From the liner notes:
"'Mali Sadio' is one of the most frequently performed songs from the Mandingue repitoire. According to the oral tradition passed on by griots, a hippopatamus used to live near Bafoulabe--the town on the confluence of two rivers, in northwest Mali. (The name for the country, Mali, comes from the word for hippo.) The hippo was not a menace to the village; the women would go down to the river to wash their clothes, and became very fond of him. .