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The Call to sing and dance first came to Sidiki Conde in a dream he had after he lost the use of his legs when he was fourteen. Music and dance became his transcendance and his vocation. Conde founded Message de Espior (The Message of Hope) a music and dance ensemble in 1986 with other artists with disabilities he met in Conakry the capital city of Guinea.  Conde toured West Africa with Messsage de Espoir giving performances and working to change perceptions of disabilities.

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My birth roughly coincides with Guinea's independence from French colonization, and I came of age artistically in a country whose president, Sekou Toure, considered culture to be its greatest national resource. The national dance and music ensembles rehearsed in the presidential palace. During this time and at the behest of Toure, myself and other artists traveled to remote villages to learn the songs and dances of Guinea's 26 different ethnic groups in order to preserve and celebrate the rich cultural diversity of Guinea and unite the country. 

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I have performed with West Africa's premier music and dance ensembles, including the prestigious Les Merveilles de Guinea, which I joined in 1987. Merveilles founder, Kemoko Sano, trained me in the traditional music and dance of the company's repertoire. I performed as a soloist in the troupe. Receiving the post of rehearsal master in 1988, I also composed and directed the company's musical arrangements.

SIDIKI trailer: Isaac Brown's documentary about Sidiki's life and work in Guinea and in New York City.