Bamanankan Credits


The Club of Friends of the National Languages of Mali (C.A.L.A.N.-Mali) was founded on May 12, 1991 at Banguineda. Today the headquarters of the association is in Bamako. Calan-Mali is led by a 13 member administration democratically elected by a national general assembly. Its objectives are: to contribute to increasing the literacy rate; to translate cultural, scientific, and technical information; to produce educational textbooks; the support local governments; and to develop competencies within the association in order to promote research and its application towards development. The current president is Mahamadou Kònta. Another key member of Calan-Mali is Salif Sogoba.

Le Club des Amis des Langues Nationales du Mali a vu le jour le 12 mai 1991 à Banguinéda. Aujourd’hui, le siège de l’association est à Bamako. Calan-Mali est dirigé par un bureau de 13 membres élus démocratiquement par une assemblée générale souveraine. Ses objectifs sont: contribuer à l’augmentation du taux d’alphabétisation; traduire des documents d’information culturels, scientifiques et techniques; produire des manuels didactiques; appuyer les collectivités décentralisées; et développer des compétences au sein du club en vue de promouvoir la recherché et son application aux domains de développement. Le Président actuel est Mahamadou Kònta. Un autre member important du Calan-Mali est Salif Sogoba.


Musa Jaabi is an author and a researcher from Mali who has written numerous works in Bambara and Khassonke, translations, glossaries, and grammars including the translations into Bambara of The Constitution of Mali, the Charter of Parties, and the Electoral Code (1992); Health and Agriculture Lexicon (1993); Social Sciences Lexicon (1993); Khassonke Grammar (1994); Elements of Linguistic Policy of Mali (1997); and Donniya Feere [Market Knowledge] (1997). The author has the Master of Arts in Philology and the Diploma in Translation. He is a specialist of literacy, adult education, and linguistics, coordinator of the project Dictionnaires plurilingues africains (Member countries: Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal), and Provisional General Administrator for the Karanta Foundation in Bamako, Mali.

Kassim KONE

Born in 1960 in Kolokani, Republic of Mali, Kassim Gaoussou Kone attended in succession the Fundamental School in Kolokani, and the Bouillagui Fadiga Lycée of Bamako. He attended the Ecole Normale Supérieure from 1982 to 1986. In his youth, as a student of English, he came into contact with American academics and graduate students who had come to Mali to do research. With his knowledge of English and French, he then learned independently how to write his maternal language, Bamanankan. He found gainful employment interpreting and translating for such researchers, and also in transcribing and translating recorded materials and film for them in his language. These formative experiences created opportunities for him, which eventually brought him toward the possibility of continuing his studies in the USA. Kassim traveled to Bloomington, Indiana in 1989, and pursued graduate study in linguistics and anthropology while teaching Bamanankan to American students and participating in research on his language. He also pursued graduate study at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts in the 1990s, while also teaching Bamanankan at Boston University. He completed his PhD in Anthropology in 1996, writing his dissertation on the anthropology and folklore of the Bamanankan proverb and its use in society. Today he is a tenured professor in Anthropology and Sociology at the State University of New York at Cortland, from where he continues to produce not only academic publications but also literature to contribute to the print environment in Mali in his maternal language. His monolingual dictionary of Bamanankan is one of the first of its kind in West Africa.

Mahamadou KONTAH

Mahamadu Konta is a Malian linguist and an activist for the promotion of the use of Mali’s languages. He is one of the founders and the President of Le Club des Amis des Langues Nationales au Mali which was established at Baguineda, Mali, in 1991. His tireless efforts have contributed to enhancing the status of Malian languages in Mali.

Konta was born in Bamako in 1957. He studied at a Qur’anic school and continued in the government school system. After graduating from the ENSec-Badalabougou, he worked in San, Dili, Dioliba, and Baguinda and returned to Bamako in 1995 to study national languages at ENSup. His first book was published in 1995: Npalan, a collection of poems in Bambara.


Salif Sogoba is an officer of a Malian non-governmental organization, C.A.L.A.N., a group devoted to pursuing the promotion of the use of Malian national languages. The association has collectively edited various publications in Malian languages, including the publication Nsiirinw! Nsanaw! Ntenntenw!(2000), a collection of tales, proverbs, and riddles in Bamanankan.


Daramani Tarawele (Dramane Traore) is a Malian civil servant who has been working for decades in Mali’s national literacy service. He is a prolific author who has published his own works. He was born in 1948 in Sikasso, Mali and earned many diplomas and certificates, including his first diploma in pedagogy in 1966 and a diploma from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Bamako. He has also won many prizes, including the 1995 Winner of the Post-Literacy Literary Competition organized by UNESCO and its West African Bureau in Dakar, Senegal and the 2001 Winner of the Kadima International Prize from the Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie. He has published over 100 titles in his first language, Bamanankan, including Ségu Bamanannw, kaarata Bamananw Masina fulaw = Royaumes Bamanan de Ségou et du Kaarta – Royaume Peul du Macina (1995); N y’a da surukuba la = L’hyène (1996); Bamanankan sebenni sariya = La grammaire bamanan (1996); et Jatekalan = Arithmétique (1998). In 2001, he edited the first issue of Nafarima, a bi-monthly magazine on development and history in Mali. Many of his works on adult education and training have also been translated into the other national languages of Mali.

%d bloggers like this: