International recording artists and Kora musician Sona Jobarteh speaks about her love for West African music


The history of a woman's status in the world have long been to ONLY acknowledges the achievements of the male species, and present females as lesser, subservient and useless, and anyone who dared to differ would be met with violence and death. Sona Jobarteh was born in an African lineage in Gambia which was of that culture. They have long been a musical line who were masters of the ancient Kora string instrument and have only passed the skills onto the male offspring, but Sanjally Jobarteh, father of Sona, made the decision to break that status quo and taught her the magic of the perfect instrument, and she has made an impact globally with her music.

It is unfortunate that many misinformed folks compare the Kora to the European "harp" as if the Kora is somehow an inferior copy. It's the other way round. The word "harp" is old Norse meaning "to pluck" and was created long after the first European heard the Kora and Egyptian Benet in African royalty and wanted to take that sound to Euro monarchy, in the same way they took all the property of the African continent.

The earliest record of African string instrument is about 2500BC and it is called Benet or Lyre


The largest audience and supporters of Kora music have long been white folks. When Sona plays to an audience, it tends to be in Europe and maybe 1% is black. It is sad that so-called "educated negros" know all about European history and ignore their own ancient greatness.


Sanjally Jobarteh


Dad and daughter Kora jam session