There are many notable artists with albinism. Salif Keïta happens to be my personal favorite. I discovered his music in the 1990’s. His music combines the rhythms of West Africa, Europe and the Americas. Born August 25, 1949 Salif is a direct descendant of Sundiata Keïta, the founder of the Mali Empire. However because he was born with albinism, Salif Keita was shunned by his community as albinism is seen as a sign of bad luck. As a young man he concluded he would live life on his terms and thus began his music career in the 1960’s.
In addition to being a renowned musical artist Salif Keita is an activist for the fair treatment of persons with albinism. The Salif Keita Global Foundation Inc. was founded in 2005.The mission of the organization is to create media awareness and educational campaigns geared toward providing the social integration and security of persons with albinism in Africa.
With the release of La Différence in 2009, Salif Keïta addressed his albinism in song for the first time. The title track is a celebration of acceptance.
La Difference Translation
I am a black My skin is white. And me I love it. This Difference is beautiful. I’m a white. My blood is black and I love it. It’s The Difference that is beautiful.
I would like us to understand each other in love. That we understand each other in love and in peace
Life will be beautiful. Everyone has his turn will have his love.
Life will be beautiful. Everyone in honor will have his happiness. Life will be beautiful.