Ramata Diakité

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Ramata "Rah" Diakité (Madina Diansa, Wassoulou, 1976 - Burkina Faso October 30, 2009) was a Malian Wassoulou woman musician.[1] She was the cousin of Tata Diakité, who also died young.[2]

Life & Origins[edit]

Ramata was born in 1976. Although Ramata did not come from a family of traditional musicians, when she was about twelve, Ramata started humming to herself in secret, accompanying herself on a gourd. In Wassoulou (and other areas of Mali), music is usually created by those of a certain caste (jeli/griot), and it can be controversial for artists outside of these castes to perform. Salif Keita is likely the most prominent example of a non-musical-caste performer to confront and conquer adversity relating to these cultural restrictions.

Ramata's aunt, Djénéba Diakité, asked her to sing backing vocals on a cassette, which was the start of her musical career, even though Ramata's parents frowned on the idea. As a backing vocalist, Ramata's vocal potential was quickly spotted, and she gained concert experience thanks to trips to France and throughout Africa.

She was soon called upon as a vocalist by many artists and arrangers, notably Samba Diallo, Yoro Diallo, and Tenin Sidibé.

In December 1995 she recorded her first cassette, Artistes, a bestseller in Mali in 1996. She gave many concerts and took part, along with Salif Keita, in a Mali evening at the Cité de la Musique in Paris in October 1997.

Ramata died on October 30, 2009 in Burkina Faso of complications related to a year-long battle with Hepatitis A.


Ramata has performed with Salif Keita, Taj Mahal, Toumani Diabate, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ben Harper, and others.


  • 2008: Burutumu (to be released)
  • 2006: Maban
  • 2004: I Dansé
  • 2003: Djonya
  • 2000: Confirmation
  • 1998: Na
  • 1995: Artistes

Prizes and awards[edit]

  • 2006: Tamana d'Or, Top Musician in Mali (co-winner with Salif Keita)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Burkina Faso: Décès de la chanteuse malienne Ramata Diakité." Archived 2009-12-25 at the Wayback Machine. Jeudi 7 Octobre 2010
  2. ^ Bamanet "Comme sa cousine Tata Diakité, Rah s'est éclipsée de la scène à la fleur de l'âge"

External links[edit]