Ready for her European tour (Brussels, Paris and then London, on 31st of May at 7pm, at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire) Fiorella Mannoia enjoys her last days of relax. The last time she came to London was ten year ago but she will found a different place now. Wider, more modern, more multi-ethnic and… full of Italians.
The song ‘Il Viaggio’, from your last album, is about a mother who kisses goodbye to the daughter about to emigrate. A song which is going to be very popular among your Italian audience.
I know, emigration from Italy to European countries is a major problem at the moment. Very, very sad that so many young Italians are forced to leave. Something has gone wrong.
We are happy London is part of your tour, but we know you love the South more than the North. Your last album is called ‘Sud’ and Brasil is your favourite country after Italy.
I love the sun and the attitude of southern countries, but the North is wonderful too.
What makes you proud to be Italian?
The beauty I’m surrounded of. Is there a more wonderful place in the world?
You have recently turned 61 and I know it’s not a problem for you to talk about aging…
No, it’s not. It’s important to be able to accept oneself. The body changes, of course, but if you keep you inner curiosity alive and alert, the mind will not age. And I consider myself a very curious person. I love music above all but also art, cinema, books. You become old only when you fell old.
What is your greatest achievement?
When they made me Cavalier of Panafricanism in Benin for having spread the knowledge of Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso for only three years. Sankara was a wonderful man and he had the key to help Africa out of poverty and underdevelopment. He was committed to women’s rights, wanted to eliminate female genital mutilation, forced marriage and poligamy, among many other things. He was murdered after only three years in power.
Where do you feel at peace with yourself.