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A Manifesto by Amadou and MariamThe musical duo share their rules for life, music and work

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Amadou & Mariam

Who better to pass on words of wisdom than Amadou & Mariam? They are a musical duo from West Africa who met at Mali’s Bamako Institute for the Young Blind in 1975. Bound by their mutual love for music, Mariam and Amadou — who became blind aged five and 16 respectively — joined forces and set out on a life traveling the world together, playing Afro-blues and Malian rock to enormous crowds, while picking up and working with a whole host of incredible collaborators along the way.

Hailing from Mali, Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia first met as children at Mali's Institute for the Young Blind, as both lost their vision at an early age. It was here that they began performing in the institute's Eclipse Orchestra. Eventually the couple would marry and began recording together in the 1980s.

Over the span of three decades, Amadou (guitar and vocals) and Mariam (vocals) developed an international following having recorded eight full-length albums and toured around the world. Their album Welcome To Mali (2008) was nominated for the "Best Contemporary World Music Album" at the 52nd Grammy Awards. Tour highlights for the duo include supporting U2 on their U2 360 Tour, performing at the 2010 World Cup for FIFA's Kick-Off Celebration and performing alongside major acts across multiple genres such as Blur, Coldplay and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, among others.

Manifesto is a series on WePresent which invites activists and creatives with something to say to write 10 rules to live by, in order to help spread their message. The artwork on this page was created by Mirna Pierre.