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DIARY SOW: For God’s sake! «How hard to think is hard, we judge», Carl Jung By Abdou Latif COULIBALY

Abdou Latif Coulibaly and Diary Sow @Capture Facebook

Thank God. Fortunately, Diary Sow came back to us without any damage to his body. No one knows what is happening or will happen in the head of this frail young girl. The internal injuries exacerbated by our judgment can be more devastating for this girl. Let us all bear in mind that it was weakened by the premature death of a father whose presence at his side and in the family was more than indispensable. A parent for whom she certainly nourished like any other son/daughter, the wildest ambitions.Therefore, we must guard against opening a trial against her, with ferocious prosecutors, trying to convince less lenient judges to take her to the scaffold. 

We recall the words of journalist Madiambal Diagne in his excellent text entitled «Come back Diary, you have your place among us», at a time when an entire country was still terribly distressed by the disappearance of the young girl. I quote: Diary Sow probably did not flee for a reason that would damage her reputation as a good girl or to save herself from a forced marriage. It is possible that she simply freaked out as happens to many young people of her age, prey to doubts, uncertainties, anxieties, fear of failing, phobia of disappointing her world. We asked too much of that poor girl. Student «brilliant», best student of Senegal two years in a row (2018-2019), and admitted to the Baccalaureate with the best mention. She had become (in her own defense?) the mascot of her country (…) Her life became a success story.” Too heavy to carry, for a child as young as twenty. No adult among us, of the age to be the father of this girl, would have so severely judged Diary Sow, as some could have done and certainly would not have done if their own child had been placed under the same circumstances in the same position as Diary Sow.

I wonder why there is so much lack of leniency and compassion on the part of these censors, the same ones who often allow themselves to make judgements that are too judgmental, condemnations that are so categorical, from which sometimes there is a clear hint of malice. And all this malice seems to reflect bad feelings, a priori on people who don’t even know the people they judge. Let alone the facts on which they are voting.Sentences that are usually quickly handed down are by no means the result of a rigorous factual analysis carried out without emotion and with a great distance, compared to the people involved. 

Today it is the young student who is sometimes targeted with a severity that is difficult to explain. I could not resolve myself to the idea of a fatal outcome. Diary did indeed return, as the nation begged him.What a relief, when this Wednesday, January 20, 2021, the sponsor of the student, Minister Serigne Mbaye Thiam, informed the Council of Ministers, to have received an address of Diary Sow in which the latter reassured him.My happiness was unspeakable, when Serigne Mbaye Thiam made me the friendship to inform me on the night of Saturday evening, January 20, 2021, that he had just found Diary Sow in Brussels. Serigne Mbaye Thiam knows how attached I am to this young girl, and even more since I had the advantage of presiding over the dedication ceremony of her first novel. A ceremony in which she seemed to warn, when she said, “It’s very important for me to tell people as they are, not to limit myself to the surface. I tell myself that there is no angel, no demon. Everyone has shadow zones, everyone has a mask that he wears according to the circumstances.” I admit that when I read the writings published by Serigne Mbaye Thiam by the young girl and in which the minister gives some details, to explain the reasons for her disappearance, I thought I found in the words the author of the book “Sous le visage d’un ange”, in which Diary Sow managed to narrate a beautiful story, the tragic life of her heroine Allyn. This one does not reflect, far from it, the life of Diary, but she can inform on the sensitivity of her being by reading the rather tormented letter that she sent to her godfather. She says somewhere that she didn’t run away because of the pressure, let alone a doubt about her abilities.She also points out that she did not go crazy and that she did not disappear to follow with a love passion, as suggested by some of her compatriots. On this last point, she would, I think, have assumed with modesty, certainly, but without any shame, I believe, any love relationship. Everything indicates to believe, judging by her sensitive and sensual writing;when she narrates in her novel the romance of Allyn her main character. Very enigmatic character, ambitious, with an inextinguishable thirst for freedom to which Diary Sow seems very attached, even infatuated, is not her.Certainly! Only this heroine, Allyn, still allows to read in the state of mind. 

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Reading through Allyn the state of mind of Diary Sow, I say. Without looking for similarities or similarities between the main character of the novel Allyn and Diary Sow, we can nevertheless note that the idea of leaving, disappearing, may have long moved in this girl, even before her entry in the preparatory school. The disappearance of Diary Sow and the story told in his novel on Allyn, which disappeared twice in the author’s text, suggests a curious (incidental) coincidence Allyn suggests: “I want to trample on all the prohibitions, think outside the box, refuse all these agreed rules so that nothing ever moves. I want to live without any compulsion. After having known only the unfortunate side of life, the time has come for me to come. (…) I too. Whatever sacrifices this entails”. I do not believe that it is daring to make such a reading from the game that she makes play to Allyn who remains on the start at all stages of her existence in the novel. In his tormented letter, some think, sent to his godfather, Diary Sow explains to him: “to be gone freely, and describes his disappearance as a kind of salutary respite in his life, a little break, to regain his spirits”.

The words of the girl sound like an echo to the following words of the philosopher of the Middle Ages, Seneca reported by Denis Dambre in an article published on January 14, 2011: «to find the tranquility of the soul», the Stoic philosopher Seneca advised one of his disciples, Serenus, to alternate solitude and the life of society and wrote to this effect: “Besides, it is necessary to withdraw a lot on oneself. (…) Let us mix up the two things: let us alternate solitude and the world.Loneliness will make us desire society, society will bring us back to ourselves; they will serve as an antidote to each other, solitude healing our horror of the crowd, and the crowd our disgust of loneliness.” The intertextuality that structures her first novel, the continuous movement that she operates in her beautiful writing between philosophical and literary thoughts, the constant movement made by the brilliant Diary Sow between these two poles of knowledge leaves no doubt about his companionship in his readings. Is not his disappearance an attentive ear to Seneca and his recommendations to the wise? And, the same Seneca, to add to the place of his dear friend Lucilius: “Your body, an object eaten away by time, must endure its loneliness without you, and your spirit, on the other hand, must begin its most intimate relationship with you, so that you will never be alone since it will associate with the wise”.At his age there is no doubt that Diary Sow had already started to associate with the sages, whom we are talking about here, since high school itself. 

She was in their environment, before working with them at the Lycée Louis le Grand, with risks: fatigue, weariness, even overwork, even if the girl tries to reassure us, from this point of view. The risk was real. And in the face of all this, let us pray together, after the happy return of the girl, that the idea suggesting that tragedy is the natural destiny of geniuses may be denied. Please, let us not send this girl who is neither an angel nor a demon to the scaffold! Let us try to contradict Carl Jung…

By Abdou Latif Coulibaly Minister, Secretary-General of the Government of the Republic of Senegal


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