Afronista Spotlight: Fatoumata Diawara Shares Personal Experience Of The 61st Grammy

Fatoumata Diawara
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Fatoumata Diawara delivers her song with pride and dignity
Fatoumata Diawara delivers her song with pride and dignity (Photo credit: 2FD-Design Facebook)

Africans live and breathe music. Through the ages, music has been a channel of communication.  For instance, it’s been a vital means of passing down cultural values from generation to generation. On this occasion, our Afronista Spotlight is on a singer with a magical voice. Fatoumata Diawara ‘shares her soul’ when she sings and conveys a profound message in a captivating manner.

This multitalented celebrity is also an actress, songwriter, and electric guitarist. Besides, her fashion choices befit those of a woman who speaks for African womanhood.  For example, Diawara rocks majestic African headgear and striking ethnic jewelry. Her rags-to-riches story is one that must be told.

Fatoumata Diawara releases her album: Fenfo

The word Fenfo means ‘’something to say” in the Bambara language. This is the national language of Mali, which is also known as the Bamana language. In this album, Diawara addresses  African themes, such as the intermarriage between ethnic groups.

Importantly, it also tackles universal concerns, like unrequited love. The album is a harmonious blend of the old and the new, delivered in a fresh, original style. Diawara celebrates her African heritage by singing all eleven songs in Bambara.

Diawara’s songs receive Grammy nominations

A Grammy nomination represents recognition of a musician’s art.  Firstly, performing for the attendees at the ceremony means unparalleled visibility for the artiste. In other words, it propels a singer to the public eye.  Thus it was a great honor for Diawara to receive 2 nominations at the 61st Grammy awards in 2019.

One nomination was for ‘‘Best World Music Album” for ‘Fenfo’ and the other for ‘Best Dance Recording’ for ‘Ultimatum’. At the ceremony, Diawara gave a glittering performance of the song ‘Negue Negue’ which means ‘’Let’s have fun’’. The song is from her album Fenfo. The singer looked stunning in a sunny yellow African headwrap and an intricately beaded neckpiece.

Fatoumata at the Grammy awards
Fatoumata at the Grammy Awards (Photo credit: Fatoumata Diawara Facebook)

The Grammy Experience

A Grammy nomination is an unforgettable milestone in an artists’ career whether or not they win. In an interview with BMart, this is what Diawara had to say about her Grammy experience:

‘’ It has been a great experience and a lot of exposure for myself, an African woman. Even if I did not win I was happy to be on stage and to perform on the pre-telecast. I have been waiting for this opportunity all my life, so I am very proud of that and very happy for the rest of the nominees and winners.’’

Montreux Jazz Festival In Switzerland

In July 2021, Fatoumata Diawara was one of the artists who braved the rain and pandemic restrictions to perform at a scaled-down version of the Montreux Jazz Festival.  This is a jazz festival that began in 1967 and takes place annually. Stars such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Lady Gaga have performed here. In 2020, the festival did not take place due to the COVID pandemic. Although the numbers were smaller in the 2021 version, the festival lost none of its vibrant, electric spirits.  Diawara delivered a charismatic performance of Afro-beats brought to life by both her guitar and her voice.

What Country is Fatoumata Diawara from?

Diawara was born in Ivory Coast in 1982, one of 11 children. Her parents were from Mali, and when she was 12 years old, she moved back there to live with her aunt. Later, at the age of 19, she fled to Paris to avoid entering into an enforced marriage.

Is Diawara Married?

Diawara is the wife of an Italian economist named Nicolo, and she has one son. In 2011, she took her husband with her when she went on an emotional journey to the Wassoulou region in Mali.  Subsequently, for the first time, she was able to immerse herself in the traditional sounds. Consequently, it helped her reconnect with her cultural roots.

What is Fatoumata Diawara’s net worth?

This talented songstress’s net worth in 2021 is about $19million. In addition to her successful career as a musician, Diawara has appeared in notable movie productions. She played the role of ”La chanteuse” in ”Timbuktu”, released in 2014, and was ”Bella” in ”Morbayassa”, also released in 2014.

Below are some of her most enchanting fashion choices:

Resplendent in Red

Fatoumata resplendant in red
Fatoumata resplendant in red (Photo credit: Fatoumata Diawara Facebook)

Red symbolizes passion and Diawara looks resplendent in a red brocade gown with a cowrie shell embellished belt around her waist. The white headdress picks up on the cowrie shells which are also present in the strikingly beautiful neckpiece.

Rocking Red and gold accents
Rocking Red and gold accents (Photo credit: Fatoumata Diawara Facebook)

Diawara looks dazzling in ruby and gold-rich ensemble comprising of a loose embroidered swing top won over narrow trousers. A beaded choker and yellow headwrap are the only accessories needed for this iconic outfit.

Sunny Shades From Fatoumata Diarra

Fatoumata Diawara in sunny shades
Fatoumata Diawara in sunny shades (Photo credit: Fatoumata Diawara Facebook)

Yellow is a happy color, and the royal blue accents render this outfit youthful and playful. Diawara adds a chic black bustier for a modern touch and tops it all with her signature headwrap.

 Basking in the color of sunshine
Basking in the color of sunshine (Photo credit: Fatoumata Diawara Facebook)

There is nothing like a beautifully coiled yellow head wrap to add a pop of color to an otherwise understated Ankara skirt and top. Diawara is adept at achieving attention-grabbing looks. To top it all, she dons geometric earrings as a striking accessory.

Fatoumata Diawara warms the heart in sunny shades
Fatoumata Diawara warms the heart in sunny shades (Photo credit: Fatoumata Diawara Facebook)

Another delightfully happy look from Diawara.  She tones down the bright tones of the Ankara skirt with a black embroidered sleeveless top but ties it all together with a cowrie shell belt and yellow beaded neckpiece. The headwrap matches the skirt for a harmonious look.

Looking Regal In White

Fatoumata looking majestic in white
Fatoumata looking majestic in white (Photo credit Fatoumata Diawara Facebook)

White is the color of purity, and Diawara adds a belt of white cowrie shells and a pale neckpiece to match the sleek ivory shift. The hot pink headwrap is a bold detail, and the ethnic print belt adds an undeniable African traditional flavor.

Fatoumata in pearly white tones
Fatoumata in pearly white tones (Photo credit: Fatoumata Diawara Facebook.)

Diawara makes clever use of a plain white shift to draw attention to her exotic accessories. The Egyptian-style headwrap, ornate earrings, and beaded neckpieces look stunning against the backdrop of the snowy white outfit.

Fatoumata Diawara Stunning in Royal Blue Elegance

The artiste looking elegant in royal blue
Fatoumata Diawara elegant in royal blue (Photo credit: Fatoumata Diawara Facebook)

The softly flowing royal blue fabric looks regal on Diawara and the accompanying tassel-edged shawl adds a dignified, look of noble simplicity. The headgear is wrapped around the head, spotting a simple knot at the top.

Lime Green Accents

Lime green accents from the singer
Lime green accents from Fatoumata (Photo credit: Fatoumata Diawara Facebook)

Diawara rocks this lime green two-piece batik creation. The outfit has a peplum ruffle top, and she pairs it with a full-skirted skirt and her signature two-toned headwrap.


Just like the African musicians of old, Diawara uses her musical talent to convey messages. For example, her track ‘Djonya’ protests against modern slavery. In this song, she declares that every member of the human race has the right to dignity and respect. Moreover, Diawara’s voice speaks credibly for African womanhood as she lends her voice to those who would otherwise not be heard.


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