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A LA UNE CULTURE

SENEGAL – Amélie Mbaye, the art of making films with great mastery

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“One daguay teuth sa guémigne! Two daguay teuth sa guémigne! Tree daguay teuth sa guémigne!” (One, shut up! Two, shut up! Three, shut up!) , it was through the series “Emprises” that Amélie Mbaye democratized this expression, an expression of course, which was tweeted thousands of times through TikTok. This mythical phrase has allowed him to retain viewers around his strong character: … the gangsta mom, the lioness mom, the protective mom, the chicken mom, finally the mom who wants to manage everything even the choice of her children. The one who is willing to punish, threaten, manipulate, socialize and even kill people who want to get in her way, but also between her and her children, who only she knows what is good for them.

Amélie Mbaye is one of those actresses who can be defined as out of the ordinary. She masters her field. Cinema is what she likes to do with incredible precision and sagacity. By herself, she can do the show. She has the weight of an actress who drains passions, compassion, she invites to a trip to each of the characters played. What a feat! Her charisma overflowing, her perfect body, her ebony complexion, her wasp size, her devastating smile, Amelie Mbaye is like a muse in the spotlight. We enjoy watching her come into action and create this fusion that a viewer can have with her heroine. She’s just masterful! 

But who is Amélie Mbaye?
Amélie Mbaye is an American of Senegalese origin, born in Dakar, Senegal. She studied tourism, aeronautics and foreign languages in France in Caen. She was Telepeakerine at the RTS in Dakar then Presenter in various television shows in Dakar and Los Angeles where she is based with her son who is also a singer whose stage name is Boogie Fresh. Miss Africa Times in 2001, she was the lead actress in the famous television series of Apolline Traoré “Monia et Rama”, shot in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso where she played the main role of Aline. In 2004, she played with Bruce Willis in “Tears of the sun”. She speaks five languages (French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Wolof). Amélie Mbaye is based for more than twenty years in Los Angeles, California. She has made her mark in film production and has already appeared in many films around the world. Outside her acting job, she is also a singer. Ze-Africanews met her in this full interview. 

Amélie Mbaye ©Ze-Africanews
Amélie Mbaye ©Ze-Africanews
Amélie Mbaye ©Ze-Africanews
Amélie Mbaye ©Ze-Africanews
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A LA UNE CULTURE

SENEGAL – An artistic discovery named Miriam Kanté

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Miriam Kanté is a French-Senegalese singer with Italian and Spanish origins. She was invited by the great Senegalese singer Pape Diouf, leader of the Conscious Generation on stage during the charity gala evening on Friday, December 23, 2022 in Paris. Ze-Africanews went to meet him.

Who is Miriam Kanté?
Self-taught, she starts with the classical piano and then passes the entrance exam at the conservatory. But she quickly changes her mind and wants to dance. At the age of three, she was already a classical dancer, and at the age of twelve, she began working in modern jazz. She also practiced flamenco (the cradle of her origins). In Andalusia, she meets gypsies, flamenco singers, who don’t even speak Spanish, but she quickly appropriates this gypsy music. However, she is already attracted to other cultures, other music. Little anecdote: at the age of three, when she is with her family having lunch at a large hotel in Megève in a hotel-restaurant, she wants to put herself in the lap of a lady who took care of the cleaning in the hotel. She was a Senegalese mama, the warmth of this woman, her affection for her, will forever mark her life.

His attraction to Africa…
Very curious and open-minded, Miriam loves to travel and discover the world. She is attracted by Africa, and especially by Senegal. But first, she goes to Morocco, to Tunisia, because she loves oriental dance. In Tunisia and major producers will offer him a contract, as well as the production of a clip, his father opposes it, it is the end of the story with Tunisia. Since her early childhood, Miriam has been so attracted to Africa, the cradle of humanity, which she says is “a destiny”. While she is only 16 years old, carefree, an old wise Moroccan foretells her, “You will marry a man who is not of your color and you will go live in his country where you will be very happy and famous”. A prediction that, even if it did not matter to her at that time, materializes in time: Miriam will meet her husband of Senegalese origin who was still a student, a love at first sight that will materialize in a marriage. They have a 20-year-old daughter who models.

Songs about apartheid and slavery…
The divorce of her parents while Miriam was seven years old followed by her mother’s illness, affected her severely. She is then left to herself, she thus devotes herself to her art and spirituality to forget and heal her pains. However, she remains shy and introverted, she locks herself in and composes. Miriam began to write songs about apartheid, subjects that marked him during his college years. It’s a documentary on the same theme that makes her inconsolable, she’ll be depressed for a week. She watches slavery movies called “The Color of Purple.” She often cries and asks Mom, “Why do you hurt your people?”

