B Burkina Faso has an open and tolerant culture. The name of the country is made up of words from two main languages and literally means: ‘The land of the honest man’. It is a poor country but people are just as happy as the people here in the Netherlands. There is little tourism and therefore a lot of authenticity and there is little affected by that tourism. Transport and food are good and from Brussels you fly directly to Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso
The Balafon is the heart of culture and tourists who are really interested in it are enthusiastically welcomed. But also the Djembé and the Ngoni are instruments that you can hear a lot and for which lessons can be organized. Fellow travelers who do not go special for music workshops can easily organize all sorts of other activities. That can vary from Brons casting to volunteer work at a school.
Y Youssouf Keita comes from a musical family; a griot family where the passion and knowledge of the balafon is passed on from father to son. His brother Ali Keita chose to explore the world and give concerts everywhere, Youssouf stayed in Africa to make his music there and build his balafons.
With his brothers he kept looking for innovations in the construction of the balafon. His balafons are now used by the best balafon players on earth and you can immediately order one with him or take them with you after a workshop.
He gives both group and individual lessons by appointment. He quietly teaches and is guided by the already present knowledge of rhythms and pedagogical skills of his students.
In January / February you can contact him for a tailor-made workshop. In a pleasant way he lets you get to know different rhythms of Bobo, the Dioula, the Bwaba and other ethnic groups that embrace the balafon culture.
H Hotel Zion in Bobo Dioulasso is a small scale hotel – restaurant – café. Located in the Kwinima quarter it is slightly higher than the center of the city and therefore has less problems with the (fine) dust that a busy city in West Africa entails. A simple but well organized hotel; it has seven rooms, two of which have a shower in the room. The other rooms use shared facilities that are kept clean by African standards. There is a solar terrace where you can also stay overnight under the stars. If you indicate it on time, fresh meals are prepared to your liking, but you can also order from a menu. There is a bar and a venue that is also used for workshops. Artists regularly come along to play, there are concerts and music can be made all day long. Adama and Odile are two Burkinabé who carry out the daily business. They are dedicated to their work and are ready for you all day. Always having a laugh and making contact with the guests; in short, a wonderful place to be in Bobo and take lessons in Burkina Faso!