Humans of Africa: Cheick (Mali)

Mali

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“When I arrived in Mali I had in mind to start this café-pastry shop so when my friend brought it up, I suggested joining him to start the business together.”

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Cheick, Human of Africa

 

“My first passion is basketball, my second is IT – also the world in which I’m growing in. My third passion is music. Actually, there is a tie for first place between basketball and music! For music we have launched Diofou; the enterprise has been in place for about ten years, but it’s only been official since 2012. We produce and distribute music. The production piece is about artistic production and the distribution entails putting it up for downloads. We are open to work with artists other than Malian artists. The next thing we want to do with Diofou is start a clothing line for women – we’re planning to launch in 2017. Ultimately, Diofou is meant to be a portal for Culture.” Check out www.diofou.com for more!

“So many things make me proud of being Malian! For one we are open. During my time in Canada I’ve met many groups of Malian, coming from all over. But one thing I’ve observed is that we all had friends in different social groups.”

“Another thing that makes me proud is that we always think of home no matter where we are. I’ve read that the money sent to Mali by the diaspora is greater than the international aid given to Mali. Even the illegal immigrants abroad send something back, and that’s because those who leave Mali all leave with the intention of repatriating and helping the country. And for those who do come back after some time spent abroad – it’s a real challenge but it’s worth coming back to build something in your own country.”

“When I arrived in Mali I had in mind to start this café-pastry shop so when my friend brought it up, I suggested joining him to start the business together. We wanted to start something similar to Tim Hortons or Starbucks, to offer a place where people could have a nice breakfast with good coffee and hot chocolate, and light salted dishes – everything around us offers African food. The café is located in the business district, so a lot of people order coffee outs. For the Canadians out there, we’ll soon have a place where people can get a good poutine!” Check out the place at www.lespot.ml built and developed by Cheick himself

“The first thing that pushed me to return to Mali is the fact that we are 4 boys and we were all abroad, and the parents are getting older. I have twin sisters at home but the culture calls them to eventually join their husband’s family. The second reason was that I was leaving Canada with the assurance of having a job secured upon getting to Mali; I wasn’t leaving with this uncertainty. You wonder if it’s worth leaving, but the opportunities are worth returning for. What was difficult was the transition at the beginning – things like the fact that you’re paid monthly here, whereas in Canada it was bi-weekly.”

“If you visit Mali you should experience the Malian hospitality. Often times with poverty people forget, but we are a very hospitable People. One should also enjoy the beautiful sites such as Tombouctou, which I have yet to visit myself! Another thing not to miss out on is the food; there is a lot of resemblance with countries like Senegal but the traditional Malian cuisine is special. Tégédégè (peanut butter stew), or our special way of making mbachi (couscous that keeps the color of mil), zamê (a rice cooked in fish stew) as well as (a dish made with maize flour and water and eaten with different sauces) and beans are all dishes you should try out!”

“Despite the conflicts, whether they are ethnical or religious, I am proud that despite the mess there is always a call for peace. We’re grateful that we never got caught up in a religious or ethnical war, we knew to stay away from that.”

“I would say that the restaurant is my biggest highlight. It’s the first thing I’ve ever realized that was concrete. At work, I develop websites that help people and make their jobs easier, but the restaurant is something that is physical and visible. The possibilities are infinite! We’ve had the chance to travel and see other things that we can bring back and adapt to our environment. To see this idea take life is very gratifying.”

By | 2016-10-25T00:30:19+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Humans of Africa, Uncategorized|1 Comment

About the Author:

Nomad is a Sista Tweet blogger, co-creator, External Relations Manager and Strategic Thinker.
She’s a lover of international cultures and foods and when she’s not on Sista Tweet or growing her career at her day job, she’s busy planning her next trip around the world.

One Comment

  1. Cheikh October 12, 2016 at 21:25

    You’re on the right path brother, proud of you ! Keep it up, don’t give up , good luck

Comments are closed.

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