This is part 6 of a 6-part series.
Some of the greatest songs come out of the most trying circumstances. Mandjou is one such song. It featured on the eponymous 1978 album and had been composed when members of the Salif Keita-led Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako were living in exile after having fled their home country of Mali in early August.
Keita, Kanté Manfila (a musical director) and six other bandmates had packed their bags in a hurry in the dead of night, then headed south to the Côte d’Ivoire border. They made the right decision, seeing as the authorities had been looking for them.