[Mansa-l] Fwd: Memorial Donation to Sekou Camara's Family

David Conrad basitigi at sbcglobal.net
Sat Jan 5 13:05:40 CST 2013

Memo to MANSAdenw who knew Kabaya Sekou Camara and sent donations to  
our Secretary-Treasurer:

This morning I notified Dianna Bell that I'll be leaving for Bamako a  
week from Monday, on January 14th.
Dianna was planning to send me the donations as soon as I got final  
approval of my trip, so I assume I'll be delivering the funds.

A couple of points re: the message below from our brother Berte.
I'm familiar with the (not at all unusual) complications involved in  
the family matters, and by following the normal Mande protocols and  
with Berte's very well-informed guidance, the funds will be  
appropriately delivered and distributed to where they need to go.

This is an unusually short trip for me (only two weeks), so I'm not  
sure I'll be able to get down to the home village of Kabaya in Wasulu.  
It's a lot easier to get there now than it used to be, so I'll do my  
best. In any case, #1 wife Tata (mother of nine of the children) is in  

A couple of points of clarification:
The brother Berte mentions whose mother was from Timbuktu ( she was  
married to Seydou Camara when he was stationed there in WWII), is one  
I've known as Mamadi since 1975 in Kabaya. Mamadi has resided in  
Timbuktu for several decades, but has probably moved back south under  
the present circumstances.

Given the circumstances of how Sekou acquired his new wife Bintou  
Sidibe, it is not surprising that Berte was was unable to be entirely  
accurate about how that happened. Bintou was presented to Sekou by  
appreciative elders, but not from his home village of Kabaya. In 2010,  
Sekou was working with me in Kankan, and it was his first ever visit  
to Guinea (and to the elaborate tomb of the famous Karamogo who was  
his namesake.)  I didn't know it at the time, but after a few weeks  
when Sekou left me to return to Bamako, he went first to his father's  
home village of Balandougou, which is in Guinea.

Six months later in 2011 in Bamako when I met with Sekou to arrange to  
have him join me again in Kankan, I learned that when he had arrived  
at Balandougou in 2010, the elders expressed their delight at the  
visit of a long-lost son and their determination to create a renewed  
bond between Seydou's offspring and the home village, that they  
presented Sekou with Bintou (who already had an infant on her back).

So when Sekou showed up at Point Sud in 2011 with a lovely young  
Fulamuso and her baby, that was the explanation. Sekou was quite  
chuffed about his new wife, but those of you who knew him well might  
recall some of his hysterically funny monologues derived from his  
joking relations with Fulamusolu he encountered at various times (on a  
bus, in a market, on the street, etc.). Being married to a Fulamuso  
who could accurately be seen as a genuine "trophy wife," didn't change  
a thing. At one point when I complimented the young woman's classic  
Fulamuso beauty, Sekou leaned over with a frown, scrutinized her face  
very closely and replied, "Yes, but she does look like a monkey."

As I mentioned in my remarks after we heard of Sekou's passing, Bintou  
had recently given birth to a son with Sekou, and he had also adopted  
her other baby. We had a similar situation with a baramuso when Tereba  
Togola died, and were able to see to it that she was not left out of  
the benefits. I'm optimistic that  we can do the same in this case. If  
Bintou has returned to Balandougou (which I think would be the best  
thing for her and those two infants), I'll be back in Guinea on my  
next trip in a month or so, and will see what can be done in that  

