With peace steadily returning to the country, Cote d’Ivoire’s leading music diva Aicha Koné, is to end her three-year exile in Guinea and return home this month.
The Grammy award-winning musician sought asylum in Conakry in April 2011 at the height of the post-election conflict that pitted former President Laurent Gbagbo and incumbent Alassane Ouattara.
The conflict eventually snowballed into an ethnic-laced crisis that killed an estimated 3,000 people.
Aicha Koné was seen as a fan of Mr Gbagbo, whereas her compatriot and reggae icon Tiken Jah Fakoly, was perceived as being pro-Ouattara.
Indeed, pro-Gbagbo supporters pursued the reggae musician for allegedly fanning ethnic discord through his revolutionary songs.
Tiken Jah Fakoly, a Grammy winner himself, subsequently fled to neighbouring Mali.
The most illustrious of the Ivorian musicians, Alpha Blondy, remained neutral and selected to stay underground along with his microphone.
While in exile in Guinea, many likened Aicha Koné to the late South African star Mariam Makeba, who coincidentally was exiled for decades in Guinea during the apartheid era.
Aicha Koné’s homecoming will coincide with the second gala dinner of the Children Of Africa Foundation scheduled to take place on March 14 in Abidjan.
Often described as the ‘diva of Mandingo lyrics’, Aicha Kone has had a rich musical career spanning 35 years.
She continues to bask in the adulation of her fans who are mainly drawn from the Mandingo, one of the major cross-national ethnic groups of West Africa.
( Courtesy Africa Review……Source……Our Freelance Contributor in Senegal )