Senegal: Love at first sight…
She discovers the country through her husband. When she goes to the country of Téranga, she is extremely touched and saddened by poverty and some difficulties, the lack of water. She immediately wants to help: She will do several charitable and humanitarian works. Since then she has been there more than ten times. This country, which she defines as a country rich in culture, colours, human warmth and the dignity of the Senegalese people, she loves with all her heart, she who knows only the colour of the heart. The first time Miriam went to Senegal, it was a real love at first sight, she is under the spell of everything and especially of Senegalese culture. She integrates very quickly, is interested in local cuisine and besides she learns to cook all dishes (thiep, mafé, kandja soup, etc.). She dresses in Senegalese dress and sings in wolof.

Miriam Kanté ©Ze-Africanews

His musical repertoire…
In Senegal, she sings first, with the band Tabou on the small coast. However, she has always loved American music including Withney Houston, Marvin Gaye, Mariah Carey, Luther Vandross, Lionel Ritchie, Aretha Francklin; Rhythm and blues: Otis Redding. A great music lover since childhood, she loves reggae: Bob Marley, Alpha Blondy, Steel Pulse or Ub40 accompany her on her playlist. She also listens to Céline Dion, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Cabrel or Gilbert Montagné. She is completely seduced and passionate about the Mbalax. She discovers “Seconds” the duo of Youssou’ Ndour and Neneh Cherry. A great love story begins between her and Senegalese music. She begins to dissect all Senegalese music through Omar pene, Thione Seck, Assane Ndiaye, Alioune M’baye Nder Souleymane Faye, Ismaël Lô, Sheikh Lô, Baaba Maal, Viviane N’ Dour, then Pape Diouf.

His meeting with Pope Diouf, leader of the conscious generation…
A stroke of fate! While Miriam is on a trip to Dakar, she tries to see Pape Diouf in concert and is told that he is in Europe. She is disappointed because her wish was to meet him. Sitting in a hotel in the square, she turns around and sees Pope Diouf behind her, she cannot believe it. She gets up, questions her and they discuss, Pope diouf very welcoming, humble, warmly invites her as a vip with her family on the small coast to a concert. He will do her the honor of a composition especially for her: a whole song! Miriam very touched by the gesture, will befriend the singer and will later share his passion for the song. He asks her for a video. She sends him an interpretation of “Pas toi”, a Goldman song. Pape Diouf offers him to set up artistic projects together. The song “Sadio” is their last collaboration, sung in French and Wolof, and will be performed at the gala evening at the Méridien in Paris in front of an admiring audience. She is preparing a duet with the leader of the Conscious generation as well as a single.

Miriam Kanté ©Ze-Africanews
Miriam Kanté ©Ze-Africanews
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A LA UNE CULTURE

SENEGAL – Maïmouna Doucouré, a great French cinema worker

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Maïmouna Doucouré is a great French-Senegalese director. Despite the mixed reactions around her film «Mignonnes», the genius of the French director’s cinematographic art does not fade. It is impossible to fall into disgrace when we talk about such realistic themes. She illustrates herself in a technique of which she seems the only one to have the secret: polygamy. She emphasizes the complex relationships children have with polygamy. An avant-garde with a unique style that the world never ceases to celebrate. From «Cache-cache» to «Hawa», all his work is a grandiose fresco in which belong the African traditionalist movements still struggling with modernity.

Born in 1985 in Paris, Maïmouna Doucouré is the daughter of a family of Senegalese immigrants. Coming to France, the family settled in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. The young woman obtained an S baccalaureate and a bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Paris VI. At the same time, she takes theatre classes in the laboratory of actress Hélène Zidi. In 2012, following a scenario competition initiated by the Social Union for Habitat, she made her first short film on equity entitled «Cache-cache». She won the 3rd HLM Prize and the heart of the jury of the Génération Court festival in Aubervilliers. Then, «Maman» will follow and will collect nearly 60 international awards. This film has brought him into the circle of renowned French creators. In this film, she portrays the rather tormented life of a girl in a polygamous home. A girl that the heat of a home burns so much that she decides to kill her father’s second wife.

Maïmouna Doucouré @Capture Photo page Facebook de Maïmouna Doucouré

But, Maïmouna Doucouré’s film that will make people talk about her is «Mignonnes». Made in 2017, this film comes out on screens in 2020. He received the Global Filmmaking Award. That same year, the film was nominated for Césars in the “Best First Film” category. It’s the story of a group of hypersexualized pre-teens. Amy, the main character, is under attack.

