Drumming is a profound part of who I am; it is what I was born to do. My father was a drummer and when I was a youth in the village I would often see my family perform. He and his brother had a group, watching them drum, dance, and sing was my first inspiration. While I was growing up in Guinea I formed a group with friends of mine. We would play together on plastic bottles and pieces of metal. I drummed all the time, even into the night. Soon I had all the neighbors complaining when they could not sleep, they would say, “he’s going to be a drummer.” That’s where my name originated; you see, “Fana” is from a Susu proverb for the future.
My professional career began in 1990 when my big brother’s wife brought me into the group Macaca Ballet to play djembe. After this group I began playing with another private ballet called Kounkoré Bamba Ballet. Later, I joined the Fareta Ballet, where I got my attestation – a certification of my artistic excellence – in 2000, this allowed me to work with the national groups.
I was named “Master Drummer” by the Guinean Ministry of Culture in 2008. As a performer I have been a featured soloist for two national groups of Guinea, Percussions de Guinee and Les Ballets Africains, for over 8 years. I have also served as Percussion Director for Fareta, a Guinean ballet company founded by Karim Keita (of Ballets Africains), for over 9 years. My own ensemble, Sekha-Kan Kolon, tours throughout Guinea performing and animating ceremonies throughout Guinea.