as a musician, until he released this cassette with the title and released “Sodassiya“.


Youssouf Keita & Hakiri Koita, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, January 2020

Update history
  • 18 October 2021: Adjusted layout and made more compact.
  • 19 June 2020 : Added videolesson (in Dutch)
  • 19 June 2020: Added audio files 119 bpm
  • 6 June 2020: Added picture; Aladari Dèmbèle, the writer of the song
  • 10 May 2020: English and French version
  • 10 May 2020: Small adjustment in text introduction
  • 21 February 2020: New, Dutch version
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