Diabate, Sekou Bembeya
- Jeremy Rich
was born in the town of Thiero, Faranah region, Haut-Guinée province, Guinea, to El Hadj Djeli Fode Diabaté, one of the first men to play a Western-style guitar. Although Diabate’s father tried to teach him to play the large balafon xylophone, Diabate preferred the guitar as a boy. When he was to begin his primary education at a Muslim Quranic school around 1954, Diabate asked his father to buy him a National brand steel guitar. His early engagement with music was relatively unusual in the 1950s and 1960s, when many parents in different African countries did not consider music to be a viable career for their children. Diabate moved to the Guinean capital of Conakry in 1959 a year after the country gained independence from France A friend of Diabate s father Abou Camara allowed the young man to stay with him in the Bonfil neighborhood Diabate s ...