Ifang Bondi in the 1980'sIfang Bondi, meaning "be yourself" in Mandinka language, grew out of the former Gambian band called the Super Eagles. Founded in the 60's the Super Eagles was the undisputed top group in the Gambia and Senegal. In 1968 they toured Ghana, making an enormous impact with their very African sound in a country which was shortly to produce Osibisa.

In 1970 Super Eagles was disbanded only to rise up again in 1973, as Ifang Bondi. The name was new as the sound, featuring for the first time indigenous Senegambian rhythms, melodies and instruments. They integrated traditional instruments as kora, balafon, sabar, talking drum, bugarabu and djembe with mordern instruments as the electric guitar, base and keyboards.
As such they have been credited to be the true originators of the current "Afro-Manding" sound as extemporised by stars such as Yousou N'dure, Salif Ke´ta and Mory Kante.

Ifang Bondi - August 2000With the latest CD "Gis Gis" Ifangbondi celebrates their 25 years of existence with the leader bassist Badou Jobe who is the only original member remaining in the band. Badou Jobe has been with the Super Eagles from the beginning and has been the driving force in 1973 when the big change in style happened. The group lives in The Gambia and makes tours to Europe every year with a base in the Netherlands.

The current members are:
Badou Jobe
- bass
El Hadj Samb - vocals, percussion
Jali Momodou Suso - kora, vocals
Juldeh Camara - riti, vocals
Lin Diaw - guitars
Bassirou Mbaye - percussion: sabar, bugarabou, tama, djembe
Tafa Ndiaye - keyboards
Ibou Gueye - drums


El Hadj Samb and Jali Momodou Suso
Lin Diaw and Juldeh Camara

  Badou Jobe does Gambia proud at Kora awards

Article from Daily Observer of September 6, 1999

Badou Jobe with kora awardVeteran Gambian musician, Badou Jobe, has been named Africa's Best Music Arranger in this year's 1999 Kora Music Awards. Kora is the leading annual pan-African music awards.

Mr Badou Jobe is the first Gambian to win this award. The award ceremony was attended by Nelson Mandela, pop star Michael Jackson and other distinguished personalities from Africa and abroad. The Kora awards were televised live to more than a hundred million viewers worldwide and was hosted in Sun City, South Africa.

Mr Badou Jobe's music career spans more than 37 years. He started his career in the late 50s with Foyer band (Hill Street) and later joined African Jazz. In 1968, he and his friends started Super Eagles, which metamorphosed into Ifang Bondi, arguably The Gambia's greatest band yet.

Badou Jobe started as a plumber but quit his trade when he taught himself to play the guitar in the '50s.

Speaking to Daily Observer yesterday, former band member Oussou SÚnor Njie, said, "This is a very big achievement for The Gambia and a big boost for our fledgling music industry. Badou's achievement was a result of hard work and dedication. I urge young musicians to work hard if they want to achieve what Badou achieved."

Mr Jobe has been living in Holland for the past 15 years, where he still maintains the Ifang Bondi logo.

Juldeh Camara on the Riiti


E-mail Ifang Bondi: mail@ifangbondi.demon.nl

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