About Us

 

Salif Keita

Founder/Chairman

Salif Keita was born with albinism. As a child he suffered greatly from social isolation, and was even kicked out of school because of his albinism. Today, he is known around the world as the Golden Voice of Africa and has been cited as "perhaps the greatest talent Africa has ever produced". With his multiple Grammy nominations, he is also considered one the world's most popular artist.

In December 2004, he was named United Nations Ambassador for Music and Sports and dedicated himself to causes like Malaria, AIDS and the plight of Albinos in Mali and around the world.  With his Olympic medal winning albino niece, one of his children born albino and the memory of the loss of his albino sister from skin cancer a decade prior, Mr. Keita founded The Salif Keita Global Foundation in 2005 to raise awareness and money for free healthcare and educational services for the care and integration of Albinos in Africa and to create international advocacy for the plight of people with albinism around the world. The US Foundation is part of efforts to raise global and american awareness as well as funds to build hospitals (or conduct medical missions) and schools as well as  also participate in environmentally-friendly projects, such as well programs to eradicate poverty, Malaria, AIDS and unemployment in all affected areas.


 
Since 2006, Mr. Keita has personally donated hundreds of thousands of US dollars to purchase sunscreen lotions and make other donations for the aid of people with albinism in Mali. He has acquired land for his foundation to build a school and health clinic for albinos in Bamako, Mali. Private and public funds have also been allocated for use in Mali for lotions and sunglasses for people with albinism.

Salif Keita's first major US breakthrough into the mainstream audiences was a prominent feature on the soundtrack to Will Smith's blockbuster movie 'Ali', an homage to boxing Legend Muhammad Ali. In 2003, Salif Keita maintained his status as an international sensation with his release called Moffou, composed with rhythms that blend African, Spanish, Portuguese and other sounds. Moffou is also the name of the club the singer built in the Malian capital of Bamako to promote West African artists and music.  In 2005, he released the much anticipated, M'Bemba album, a tribute to his ancestry.  His latest album released in November 2009 has brought global recognition to the cause of albinism and won the Victoires des Musiques award for Best World Music in France in 2010. The title song called "La Difference", Mr. Keita wrote to describe his own personal stance on his albinism. "I am Black/ My skin in white/ And I like that/It's the difference that makes it pretty," are some of the lyrics. In 2010, Mr. Keita became Peace Ambassador for the African Union to bring his celebrity to end fighting in conflict zones and raise awareness about the plight of the African Albino.
 


Salif Keita and his wife, Coumba Makalou

Coumba Makalou Keita

Executive Director/President

Coumba Makalou Keita is a law school graduate and earned her bachelor's in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Maryland in College Park.  Mrs. Keita has worked for  prestigious companies such as Simon and Schuster in New York, the Washington Times in Washington DC and was the youngest Director of Marketing Special Projects in their history sent to  The Gambia.  She has also held several positions in E-Commerce and Web Development in San Francisco during the rise and development of the Internet. In 2003, she helped train volunteers for community for work on AIDS prevention and sustainable development in Africa, then moved to Abidjan, Ivory Coast to work as a stringer for Voice of America during the civil war there. After being the victim of an attempted carjacking in the country, she returned to Washington DC, in 2004, and founded a company for the promotion of African causes through positive tools such as music, art and culture (Conscientious Organizations Using Music to Bring Awareness, INC, www.coumba.com). She joined the Executive Secretariat of the Nongovernmental Process of the Community of Democracies (www.ccd21.org, www.codes-mali.org), an intergovernmental organization of democracies and democratizing countries with a stated commitment to strengthening and deepening democratic norms and practices worldwide, in 2007.  In addition to her commitment to the global cause of albinism, she remains an activist for causes like Malaria and has raised thousands of dollars to raise awareness about the disease and for the distribution of mosquito nets in Mali. She has run the Salif Keita Global Foundation since 2005. In 2010, she joined the Victory over FGM, (Female Genital Mutilation) with former Supermodel Waris Dirie.

She is also married to the singer and founder, Mr. Salif Keita.

 

Akoss Schuppius

Senior Program Director

Ms. Schuppius, a management consultant with over ten (10) years of professional experience working in the United States serves as both a senior business and senior financial analyst on a number of engagements developing performance measurement programs to improve organizational productivity and efficiency in government, non-profit and private sector organizations. She possesses experience in performing capital planning and budgeting, proposal/grant development, project management and economic/cost impact assessments. Her strengths and capabilities include repositioning organizational resources for improved performance while providing management oversight and accountability. She has also worked for several years for top consulting firms such as Booz Allen Hamilton and Deloitte and Touche.

"I stumbled into this position. As a management consultant and an activist for human rights, I hope to bring my expertise and energy to support a very worthy cause. People with Albinism, especially those in Africa, should not be subject to inhumane and cruel treatments. It is deplorable and needs to stop!" stated Ms. Schuppius. Ms. Schuppius speaks Ewe, French and limited Spanish. She has lived in and/or has traveled to Ghana, Togo, France, Belgium, India and the United States.

Ms. Schuppius received a Baccalauréat A2 from the French International School (High School) in Bethesda, Maryland; a Bachelor of Science cum laude in Computer Information Systems from Saint Augustine’s College (Raleigh, North Carolina) in 1995; and a Master of Science in Public Policy & Management with a concentration in economic development from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) in 1997. She is married with three children.
 

Plan of Action

We are happy to announce that SKGF is a US 501(c) 3 organization, all your donations are tax-deductible.