Her name is Ndèye Fatou Kane, 30 years old. Born in Senegal where she lived until she reached the age of majority before flying to France, where she pursued part of her higher studies that she had started in Senegal. Diplomas in her pocket, she is looking for professional experience. But above all, Ndeye Fatou Kane had little chance of escaping the virus of writing. Especially with a grandfather: the famous Sheikh Hamidou Kane, author of “The ambiguous adventure” and a father fond of literature. The first work by Ndèye Fatou Kane, Le malheur de vivre, published in 2014, was hailed by critics.
Ze-Africanews.com: Tell us about your first readings … of those that marked you?
Ndèye Fatou Kane: There was a bookstore that no longer exists alas) located in downtown Dakar which was called Maxi Books. Every pretext was good for my father so that we could make a tour: birthday, holidays, good grades gathered in class. The books of the Comtesse de Ségur, the Club des 5, the adventures of Fantômette, the hooded rival, The Tales of Ahmadou Koumba, Ben and Mortimer constituted the main part of my readings until my 12-13 years. As I grew up, my literary tastes were refined. I discovered African literature in its quintessence and there was a plurality of contemporary authors to my grandfather (Sheikh Hamidou Kane, ed): Ahmadou Kourouma, Amadou Hampâté Bâ, Mariama Bâ, Aminata Sow Fall … And that ‘ is quite naturally that I wanted, in turn, inspired by what I was reading, to take the pen in my turn.
Thus was born, The misfortune to live, your first novel?
What made me want to write this book is twofold: to summon up values that seem to me a bit “out of phase” nowadays and to speak of this deep Africa in which I fully recognize myself. I have spoken above of Mariama Bâ and Aminata Sow Fall. I admire these two women of letters enormously because, in addition to their modernity, they have succeeded, through their writings, in developing social, cultural and even political themes that are still prevalent today. All this makes me write the spatio-temporal space of the “Woe to live” between the Dakar and the Paris of the 1980s, not forgetting the Fouta, my native region, land of the Hal Pulaar. I talk about it among other themes of recourse (and not return) to sources, culture, immigration.
You also take for a pretext a love story. That of the main character Sakina and a boy Dakar … which ends in his descent into hell …
Exactly. I’m part of a love story to brew wide. By putting opposite Sakina, a young halpulaar deeply rooted in her culture, despite the fact that she lives in France with her parents, Amadou and Mariam Bâ, has lost nothing of her “pularitude”, with Ousmane, halpulaar too, but who was caught by the city of Dakar. Through these two characters, I emphasize what I was talking about earlier, namely, the need for an individual to claim a culture, because I think that without culture, we lose the foundation which allows us to have a balance.
After this first novel, you participated in a collective work, “Franklin the insoumis”, a collection of short stories to pay tribute to Congolese author and singer Franklin Boukaka?
So this project was born on a proposal made to me by the initiator, Marien Ngombé, of Congolese origin. He wanted to pay tribute to Franklin Boukaka, a committed Congolese singer who was assassinated in the 1970s. I did not immediately accept it, because as I am not of Congolese origin, I did not know whether I had the legitimacy of a ” enter into this project. But the music did the rest. I had to listen to a CD of songs from Franklin Boukaka to fall in love with his music and I wanted to participate in the Franklin project, the rebellious.
“Books are a central part of my life! “
So, there is also the blogger Ndeye Fatou Kane who talks to us naturally about books. In your blog, do you share your favorites?
Yes, the blog was born eight years ago, because at the beginning, when I was reading books or wanting to discuss a subject, I taught my friends by making them read or listen to my diatribes (laughs). My taste for reading went crescendo and I created the blog “Ma petite Bulle”. At first, I was talking about everything: mood tickets, company facts, album tracklist, but recently I only talk about books, so new readers believe it’s a literary blog, but it is no worse because books occupy a central place in my life.
How do you choose your readings?
My reading choices are made with feeling: I can know an author and want to read his latest publication. Or, on the contrary, be attracted by a cover page, or a summary of the book and want to know more. In my library, you can find everything, magazines, novels, essays. I particularly like political books and African novels. I have a weakness for books dealing with Africa, although I tend to vary now.
What are your last three readings?
I recently read “Sarbaru Jinne” by Pope Samba Kane, a satirical Senegalese journalist. “Sarbaru Jinne” or “The Tam-Tams of the devil”, is a work with a strong mystic connotation, because the author drags us into a sabar (dance Senegalese, ed) danced by jinns under philosophy and mysticism . The author shows great erudition and performs superb flashbacks between the Medina, populated district of Dakar and his two characters Talla and Massata. I also read “Wandering” from Ibrahima Hane. This work is already my favorite of the year 2017. Ibrahima Hane performs an X-ray of Senegalese society. Between Adja Tabara Fall, the corrupt politician, Seyni Sene, the left-winger who takes her revenge on the life and brotherhood of Baye, Ibrahima Hane points out the paradoxes under which Senegalese society is buried. And I’m reading “The Bridgetower Sonata” by Emmanuel Dongala, which tells us about the life and work of Georges de Bridgetower, a black classical musician, virtuoso of the violin, somewhat oblivious.
What does reading mean to you?
Reading and writing because one does not go without the other in my opinion, are an integral part of my life. When I am sad, I read or when I am happy I immediately want to put my feelings on paper, share them with my literary alter ego! Since everyone has a passion, a leitmotiv, my literary activity is deeply rooted in me. Nothing beats the pleasure of discovering new works, of smelling the peculiar smell of paper, of pointing at the relics scattered in the house. This is enough for my happiness
And what are you working on right now?
I am currently working on a small test that is in the replay and correction phase. I hope it will appear shortly. I do not say more, go to the publication.