|Baaba Maal's African World|
Paula: I know that AIDS is a social issue you are very passionate about. Why is this particular issue so important to you?Baaba Maal: It is important because I talk to the young generation that is trying to do something in Africa to make some changes and participate in the emancipation or development of our countries -- it is mostly the young people. When you talk about AIDS, it is something that can stop any kind of development because you have to be healthy to be able to work or to sing or to participate in the development. Also, I know by travelling that the information about AIDS and how to stop it, and how to take care and protect yourself, doesn't come to certain parts of Africa like small villages where people don't understand English or French. All the information passed around is in two languages and people don't understand it, especially the older generation who sometimes make a barrier to talk about sex or all this kind of stuff with the younger generation. I think because the music I am doing goes not just to the younger generation, but the older generations too, I really wanted to use this opportunity to talk to them about this, to make them understand and to be involved about how to try to stop this disease. Paula: Are there other social issues you feel you have to speak out about? Baaba Maal: Yes, I participated in a lot of things, even before I participated in the AIDS thing. We have an opportunity to work with a lot of associations, especially in Senegal. We play concerts and the money we get from the concerts we use to try to build classrooms or health centres or other places that people can use. The music belongs to all of us. We get names, we get opportunities and I think it's what we can bring back. And also the music in this environment in Senegal is not just commercial, it's music for the society. Paula: What are your goals as a musician? What do you hope to accomplish with your music? Baaba Maal: To make people know my country, Senegal, much better, the culture there, and to try to get people to be interested in certain countries in Africa because I really think we can do a lot of things together. It is going to be very helpful for these countries in Africa and also all the people who will come there and discover a lot of things can be done together.
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