With the death of Maguette Wade on Wednesday, March 9, disappears more than just an icon, because much more symbolically, it is a picture of the history of television in Senegal, which fades forever. We can say, without risk of being contradicted, that at the beginning of the implementation of television, Maguette Wade was part of the small handful of actors.
“Maguette Wade is not here yet; put yourself aside and wait for him.What singer or artist of the best known in our country today, even those who are famous on the international scene, did not stumble on these words thrown by the gendarmes on duty, at the security station of the radio television? As far as I remember, none! Long and varied has always been the waiting list in front of the host Maguette Wade, an essential revealer of vocation and confirmation of talent. There are many artists, who have had , to exist , the need to be welcomed at Télé Variétés. To quote some of them: Youssou Ndour dreaming of supremacy, Oumar Pène with the Super Diamono laboratory of jazzy and Casamance sounds, Ismaïlo Lô, almost man orchestra with his guitar and his harmonica, Baba Maal, already the voice of a nightingale in the middle of the chorus of his ensemble Lasly Fouta, the Touré Kunda that the Senegalese public gained to know better. Long is the list.
The promotion of music in Télé Variétés is above all an enhancement of the Senegalese folklore, which allowed the viewers to become familiar with the rhythms and songs of the Ngoyane of medina sabakh, the ndaga of Saloum Dieng, without forgetting the casamancaises of the ucas of Sédhiou, the sweet tunes of the yella of Fouta. Télé Variétés also allowed Maguette Wade to make known the great Senegalese singers, like the rufisquoise Khar Mbaye Madiaga, who knew how to awaken the bravery of wrestlers, or Yandé Codou Sène, whose galvanizing songs were inspiration in action for the poet president
Ndiaga Mbaye the singer with generous muses, and Ndongo Lo, Pikine’s revelation were also pushed by Maguette Wade. After they broke up, I saw Maguette Wade playing with her relationships to the highest levels so that their families could be assisted.
Télé Variétés also brought Senegal closer to its neighbours, and introduced artists such as Salif Keïta from Mali, Sékouba Bambino and Bembeya Jazz from Guinea, Aïcha Koné and his compatriot Alpha Blondy from Côte d’Ivoire, and Moussa Ngom the gambian with dreams of a very real senegambie, which was intended as a link between the two countries.
Télé Variétés was a real launch pad for artists, designed and presented by Maguette Wade, who very often went to the editing booth, for the finishing of his product. This reference musical program, which was established in the eighties, was an all public show, transgenerational, to the point of reuniting all families, on Saturday evening in front of the television.
Maguette Wade, is the inventor of the musical show on television, later imitated by other monsters of animation: Jacques Césaire with Kaleidoscope, Khalil Gueye in his Boulevard, the late Moïse Ambroise Gomis, presenter of Generation 80.
It is necessary to see Maguette Wade as the man of television completed, who practiced, not without success, different professions of television. After leaving teaching, he was one of the first to come with the director Ousmane Cissé Madamel, starting television, serving programs. Then, Maguette Wade joined the production teams for the television news, programs, and especially theatrical plays. Arriving after him on television, I am still wondering how he found the energy and time to do all these tasks, especially since he was preparing Télé Variétés, broadcast on Saturday evenings.
In the meantime, like all the agents, Maguette Wade has taken training courses on French television and in Zaire in particular.
My admiration for his commitment to work increased tenfold when I got to know the man Maguette Wade, who had become my friend and the friend of my entire family. Upon learning of his death, my children living here or abroad, were all affected, and told me their grief. They know, and saw their Uncle Maguette be present at all the ceremonies of our family of which he was a member. In the name of this friendship that made my parents and my brothers and sisters happy, he had agreed to share with us the mid-day meal before returning home to Pikine in the evening.
I mourn the death of a friend who taught me a lot, through his humility his empathy, and especially the respect of others. I also remember from Maguette Wade the restraint and self-control, in life, and above all, in front of the camera. He often told me that “wax da niou koy wodd”: the words must be decent. He also said to me, “Greet everyone you meet, for a reputation is made very quickly, when you have notoriety.
I have never written this long on Facebook, but my grief is great today, having lost a friend, a brother, a counsellor, a role model.
We had been talking on the phone a lot since his illness restricted his mobility. He endured it with dignity. This dignity which he has always carried as a lord, he to whom many owe so much, and who has never been able to ask anything of anyone, despite the admiration that ordinary citizens, and personalities, sometimes members of his family, give him.
Maguette Wade is the constancy in friendship made man. He asked me to take for him a decoration given by the Union de la presse francophone, which we were to receive together, at the Maison de la presse. I will do so with honour and pleasure, my dear friend.
I pray for you
I know that your beautiful soul will be graciously received by the Almighty.
I renew my condolences to his family, his wife, his children, rts agents, cultural actors and all Senegalese.