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SENEGAL – Mame Balla Mbow performs in Paris

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Article directed with Siaka Bambam Doh Ouattara

This Saturday, September 24, 2022, in the great hall of shows and concerts in Paris, Le Zèbre de Belleville, the famous Senegalese comedian of social networks Mame Balla Mbow comes out of the virtual. After proving himself in Senegal, he organizes a One Man Show in Paris, the event capital. You will cry with laughter. If not, you will be reimbursed.

Inimitable touch-to-all, Mame Balla Mbow is an actor, humorist, comedian,… with equal success with spectators and users. He has played in hit series like Infidels, Mother Thiaba Arrest. This young man is one of the most followed Senegalese actors on social networks. He alone has the secret of this success story. He is not at his first one-man show. After the show he gave in Senegal, he does not intend to stop in such a good way. He intends to raise the Parisian public as he demonstrated at Canal Olympia and Sorano.

Born in Yeumbeul in the department of Pikine in Senegal, Balla Mbow is about thirty years old. Adored by a Senegalese fringe, Balla Mbow is one of the people who can be called influencers. Yet the man remains modest; he defines himself as a columnist and blogger. However, from a young age, he had only dreamed of becoming an actor: “From a very young age, I loved comedy. Inspiration is in my blood. I followed the great actors of the world like Jamel Debbouze. That is why I do not identify with the way comedy is done in Senegal. She’s in disguise and we highlight the feminine beauty, the screaming, and clowning. I said to myself: why not make a comedy on social networks and reach thousands of people, in other words, a new way of doing comedy’. So far, he’s done it well. His very clear positions that he serves Internet users with a touch of humour have made him a key figure in the Senegalese media scene.

Mame Balla Mbow ©Ze-Africanews

Yet nothing predestined this young man to be fired by humour. His school curriculum is one of the most perfect. Holder of a law degree, Mame Balla Mbow is more devoted to the cause of citizens than to earn money. After his baccalaureate in 2010 that he had his baccalaureate, he had at heart to do sociology, but the voices of destiny are unfathomable. He is oriented at the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences of the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar.

When he landed in the world of humour, he succeeded in building a community very quickly. Thanks to his talent, he won the Pulse Awards in 2021 as «Facebook Influencer of the Year». All the big brands and companies are fighting for advertising campaigns like Orange, Dolima, the Ministry of Youth, Canal+, Tecno, Oumou Group, Jumia. His self-deprecating appearances pose him as a major player in the world of virtual media. This committed artist does not mince words when the opportunity to denounce a fact arises. His credibility comes from his constancy. At home, money comes in the background. Living on his job is not easy at all. He himself admits: “I am in front when I see something that is not normal. [Because] I do not carry the fights of others.

Mame Balla Mbow ©Ze-Africanews
Mame Balla Mbow ©Ze-Africanews
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IVORY COAST – Every night in the world: a show that vaporizes traditional forms of direction

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“Every night in the world” was advertised on social media, with a beating drum. In fact, it piqued my curiosity. This Saturday, October 1, the show took place, at nine o’clock, at the Institut français in Abidjan. It has produced an excellent impression on the coming public in great numbers. We loved and applauded this living painting, this show of the slam poet Placide Konan and the director Alain Serge Agnessan.

If I spill my guts on this show, let’s first encourage the organizers. Apart from human imperfections of details, the show was well staged and artistically presented. It wasn’t just a play, it was better: music, choreography, slam, a game of actors that explodes, like firecrackers, at a great height and even better it told a moving story. And what a story!

Raising the curtain. A young man strapped like a bum appears. Disheveled, disordered and refreshed with alcohol, he progresses through the night and begins to exude: he begins a long speech punctuated with powerful accents. We dwell on his clothing disorder, which wearies with its complexity. It rains a light on him. The rest of the decor, vexed, is hidden in the night. He bears on his forehead the aftermath of a love that will not come again. His name is Ferdinand. Akissi, her lover, turns and dances around him, in the void. He does not see her. He calls her, she hears her; but, he cannot see her. How to fill this sudden gap between a dead and a living? How to join, to the perfection of the hereafter and here? How to dissolve two drowned of different densities? On either side of the shore, two beings challenge each other, without ever getting along, really, or really touching each other. The human being is only loneliness. Separated, detached, disjointed, he does not reach the world. Neither does the world reach him. While time has stopped running on one, it takes away the other. It draws them together without ever uniting them, without breaking the isolation. Everyone reaches out to a dream they can’t reach. Disorder of the self, panic attack in front of his impotence; a clinician could find there a new pathological vein.

Crédit photo : TROIS B

Placide, the mastodon n°1 of the slam. One of those monsters that Alain Tailly created in a few copies, plays the role of Ferdinand. He writes a poem to Akissi, a role brilliantly staged by the dancer and singer, Marcelle Kabran, his beloved whom he wants to bring back to life. Ah! This Akissi! Was she born on a Sunday or a Monday? What a ball of energy! Its use of space, the expressions of its body are worth verses. One understands the whirlwind of fire that eats its soul. Is it in order to extinguish this consuming fire that he drinks so much? He plans to put on paper a poem that will tear his beloved from the bowels of the afterlife. Vain quest for a man splendid isolated, like all poets and who begins the slow and inevitable shipwreck of the damned. In a dark setting where a dream piled up that slipped between her fingers. The excess, – and this is what makes the beauty of this spectacle -, is such that Akissi speaking to Ferdinand in a face-to-face no longer even knows that she is often unaware that she is an ethereal soul, that she is dead. His voice sounds like a sermon in a brothel. Ferdinand, I think, lies to himself. He doesn’t really want to bring Akissi back. He wants to save himself by writing. The scenography is in my mouth. I hear she generated by the same person who directed the show.

