Balla Moussa Keïta (1934 - March 6, 2001) was a Malian actor and comedian, and a West African cinema pioneer who was well known in the West (especially France). Born in the Ségou Region of Mali, he was originally a radio producer. He later turned to acting and acted in a number of movies by notable Mali directors like Cheick Oumar Sissoko, Souleymane Cissé and Abdoulaye Ascofaré. Among his critically acclaimed roles are those of the tribal king Rouma Boll in Yeelen and as Mambi] in Guimba, un tyrant, une époque. He received the Best Male Interpretation award at the FESPACO for his role in the Guinean film Séré, le témoin.
Balla Moussa Keïta was born in Nango, Mali, a small village about 40 km from Ségou in 1934. Sent to school in Ségou at eight, Keïta's formal education came to an end after primary school when he returned home to help his parents in farming. On the death of his father, Keïta moved to Bamako to find work. Keïta initially worked as a middleman trader, buying fish and rice from Mopti and Dioro and reselling them in Bamako.
In 1960, he managed to obtain a job with the National Theater (then under the Haut Commissariat à la jeunesse - the High Commission for Youth).