Life of SUSIs,E1 : A chat with Gando

Talhata Z Toure
5 min readMay 11, 2022


Everything will be ok one day . M. Gando

Initchié, Hello, Salut, Olá Dear readers, when the world is talking about Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover and free speech we will talk about SUSI (Study of U.S. Institutes), chatting with the 2022 SUSI alumni. This is the beginning of a new journey that will make us travel together across Africa during this series from Bamako to Pretoria, from Harare to Maputo giving the floor to SUSIs (SUSI alumni) to talk about their SUSI experiences, their SUSI projects, and projects’ implementation in their communities, its impact, their visions for a better world…

For our first episode, we just made a stop in Bamako to have a chat with Mamadou Gando Diallo a.k.a The Monkey around a Poulet braisé (Grilled chicken).Enjoy reading this discussion with Gando talking about SUSI, Gando’s SUSI experience, his engagement in his community, and his vision for a better world.

A chat with Gando :

YooH! Gando, thanks for accepting my invitation,could you start by presenting yourself before the Poulet braisé arrived ( haha…..)

_Oh yeah , I am Mamadou Gando Diallo alias MONKEY. I like Olympique de Marseille and Attiéké (Attieke is a cassava couscous, a specialty of Côte d’Ivoire). I am a simple person who loves sharing and helping others. Music is my fuel. For me, Happiness is a gift that we must offer to the World.

I have a lot of questions to ask you about yourself, your SUSI experience, your engagement in your community, your country, and more but let me start by getting to know, What is this memorable moment of your 5 weeks SUSI experience that you would like to tell me?

_My memorable moment was when we discussed diversity and inclusion. I realized that we can learn from each other and be tolerant. I discovered a lot about others and that warmed me a lot.

Initchié ( thanks in Bamanankan )! Great, could you tell me about the SUSI program and your SUSI experience?

__Thanks first of all. SUSI (Study of U.S. Institutes) is an exchange program of States Department (USA) for Students that aims to enhance their leadership and future career. It is a Key for Every Student desiring to be able to lead people and play an important role in their community.The SUSI program was an incredible experience. I was surprised by the quality of the program. I enjoyed everything about it. We spent 5 weeks learning and sharing a lot. During the program, I learned more about leadership style, diversity, and the US. I appreciated the program. The assignments, yeah, that’s what I miss the most. Ahahaha. I also enjoyed the last day with the presentation of the different projects with huge emotion and pride.

Wow wow , what an amazing experience !So how is it going on in Bamako? Could you tell me about your country Mali , its history , culture and the Civil right movements in Mali?

Mali is a West Africa country, its capital is Bamako. We live here in harmony and peace. Hospitality is the most important value of the country. It has a rich history with Samory and Soundjata who were great warriors. In terms of the Civil Rights movement, I think of The Revolution of March 26 , 1991 which brought Democracy here in my country.

Mali is “diversity-centered”. All the country is built on this value. There are a lot of ethnic groups here and all have really interesting cultures. Well, I am Fulani, a ethnic group widely spread in Africa. We are nomads and raise cows and oxen. We use the milk and the meats for different purposes.

Ah Mali Kadi ( Mali is magical in Bamanankan), When I read about Mali, stories show that Mali used to be a stable nation, what went wrong?

The war in the North was the beginning of instability. Afterward, we have corruption and unemployment that brings juvenile delinquency. So many things could be pointed out.

ohh !That is sad to hear Brother! If you were Mali’s leader today, what would you do to end the war?

As a leader, I will try to change the mentality first. Including people is a good way to make a difference. I think love is the most important value. Because when we do something with love, we do it with happiness.The solution to ending the war in the North is to dialog and include all ethnic groups in the process. Showing the advantages of peace against the war in the creation of a better country and nation is the best way to address this issue in the North.

I know that you do many volunteering activities in your community, could you share with me one of your volunteering activities?

Yeah! Last June, I have been contacted by a friend’s uncle who owns a very small but unique primary school called “Zaytoune”. He proposed me to teach English and Coding, if feasible, to young boys and girls attending the 4th grade. But must do it freely. I immediately accepted the challenge. At the end of the school year, we organized with the kids a small skit talking about the classroom routine. It was really wonderful seeing stars spark in their eyes while learning new things in English and Coding. I really loved the experience even though it was not easy to manage all the kids. Now the kids claim me every day and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to meet them again.

I wish you all your heart desires and more, my brother.What’s your dream in life?

Thanks. Well, my dream is to be a social entrepreneur. Create solutions for social issues.I want to create a crowdfunding platform that aims to reduce the unemployment rate. I think it is important to fix this phenomenon before it gets worse.The day I got my first job. I was really proud of myself and I know how getting a job can change someone’s life.

Congrats on that again! What’s your message to the SUSI community and the world?

We must keep moving on this path. Dedicating our lives to improve others is wonderful “

Quote of the week : “You didn’t see me on television, you didn’t see news stories about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders.” Ella Baker



Talhata Z Toure

I’m Talhata Toure, A.K.A Yasuke.From everywhere,from somewhere, from Barrah, from Ha, from Gao,from Africa. States Department 2022 SUSI Alumnus.