This is a Mandinka Christian worship song. Elfi Bohl (WEC missionary from Switzerland) had a great desire for the Gambian church to create culturally relevant Christian music. After living in the Gambia for 9 years she had opportunity to buy a Kora, an instrument traditionally played by jali (men through whom information was passed on to a village or town). Now that radio and TV provide the news, these Kora players have become respected entertainers.
Elfi says, 'After I had presented the first song in public, in a church service, and received a lot of encouragement to continue, my confidence grew and I asked the Lord to confirm that He wanted me to develop this ministry. A visit to Guinea, where the songs and music had an impact on the Muslim audience, was the final and strongest sign for me to become the first Christian jali, and to present the word of God with the Kora to Gambian people.
'In 2000 I had opportunity to play on all kinds of occasions, including celebrations in the Muslim community. The radio asked for an interview. One Christian programme is using the tape every week. This strange jali even appears on TV because I have been invited to official events, which have to be covered by the media.'
Style: Gambian traditional
Composer: Mariyama Suso, Gambia, 1999
Recorded: Artline, Thomas Külbl, CH-Benken, www.artline.ch, 1999
Vocals: Elfi Böhl
Instruments: Elfi Böhl (kora)
Contact for track: Elfi Bohl
Full title: Barakoo (blessing)
Local title: Barakoo
Copyright: ©2002 Elfi Bohl