Ifang Bondi is one of the most exciting bands to emerge from Gambia. With their vocal harmonies set to the interweaving melodies of kora, guitar and keyboards and dynamic rhythms, the group has quickly risen to the forefront of the Afromanding sound.
Q magazine called their debut album, Gis Gis, released in 1998, "the best world music album of the year". Ifang Bondi, which translates as "be yourself" in the Fula language of the Fulani nomads, initially focused on the popular music of the western world. Beginning in the early-1970s, however, they switched their attention to their African roots. Representing the vision of bandleader Badou Jobe, formerly the bassist with the Super Eagles, Ifang Bondi also features Lin Diaw (guitar), Juldeh Camara (vocals), El Hadj Samb (lead vocals), Momodou Susa (kora, vocals, percussion), Ebou Gaye (African percussion, vocals) and Tafa Ndiaye (keyboards, Maniaye Diop drums). Members of the group also perform as Tiramakhan Ensemble, which showcases Susa's kora playing, and, Sabar Rek ("drums only"), which spotlights Ifang Bondi's drummers. In 1999, Jobe received a KORA All Africa Music Award as "Best Arranger", for his work on "Gis Gis." ~ Craig Harris