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Sekouba "Bambino" Diabate was born in a village 25 km from Siguri in the West African country Guinea, near the Malian border. Both his parents were griots, or "djeli", which is the word for blood in Mandinka. Sekouba Diabate's mother Marlama Samoura died young, Sekouba was not yet 3 years old, and he never got to know her properly. Still she became, through her songs, that Sekouba later heard on the radio, one of his most omportant musical inspirations. Young Sekouba early showed rare musical abilities, but his father was strongly against Sekouba becoming a musician by profession.