"Solomana Kanté", the inventor of the N'ko alphabet: a map of his life

Sulemaana Kantè (“Solomana Kanté” on Wikipedia) was a West African intellectual who invented the N’ko alphabet primarily for writing and unifying Manding (Bambara, Dioula, Maninka and Mandinka). Here’s a map of his life and times that I recently adapted from my dissertation on the N’ko movement of today.

Map of the life of sulemaana kante inventor of the n'ko alphabet

It depicts the major invents of Kantè’s life:

  1. His birth outside of Kankan in 1922 where was born and raised until the death of his father in 1941.

  2. His initial travels west after he decided to leave home. He turned back and decided to head east and south after arriving in Kouroussa.

  3. His journey south towards Bingerville, then the French capital of the Côte d’Ivoire colony. Along the way, he made a major stop in Bouaké. It was there that he encountered a piece of work in Arabic that insulted African languages for having no grammar and being worth teaching. This galvanized him to demonstrate that his language was logical and could be written in a coherent way.

  4. His residence in the area Abidjan where, after five years experimentation, he invented the N’ko alphabet in 1949.

  5. His later periods of residence in Conakry and Bamako during the early decades of West African independence when he was actively writing and teaching N’ko.

  6. His death in Conakry when he succumbed to diabetes.

The sources behind this data are listed on the Wikimedia page where the image is hosted! Feel free to share as you see fit.