Singer/guitarist Fatau Keita last week thrilled music fans with fantastic live performance at this year’s edition of Market for African Performing Arts (MASA Festival) 2018 held in Abidjan.

Fatau Keita, who uses traditional instruments in composing his lyrics, represented Ghana at the festival. He was among some selected Africa artistes who rocked the stage during the festival.

The artiste, who performed with his Naawuni Bie Band, performed several of his hit songs at the festival and enjoyed a good response from the audience.

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During his stage performance, Fatau Keita won the hearts of many with his exquisite stagecraft, which left no doubt that he is truly a renowned musical icon.

Clad in a rather funky costume, the young singer and his Nawuni Bie Band turned the auditorium into an African groove with a cogent repertoire while gradually seeping into a robust one as the night progressed.

“It’s amazing to see a band with such an amalgam of refreshing rhythms and close harmonies that tend to celebrate African creativity and excellence,” Mali Seck, a music student in Dakar, Senegal, said.

In another performance at the same venue, reggae star/radio presenter Blakk Rasta became a beaming light of joy and humour to everyone – indeed, a ringleader of escapism as he interspersed his performance with anecdotes.

Alongside a cool presentation of a dramatic fusion of reggae with traditional Ghanaian rhythms – which he calls ‘Kuchoko’ – Rasta moved in a zigzag formation as he interacted with his instrumentalists and the audience alike. Blakk Rasta drew applause when he introduced and performed a famous tune he composed in honour of former US President Barack Obama.

“It’s an amazing presentation of yet another synthesis of reggae through a fascinating blend with African musical resources – it simply shows the power and capacity of African rhythms,” Assan Diarra, a writer from Bamako, Mali, added.

Over 70 music, dance and theatre groups alongside poets, storytellers, slammers and street artists from various countries in the world performed during the festival, which ended last Saturday, March 17.

From John Owoo, Abidjan, Ivory Coast