Charity, society, Travel

Baaba Maal Is Named A United Nations Goodwill Ambassador!

Baaba Maal has today been appointed by the United Nations as a Goodwill Ambassador, an honorary spokesperson representing the UN’s interests, raising awareness and mobilising support.

Seeing no difference between reaching people as a musician and as a humanitarian, between being the Voice of Wakanda in Marvel’s Black Panther films and energetically advocating urgent and constructive environmental action, his new role will expand on work he has been doing as a Land Ambassador with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

“Being made a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador opens up new possibilities for me. It will help me to do more and give more and continue the progress I have been working towards over the last few decades with my music and my band and my community projects in Senegal. It enables me to knock on more doors when it comes to the religious and political leaders and the banks and institutions who have the power to create opportunities for people. I can advise the leaders and bankers and hopefully influence their decision making on agriculture, fishing, education, the restoration of land, the fight against desertification and the terrible impact of climate change.

I can do more to give power to people who need that power to do things for themselves and not have to rely on help that often never comes. I can do more for the young people and the women fighting so hard to get where they want to get. As a Goodwill Ambassador I can talk on their behalf and help them talk for themselves. It is always difficult to achieve change, there are always struggles and obstacles, but this is not a reason to not try. If you play your role and someone else plays their role and you work together it can make things happen. I have my role and I am very happy to take on this new responsibility, to show that Africa is moving forward and will continue to do so.”

Baaba Maal
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The Black Panther Original Score

This year saw the release of the seminal Marvel film The Black Panther. The film has been a huge block-buster success and one of the drivers of the film’s intensity is the original score.

Baaba Maal and members of his band were invited to collaborate with Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson to create an epic score with authentic African flavour.

The original score is out now on amazon and other major retailers



In the video below, Baaba explains how the collaboration came about and the impact of the film on Africa and the diaspora.

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Travelling Light – Baaba Maal in a rare solo performance (new date added!)

Book tickets now to get rare access to an intimate show with Baaba Maal.

Baaba will be performing solo – without his band the Daande Lenol or his group of travelling musicians. This pared down performance is bound to captivate with Baaba’s voice taking centre stage.

The first show will be at London’s Union Chapel on Thursday 26 April 2018. Be sure to reserve your  tickets soon as this event is likely to sell out quickly due to it’s very special format and nature.

UPDATE: the show on the 26th is now SOLD OUT but we are pleased to announce a second London date. Baaba will be performing again on the 27th April so if you haven’t picked your ticket up yet, you’re in luck. Get in there quick before this night sells out too.

For tickets and info please click here

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‘For years I have been discussing global sustainable development with many amazing organisations, including Oxfam and the UN,’ says Baaba Maal.

‘And now I have decided that this is the time for me to create a means to help people to set up their own sustainable businesses.

‘This will be under the umbrella name of my organisation NANN-K.’

NANN-K will liaise between people who wish to progress in agriculture but are unaccustomed to dealing with the financial institutions who can further their plans. NANN-K will act as a gatekeeper, taking on the task of organizing funding, either from government loans or through commercial, private financing.

A Pulaar word, ‘NANN-K’ tellingly translates as the phrase ‘Listen to this.’ And in its original language spells out the initial letters of the five crucial elements with which it will be concerned: Agriculture; Fishing; Livestock Farming; Culture; and Technology Access.

The notion of NANN-K came to Baaba Maal in a midnight reverie.

But the project is far from being a dream.

The intention of NANN-K as an organisation is that it will support people from Senegal, Baaba Maal’s own country, and then throughout Africa, in developing a career in agriculture – through farming the land, raising animals, and fishing. All these are time-old rural pursuits but they have never been organised or brought into the 21st century, let alone combined with the latest digital thinking.

Thinking locally, acting globally, NANN-K was first started in the northern Senegalese region of Saint Louis and Podor. Purposefully targeting young people, it has organised start-up loans and developed apprentice schemes. NANN-K encourages the creation of
cooperative structures, allowing small family farms to remain independent whilst tapping into a larger support network.

NANN-K also interfaces with the Senegalese government: the NANN-Kk agricultural structure permits considerable opportunities for dialogue and cooperation between farmers and the government.

NANN-K was launched in Dakar on March 28th 2016, International Woman’s Day, with a concert by Baaba Maal. The date was chosen to honour the involvement of women in the development of business in Africa. There has since been a first anniversary show at Dakar’s Amadou Barry stadium.

On May 6 at Zenith in Paris there will be a Daande Lenol concert, featuring special guests, to launch the project to the African diaspora.

‘It is very important that the diaspora become involved,’ says Baaba Maal. ‘The diaspora are already trying to help in their own ways andNANN-K will assist them to do this by creating transparency and giving them opportunities to help the communities as a whole, not just individuals.

‘I intend to be the voice for the people in Africa’s rural communities: I want to offer them a chance to be part of the future development of Africa.’


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