Home Uncategorized In Mali, the women ride.

In Mali, the women ride.

by Vickie Remoe
Mali women FLY
Mali Woman Ride
For many years Mali was the symbol of my African dreams, a land of great wonder, culture, and history. My best friend and I in the year we spent together in Paris, would spend hours flipping through the photography of Malick Sidibe at Georges Pompidou Library and we fell in love with Mali. The pictures juxtaposed different elements of life in Mali at the pre independence period. They were cool, funky, traditional but uniquely so, the women had exceptional hair. We didn’t know it then but those images inspired the creation of Aschobi Designs.

Six years later, after a less than glamorous 24hr bus ride from Dakar, and a 12 hr train ride from Kayes, I stepped off the train and after years of dreaming finally arrived in Bamako. The city was everything I expected and more but nothing could have prepared me for the women on bikes.

I like to think I know it all, but how is it I didn’t know about this? Women in Bamako fabulously dressed in their African attire, old, and young, slim and plump have mastered the bike. In Sierra Leone a woman on a bicycle would be special, let alone on a bike. Many people in Sierra Leone think it improper for a woman to ride a bicycle.

On paper you would assume that because of its status as a predominantly muslim country Mali’s women would somehow be less liberated than Sierra Leonean women. I saw everything to the contrary.

Mali will celebrate 50 years of Independence on September 22nd 2010.

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