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Bongo Sidibe

 Bongo Sidibe

If I were the Mayor of San Francisco, I would charge tech companies and corporations to build community places where kids can come and be exposed to art. I love Loco Bloco, because Loco Bloco is a good organization that is focused on kids from the Mission to Bayview-Hunters Point. A lot of the organizations I’ve worked with don’t even reach those neighborhoods. Those kids need it, too. That’s not how it should be.

Lots of people always say they want to have a community center but they don’t really know what a community is. In my Matoto community everybody knows me. I know everybody from the oldest to the youngest. I know each family and everybody’s name. We always greet each other and visit each other. You come to my house. I go to your house. We’re good friends who help and support each other. You see everybody every day. We don’t need to set up meetings because everyone talks to each other all the time. You see people from your community everywhere. That’s what we call community back home. You have to be a part of a community.

I am an artists and a drummer. An artist is a messenger, someone with positive ideas and solutions who can inspire people in the community. Djembe Bara is the original name of the drum I play. Djembe means “together,” and Bara means, “circle.” The two together, what do you call that? Unity.

With my art, I bring people together and when they see me on the stage it inspires. I build the community. Here in the US you live with people of so many different ethnicities, each celebrating their own culture. Artists are the ambassadors of these cultures. As a Guinean artist, I am an ambassador of African culture. I want to see all the Africans come together. And I’m not just talking about the black people. We really need to get together, even if you’re not black. 

Bongo Sidibe
Vocalist and Percussionist
Originally from Conakry Guinea