The United States, which abounds in this kind of scandal-ridden film, castigated the film. The director is accused of promoting «the obscene exhibition of the genitals of minors, soliciting a lustful interest for sex». Yet it is quite the opposite. The film denounces, according to the director, the early sexualization of girls who allow themselves to be carried away by sexual excesses amplified by social networks. Censorship is like yeast. It makes the sauce rise. The media storm has no control over the film, which in 2019 receives the Academy of Oscars Gold Fellowship for Women. What’s in this movie to make so much talk.

Amy, the heroine, is a pre-teen girl of one-year-old from Senegal. She lives in a tiny apartment in the north of Paris with her mother and two brothers. As in «Maman», Amy sees her family – a polygamous family – going to the dogs. The suffering her mother is experiencing is hard on her. The country wants to go back to Senegal with the second woman. She is fed up with collective prayer and all that has to do with tradition. Faced with her aunt’s advice, she turned a deaf ear. She discovered dancing with Angelica. Through hard work, she joined a dance group «Mignonnes» title of the film. There, the film begins. Light outfit, daring gesture, sensual, borderline pornographic. Quite the opposite of what her aunt strives to teach her. The school humiliations and negative reactions, and the daring photos that leaked on social media, all this cocktail drive the girl to depression. Family problems eventually transform the girl who now shows herself as a socialite.

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A LA UNE CULTURE

IVORY COAST – Gauz’ writes for the word through Cocoaïans, a chocolate nation

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Among the multitude of literary works that flood the bookstores this fall, the one we announce will make a sensation. He might give you a very bad patriotic trip. I don’t know how long it took him to “cook” this dope, but I can assure you: it’s good… Junky faith! A moment of euphoric and joyful high: from muffled laughter to the explosion of tears.

From now on, the Lidl chocolate bar will not taste the same on your tongue. From the production of cocoa beans in the South to the sale of the chocolate bar sold at Lidl by the North, there is a whole multiverse. From the black producer starving to the rich white consumer, Gauz’, – this is his pen name, if not in civil status he is named Armand Patrick Gbaka-Brédé – as a true agronomist-confectioner, details in Cocoaïans… No. It does not detail, it draws a portrait in millefeuille of cocoa in all its states.

This work should have been entitled: The bitter aftertaste of chocolate
Gauz’ warns us in “Getting Started…” , a nice Cocoaisan rail with a foreword to sniff, as if to say that “any resemblance to existing characters would be purely accidental”: “His last sentence I took in the head. A punchline, literally a catchphrase! My trip to the land of the Cocoaïans started there. Alain lent me the name, I filled it with my imagination.” Yet everyone knows “that’s what it is”. ” Technically, it’s well done.

I wonder if a summary is necessary here. When you have done a good job of the history textbooks on the curriculum in the primary and secondary schools, you get away with it easily. 1908. Forced labour. Beginning of the Second Colonial Age. The system of plunder of colonial products is less systematic. Birth of an agrarian bourgeoisie. Grandpa and other peasants agree to cultivate the “bitter plant”? Trade unionists (farmers) clap their fists on the table. Soleils des indépendances. We took out the pans: charivari of the small dioula during a lunar eclipse; the cat would have caught the moon. A historian president is arrested at home by imperialist forces. All this put into a large concher machine.

Cocoaïans is a work of scholarship. The author went back to the sources, has compulsed all the literature around cocoa, this colonial culture, which will become 2031, the spearhead of a chocolate nation. It is an absolute necessity for any student of history or international economics to obtain this book. The whole universe of this story is built around scientific documents, national archives.

Cocoa, as a central theme, was the pretext for Gauz’ to sketch his Marxist ideas with vitriol. It attacks the so-called free trade economy head on while pointing to the state of insecurity and vulnerability of farmers. He denounces the control of foreign powers over African economies. Gauz’ here touches on the discriminatory nature of transatlantic trade and criticizes the highly controversial trade rhetoric «free trade». Indeed, the African producer sells his bean to Western confectionery who process it and come back to sell the same finished product at 100, 200, 2000 times the purchase price of the raw material.

In a universe where fantasy mingles with truth, without ever being corrupted, Gauz’ places the cursor on the strong technological dependence of African producers vis-à-vis exporters, large European confectionery. The author of Black Manoo has erected his tendency to irony and punchlines in system. Irony is a constant in the work of Gauz’. A reactionary style, ironic and monstrously oral. A novel written for the word. Its gimmick is the incisive punchlines.

Before my blood penis goes back to its dwarf size after getting high on this literary drug, I want to drop one last acid spray. On the fly. I hope it doesn’t fall back on my rat face. I’m just saying it: I don’t like Gauz’s style. This original plot, quite new and daring, could have been embellished in an ornamental style. But Gauz’ is a refractory, a real head for clashes, a reactionary always shot at good – bean. Again, it abuses language inventions to get you caught a headache in when you had the misfortune of not being born Ivorian. Vanhouan!

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