Omar Camara

Omar Camara, the man who talks with the Mandinka drum!

Kairo Radio is filled with rich cultural performances all day today. We are featuring the legendary drummer for Jaliba Kuyateh with his own drumming variations from the Manden repertoire. Omar Camara alias ‘General’ is from a family of drummers, and he carried the profession with him to Brikama, where Jaliba Kuyateh head hunted him to be the custodian of the three Mandinka drums (Sabar, Junkuran din and Junkuran baa).

Omar played more than seven different drum beatings for different occasions. Deep in the Maindinka Kombo to upcountry, each occasion demands a different drumming. Tune in and hear Omar Camara as he explains the meanings of all his beatings. The most amazing part of Mr. Canada’s narration is that drums can speak and that drummers use drums to communicate.

Mandinka drums indeed speak!

“If a drummer is thirsty, he can pass the message without speaking. And also, if  one drummer in the group drifts away from the others whilst performing, the other drummers can call his attention in the drums”.
Omar Camara, whose father the late Sanusi Camara hailed from Niamina Kudang in Central River Region, played drums for the chiefs and local leaders. He communicated to the elders in drumming tunes. “We greet traditional rulers with the beating saying nansun nafo, afele nkunto’  meaning my leadership hat is on my head”. Traditional Chiefs were then identified with their hats.
Omar played beatings involving circumcision, wrestling, male singers tunes, common women dance beatings and many more. Stay tuned with Kairo Radio every day for your rich variety of history, tradition, religion, politics, dialogue and culture.
Also on the radio, we have our Jahanka marabou cum singer. Surahata who hails Guinean is also another distinguished guest on our today show. Thanks to Yaya Dampha, Mustapha Sawo and Alieu Jabbi for being part of the panel.

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