Makousa - Paul Nas
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M Makousa is a rhythm from Mali / Burkina Faso. Manou Dibango (from Kameroun) had a small hit with it (according to some the first disco-song!). Daga Madou Coulibali, from Kouana, in Mali, father-in-law of Youssouf Keita, has transformed the song for balafon.


Apolo Makousa, Apolo Makousa, Apolo Makousa, Apolo Makousa
Wa la le bwa Makousa
(or also Wa la la Bjo Makousa)


Makossa is a music style from Kameroun. In the Douala language from Kameroun it literally means “I dance”. In the Dioula, Makoussa would mean ‘adversity in life’ or ‘bad luck’. Apolo (in Djoula) is an eye infection. A kind of eye irritation that lasts about 2 to 3 weeks, and which is believed to be transmissible by looking at someone(!). Apolo also appears to be an ethnic group in Ivory Coast. Wa la la bwa (in the Bwaba) = I believe it, it’s true!

Michael Jackson was inspired by Manou Dibango for the song “I want to be starting’ something”.

I said you wanna be starting something, You got to be starting something
It’s too high to get over, too low to get under
You’re stuck in the middle, and the pain is thunder
mama se, mama sa ma makousa
(Inspired by that, I made patterns C and D myself)

Below is a recording made in Konsankuy in Mali in 2011. Three balafons are played by Youssouf Keita, Kassim Keita and Ali Keita (soloist).