An African musician from Mali, Ballaké Sissoko who was on his US tour was disappointed when his traditional instrument Kora was found in pieces. Sissoko claims that his musical instrument was broken by US customs. He had completed his two-week successful tour through LA, Berkeley, Miami, Chicago and New York. He was on his way home and his instrument which was kept in the case, was in pieces! The kora is a traditional hand-crafted instrument and this one was tailor-made to Sissoko's specifications so it is impossible to replace! He posted pictures of his broken instrument on his Facebook page. The incident has sparked an outrage online.
The incident took place on February 4, when Ballaké boarded his Air France plane to Paris. His instrument was neatly placed in the case, but when he opened it later, he was shocked to find it broken in pieces. There was a little note inside from US Customs in Spanish, which claimed they had opened the case for inspection. TikTok Video of Canadian Teenager Getting a WHOLE Harmonica Stuck Inside Her Mouth Goes Viral.
"The neck of the kora has been removed. The strings, bridge and entire, delicate and complex sound system of amplification have been taken apart. The kora is in pieces. Even if all the components that have been dissembled were intact, it takes weeks before a kora of this calibre can return to its previous state of resonance. These kinds of custom-made koras are simply impossible to replace. They are certainly not available in shops," he wrote on Facebook.
Check Pics of Ballaké Sissoko's Broken Kora Instrument:
When the pictures came up on Twitter, a lot of people sympathized with the musician and were enraged at the actions of the officials. Check some reactions below.
This is just so wrong. I'm heartbroken.😢💔
— CarolFromColorado🆘️ (@Carol_Cook75) February 6, 2020
That Was World Heritage
I wish traditional instruments and musicians would be recognized as world heritage.
— Kirsten (@kirieliaison) February 6, 2020
Why Would They Do That?
Since when does US Customs check luggage *leaving* the US? And without the owner present to answer questions?
— Lee Harle (@llharle) February 6, 2020
Travelling to the US is difficult for African musicians because they have trouble getting visas. It is disappointing that a customised instrument which possibly cannot be replaced has been broken to pieces.