16th edition of FEMUA: First Lady Dominique Ouattara appreciates Magic System’s humanitarian commitment

12 schools built across Côte d’Ivoire, including 2 in Anoumabo, a maternity hospital in Yamoussoukro and a reception center for orphaned children in Bingerville. These are the humanitarian results of previous editions of the Anoumabo Urban Music Festival (FEMUA). The First Lady, Mrs Dominique Ouattara, took the opportunity to express her congratulations to the organizers during the opening ceremony of the 16th edition of the Festival, on Tuesday May 14, 2024, in Anoumabo.

With the crucial theme of “youth mental health”, this year’s edition was an opportunity for Mrs Dominique Ouattara to salute the humanitarian commitment and determination of the Magic System group to give the FEMUA its fame.

In her address, the First Lady praised the ever-growing reputation of the FEMUA. For the wife of the Head of State, the festival is not only one of the biggest on the continent, but also a platform for artistic expression, solidarity and development. “In sixteen editions, the FEMUA has become one of the biggest musical events on the continent. Every year, audiences from all over Côte d’Ivoire, as well as from many other African countries and around the world, have the pleasure of seeing the greatest artists of the moment perform on stage. It’s a real moment of communion, organized with great seriousness and commitment”, noted Mrs Dominique Ouattara. The wife of the Head of State also praised the social commitment of Traoré Salif and his band of gaous magicians. “I would like to salute the humanitarian commitment of the Magic System Group, who, in addition to being talented musicians, have decided to put their fame at the service of the underprivileged,” said Mrs Dominique Ouattara.

For this reason, the FEMUA remains the ideal platform to tackle issues related to youth mental health. For Mrs Dominique Ouattara, young people’s mental health is a major concern in many Western and African countries. Unfortunately, Côte d’Ivoire is no exception. “It is therefore essential that we join our efforts to support those who suffer in silence, and provide them with solutions and effective assistance. There are many stigmas surrounding mental health, and victims are often misunderstood and isolated,” she said.

As a solution, Mrs Dominique Ouattara proposed the creation of a caring environment where young people suffering from depression feel supported, assisted and cared for. The First Lady therefore welcomed the Magic System Foundation’s initiative to look into this little-known issue, in order to find remedies and solutions adapted to our environment. By committing themselves to the mental health of young people, FEMUA and the Magic System Foundation are continuing to work towards a better future for Ivorian youth.

Mrs Françoise Remack, Minister of Culture and Francophonie, congratulated the entire FEMUA  team on their promotion of urban culture. In her opinion, the FEMUA is one of the greatest African urban music festivals.

Ms Maria Conceiçao Evora, Minister of Social Communication, representing His Excellency Mr Umaro Sissoco Embalo, President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, accompanied by Mr Augusto Gomez, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, expressed Guinea Bissau’s pride at being the guest of honor at this 16th edition of the FEMUA. For the Bissau Guinean government spokeswoman, her country’s participation will not only promote its rich cultural heritage, but also strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

Mr. Traoré Salif dit Asalfo, lead vocal of the Magic System Group and General Commissioner of the FEMUA, unveiled the program and the main features of this year’s event. He revealed one of the innovations of this year’s edition, the Tradi FEMUA, which will be a cultural showcase for one of the country’s ethnic groups. As charity begins at home, this 16th edition will give the Atchan people the opportunity to showcase the richness of their culture to the many guests of the event.

Mr. Aby Raoul, Deputy-Mayor of Marcory, thanked the Presidential couple for their actions in favor of the development of his commune.

Mr. Djibril Ouattara, General Manager of FEMUA’s official partner, reaffirms his company’s commitment to remain alongside organizers of FEMUA.

The First Lady also offered gifts in kind and cash worth 18 million F CFA to the people of Anoumabo. Mrs Dominique Ouattara donated 500 VIP chairs, a 75-inch television, 4 splits and 2 computers for the new cultural center. She also donated 2 offices to the traditional chieftaincy. The value of in-kind gifts is estimated at 12 million F CFA. The wife of the Head of State also offered 6 million F CFA to the population.  The people of Anoumabo also presented gifts to the First Lady. They enthroned the First Lady as a daughter of the village. Now called “Achêbié”, which means “wise woman, intelligent woman and woman of light”, the wife of the Head of State belongs to the “Afiédo” family and is part of the “Tchagba Djehou” generation, the village’s ruling generation.

The ceremony ended with the laying of the foundation stones for the San-Pedro and Jacqueville schools, and the inauguration of the Anoumabo cultural center.