On July 26, Niger’s democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum was held hostage and eventually overthrown in a coup, which “could deal a fatal blow to Niger’s nascent democracy” (as explained by The New York Times).
This makes it impossible for Mdou Moctar to return home safely, so they’ve started a GoFundMe in hopes of being able to afford an extended stay in the United States, where they’ve been touring.
“Last week while we were on tour our home of Niger was plunged into chaos when a Coup took place,” Mdou Moctar posted to Instagram on Thursday morning (August 3). “As a result, we are unable to return home to our loved ones and must remain abroad indefinitely. We have launched this @gofundme to help offset the living costs associated with that. We are so appreciative of our fans and community and their unending support and are so appreciative of whatever you are able to do to help us in this unprecedented and scary time. Thank you so much.”
Jason Isbell supported the fundraiser by reposting it on X (formerly known as Twitter), writing, “Sure we’ve had some sh*t go down back at home while we’re on tour, but never anything like this. Help out this incredible band if you can. We all need them to keep making music.”
Sure we’ve had some shit go down back at home while we’re on tour, but never anything like this. Help out this incredible band if you can. We all need them to keep making music. https://t.co/6nvdMObHva
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) August 3, 2023
The GoFundMe page additionally contextualizes the bleak situation, stating, in part:
“Borders in and out of the country have been closed, along with financial institutions, and foreign nationals have left the country on emergency flights, in fear of an imminent civil war.
At present, the band is stuck in the United States indefinitely. The costs associated with finding emergency housing and living expenses for the band while they are stuck here in the US are considerable as well as undefined, as there is no timeframe for when peace may return to the region. As the band’s touring activity regularly supports their families at home in Niger, this extended stay in the US will, unfortunately, divert that income away from their dependents.”
As of this writing, the GoFundMe had raised nearly $30,000 of its $50,000 goal from 668 donations.