Usher Aliman is a journalist from Eboinda in southeast Côte d’Ivoire. He holds a Master’s degree in Communication Science and Technology and a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Letters. He has been working as a journalist since 2002. He began my career as a journalist at Top Visages magazine. He was in charge of the famous Top Gossip page. He later served as general editor of the magazine. He was Editor in chief of the TV magazine “Dimanche de foot” on RTI 1. He is radio columnist on Frequency 2. He is also author of works on African urban cultures, which he talks about in this interview.
Ze-Africanews.com: How was the idea to write about the offset coupe and the zougou?
Usher Aliman: The idea of writing a book on the history of the coupé-décalé is part of a simple journalistic inquiry: in 2003-2004, the creators of the coupé-décalé were recognized as the masters of “work” ( public distribution of banknotes). They spent a lot of money on each of their outings. The journalistic curiosity pushed me to investigate the origin of the money of the creators of the cut-off and especially why they wasted it as easily. Over the years, the revelations, the confessions, the discoveries were so numerous that they could not fit in a newspaper article or even in an entire newspaper. I then decided to go further in my investigation to make a book. ” Douk Saga or the forbidden story of the cut-off, a shattered fate ” was born after a ten-year investigation.
Tell us more about the book?
The book tells the story of the cut-off and filigree, the life course of Douk Saga. To speak of Douk Saga, I would say that it was a colorful person, very unpredictable but with a hand on his heart. As a child, Douk Saga has enjoyed luxury without being able to enjoy it. As an adult, he wanted to catch up with all of his childhood frustrations. For having rubbed shoulders with him, I can tell you that he was a man who loved luxury and had a very high esteem for himself. The other thing I remember is that he was very intelligent and knew exactly where he wanted to go and how to get there. Too bad he had this fate shooting star.
Why “smashed destiny”? What should we remember from Douk Saga?
Destiny shattered because Douk Saga died in the prime of his life, at the height of his glory. Now the question is: has he himself smashed his destiny or did anyone else do it? The answers are in the book.
What is the influence of rhythm on the Ivorian youth, even African?
Beyond the cut-off music that dances Africa and its diaspora, there is the cut-off social phenomenon that influences many young people. Let me give you an example: before the advent of the coupé-décalé, the young Ivorians would refer to the two Congos very much in terms of fashion and clothing. Congolese were moved to come and make clothes for the Ivorians. With the cut-off, the Ivorians themselves dare their own dress style. This daring dress, it is the creators of the coupé-décalé who had it first. Another thing, today the phenomenon of “browsing” (scam on the internet) has grown and we accuse the creator of the cut-off of having invented it. My book explains how the coupé-décalé influences (deliberately or not) the phenomenon of grazing.
Some do not hesitate to criticize the offbeat cut: deafening music, text without interest, even coarse?
There is truth in these criticisms. But afterwards, the public is judge alone. Since the advent of the coupé-décalé, dozens of stars were born before falling into oblivion because the public did not want any more. In the cut-off, if the public no longer wants an artist, it almost disappears from the scene. How many artists cut-off were all at the top of the poster before falling into total forgetfulness? Tens. The other thing I want to say is that at the base, the cut-off is festive in its DNA. It was created during the first civil war in Cote d’Ivoire to distract, to make forget the pangs of this conflict. The zouglou who is another Ivorian musical genre is more inclined and make texts to raise awareness. The coarse texts in the coupé-décalé have multiplied in recent years. Of course, they must be denounced and condemned because there are children who listen to these texts. If need be censor all coarse texts, if any can censor an artist in the internet age.
What about the book on zouglou, ” Espoir 2000, the secrets of a zouglou insoumis ”?
The idea came to me in 2014, a yearand the celebration of the zouglou’s 25th anniversary. I wanted to write the history of the zouglou generation (from the creators of the zouglou to the zouglous of the first and second generation). I wanted to write this story with the course of the band zouglou Espoir 2000 in red thread because initially this group was the melting pot of several talents zougloutiques. Many of the current zouglou stars were members of the Espoir 2000 group before flying on their own.
The book tells the story of the generation Zouglou with the course of Espoir 2000?
The zouglou, musical genre born on the university campuses of Ivory Coast has vocation to carry the social demands of the neglected, the low people. Generally this zouglou is not cold to the eyes when it is a question of spitting its truths to the rulers. This zouglou has never been subdued or tamed. Whatever the regimes that follow one another in Côte d’Ivoire, zouglous artists have always denounced bad governance, embezzlement, unlawful enrichment, endemic corruption, insider trading, and so on. And in my opinion the zouglou must remain unconvinced because he is one of the few credible megaphone in Côte d’Ivoire.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on two other books. I also work on a documentary about the artist Meiway and the zoblazo. To do this I had to go training “Galaxie Africa” (the producer of the TV program “Réussite”), in collaboration with Canal + and Vivendi.