With warm regards to all, David

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Berte Sekou <berthesekou at gmail.com>
> Date: December 14, 2012 4:18:57 AM PST
> To: Kassim Kone <Kassim.Kone at cortland.edu>
> Cc: MANSA <mansa-l at groups.txstate.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Mansa-l] Memorial Donation to Sekou Camara's Family
> Dear all greetings,
> I am writing to send you an informative message that might be  
> helpful in informing and instructing the MANSA memorial donation to  
> Kabaya Sekou Camara's family.
> Clearly, a MANSA donation will not only be representing a symbolic  
> reciprocation but also a unique blessing thatwill be furthering the   
> presence of MANSA as a family and a social network throughout Kabaya  
> Sekou Camara's family in Mali and West-Africa.
> Now is a time to share some details from a fragment of the lives and  
> experience that Sekou Camrara is touching. I am one of his ENSUP  
> classmates and I have the privilege of having nurtured a long time  
> friendship with him ever since we graduate from ENSUP.
> He is clearly from a big family and as he used to joke, a scattered  
> family: a part in Kabaya, Timbucktu and Bamako and in Guinee. As he  
> used to joke also, his children make a soccer team with the 11 field  
> players and the 5 substitudes.
> Mahaly Camara is his senior brother that our Seydou Camara got from  
> a Tamasheq lady in Timbucktu. His first son is a 30 years old boy;  
> who is mentally disabled, his mane is Sirmankan (Karamoko) Camara.
> On a key note, Sekou Camara as you likely know, and an American  
> woman helped in building a community health Center in Kabaya. The  
> Kabaya community elders offered him a young woman 2 years ago in  
> terms of community gratefulness.
> Her name is Bintou Sidibe. Bintou was waiting for a boy who is maned  
> Mamadou Baya Camara. Bintou went with Sekou Camara in Kankan to the  
> Moro Sidibe Clinic, where he tried to get his abdominal tumor  
> surgery done anew; but was advised to come back in Bamako, because  
> his physical conditions could stand a surgery in Guinee.
> The disturbing element of the present faimily picture is that, it  
> looks that Seydou Camara, the second boy that Sekou Camra and Oumou  
> brought in the world and Mamadou Baya Camara, the baby from Bintou  
> are facing problems with Tata Doumbia, his senior widow.  From what  
> Seydou told me last Monday, it looks that Tata is not looking a  
> Mamadou Baya Camara as a legetimate heir of Sekou Camara.
> My point is not that MANSA should be burdened with such a noisy  
> debate.
> However, my suggestion is that Mahaly Camara, Sekou Camara's senior  
> brother, Mamadou Baya Camara, the younguest son and the Camara  
> family in Kabaya and the entire community that the health care  
> center will be helping in Kabaya should be associated to the MANSA  
> memorial donation.
> FYI, I am listing the phone numbers of Mahaly Camara, Tata Doumbia,  
> Bintou Sidibe, Seydou Camara, (second son) in case you might want to  
> touch base with the family whenever convenient.
> Mahaly, (Moumourou)  Camara @ 71 59 87 08 & 73 33 29 04
> Tata Doumbia @ 73 49 39 43 (Sekou Camara's cell phone) & 78 06 46 44
> Bintou Sidibe @ 71 01 27 09
> Seydou Camara @ 76 17 51 74
>   Hoping that these lines are informative and wishing a blessed  
> week, please drop me a line when your time allows.
> Allah k'a jigi yoro nyan, (RIP).
> Berte
> On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 5:39 PM, Kassim Kone  
> <Kassim.Kone at cortland.edu> wrote:
> Greetings MANSADENW:
> I have received a few messages from MANSAdenw offering to send money  
> as a memorial donation to Sekou Camara’s family. We also discussed  
> this issue at our annual business meeting in Philadelphia.  To  
> facilitate this, I am proposing that those of you who have Paypal  
> accounts to send the money to mansa-treas at yahoo.com with the  
> instruction that it is a memorial donation to Sekou Camara’s family.  
> If you are sending a check, please send it also to Secretary- 
> Treasurer:
> Dianna Bell
> 823 Governor’s Drive
> Tallahassee, FL 32301
> Dianna will send the proceeds to a carrier going to Bamako. David  
> Conrad may be traveling to Mali in a few weeks, so the earlier you  
> send your contributions the better.
> Kassim Kone
> _______________________________________________
> Mansa-l mailing list
> Mansa-l at groups.txstate.edu
> https://groups.txstate.edu/mailman/listinfo/mansa-l
> -- 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> Berte, S.
> Manager of Agence du Patrimoine
> Culturel du Mali-SARL (APCM-SARL)
> sberte at uoregon.edu
> Moving on with indigenous people whilst preserving, promoting,  
> conserving our common cultural heritage resources and accommodating  
> with our cultural practices.
> _______________________________________________
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> Mansa-l at groups.txstate.edu
> https://groups.txstate.edu/mailman/listinfo/mansa-l

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