Backlash Against African Artist After Ex-Wifes Claims

Story By: Ernest Bio BogoreSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency:  Newsflash

The ex-wife of Malian musician Sidiki Diabate has claimed that he used to beat her and once kept her captive at home for two months, leading to his arrest and several music companies breaking ties with him.

Diabate, 28, the son of great kora (stringed instrument) player Toumani Diabate, has been one of the most popular music artists in West Africa over the last decade.

Photos appeared online of a woman with injuries to her thighs, hips, and back that was later confirmed to be the musician’s ex-wife Mariam Sow.


Mariam Sow, 23, of Guinean-Malian background and known by the pseudonym Mamasita, confirmed that the photos “are from one year ago”.

She added: “I’ve been through worse than that, I wondered if he knew what he was doing”, referring to the “extension cord” blows the artist allegedly inflicted.

Sow also claimed that Diabate held her captive in their home for two months, eventually escaping when a “guy” watching her was distracted.


The images of Sow were widely circulated on social media with the hashtags #ShameOnSidiki, #JeSuisMamasita, and #BoycottSidikiDiabate.

Several NGOs also come out in support of Sow and encouraged her to file a formal complaint against her ex-husband.

According to the newspaper Le Monde, a complaint was filed on 18th September leading to the kora player’s arrest.


Awards shows where Diabate was nominated for gongs began to disassociate themselves from the artist.

On 21st September, the organisers of the African Muzik Magazine Awards (Afrimma) announced the “withdrawal of the nomination of Malian artist Sidiki Diabate”.

Meanwhile, the production company Universal Music Africa reportedly suspended “all forms of collaboration” with Diabate on 23rd September until the court renders its verdict.


Le Monde said the artist was served with a restriction order on 24th September.

Diabate said from prison: “I apologise to anyone who has been hurt by recent events. The situation is not easy here, but I am holding on.”

He added: “I ask all my fans to feel no hatred, no harm, against Mamasita.”


The musician said of his ex wife: “In seven years together, we shared the best moments and also some hard times. She has been manipulated because women are fragile, she is set up to hurt me and ruin my career.”

The investigation continues.

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