Crédit photo : TROIS B
Crédit photo : TROIS B
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SENEGAL – The Dakar Carnival is about to become a real institution by Fatou Kassé-Sarr

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Article produced in collaboration with Bamba Siaka Doh Ouattara

On November 25, 26, 27, 2022, the last weekend of November, over three days, the Dakar Carnival will take place in Senegal. This third edition, under the banner of sport and culture, will be sponsored by Baaba Maal, the Senegalese star. Country in the spotlight: the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 14 disciplines represented! More than 7,000 visitors expected! There will be Thiébou Dieun, at will.

Born in 2019, the Dakar Carnival is in its third edition. It is held every year in the last week of November. A joyful place for the mixing of peoples and cultures, this festive event is a showcase for promoting the diversity and spirit of the Téranga. With its young tradition and strong moments: local gastronomies, street food, local products, parade in traditional costume, dance demonstration, skit, etc. During these three days, a village welcomes festival-goers, visitors and entertainment. It will be the occasion of a guided tour of the Centennial Alleys, the Monument of the Resistance and the Museum of Black Civilizations. Each day is dedicated to an activity. On Friday, November 25, the 1st day, the ceremony will begin the speeches of the authorities who will come many. The next day, the children’s parade and Sunday, the last day, closing day, a large meal, in wolof, “Grand Agn” (Garnd lunches) or sabar of closing will be taken by the festival-goers. If the first two editions went well, it is largely due to the initiator and organizer Fatou Kassé-Sarr.

Who is Fatou Kassé-Sarr?
Fatou Kassé-Sarr is General Manager of LabellCom. A structure created in 2018 that “creates engaging social marketing plans to help brands communicate with their audiences.” She is the chief organizer of the Dakar Carnival. In the oven and in the mill, but behind her, you have to rely on a professional staff. This young woman in her fifties, is a former substitute deputy in French Parliament. Married and mother of two children, this specialist in political and public communication, aims, through this Carnival, to “promote and enhance the cultural diversity of Senegal”. And with the last two editions, successes, it must be said, we can say that it has succeeded. She did not fail to congratulate: “the Presidency of Senegal, in partnership with the Senegalese Ministry of Tourism and Air Transport.”

Fatou Cassé-Sarr, Organizer of the “Dakar Carnival”

Haal Pulaar culture in the spotlight
After the Congnaguis (2019) and the Lébous (2021), it is the turn of the Haal Pulaar, with a representative of size: Baaba Maal who is himself haalpulaar. This Carnival, says Fatou Kassé-Sarr: “values the terroirs and finds synergies with all the actors” while allowing to “develop a local economy”. This Carnival is a lever for the enhancement and promotion of the cultural diversity of Senegal. Through shows, we will know the games of alliance between the Haalpulaar and the peoples, like the series, the diolas… The presence of renowned artists in Dakar also plays an important role in this phase of «discovery».

Nigeria in the spotlight
After Canada, the country in honour of the Dakar Carnival will be the Federal Republic of Nigeria for this third edition. Why Nigeria? At Zenewsafrica’s microphone, organizer Fatou Kassé-Sarr said: Nigeria is a model of cultural diversity – the country has more than 500 ethnic groups – and a major African industry. And like most carnivals around the world, the Dakar Carnival is a way for the whole world to discover the riches and cultural diversity in Senegal. Culture is a tool that creates jobs».

Fatou Cassé-Sarr, Organizer of the “Dakar Carnival”
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SENEGAL – Ousmane Sow’s massive sculptures enter Fort Vauban in Mont-Dauphin

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The monumental works depicting the battle of Little Big Horn, exhibited on the Pont des Arts in Paris in 1999, had made the Senegalese artist famous. The installation has just joined the fortress in the Hautes-Alpes for at least ten years.

Body to body of muscular warriors, pileup of horses. One believes to hear the noises and the fury of the fight. Under the impressive curvilinear wooden frame of the former Rochambeau barracks, at Fort Mont-Dauphin (Hautes-Alpes), the battle of Little Big Horn is repeated, opposing, in 1876, a coalition of Cheyennes, Sioux and Arapaho to the soldiers of General Custer’s regiment.

In thirty-five monumental sculptures, visible from 6 July, the Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow (1935-2016) celebrates the brilliant victory of the fragile against the powerful. Deposited in this fortified village for a period of ten years renewable by his widow, the director Béatrice Soulé, this epic installation is well known to Parisians who discovered it amazed, one day in March 1999, on the Pont des Arts.

The exhibition has remained on record with record attendance – at least 3 million visitors in three months. “An unexpected success,” remembers art critic Emmanuel Daydé, then deputy mayor for cultural affairs. For the former physiotherapist born in 1935 in Dakar, who later became an artist, it is the consecration. But also, surprisingly, a swan song.

At the moment when Ousmane Sow gained international fame, the world of art turned its back on him. Although he was the first African artist recognized in France, none of his successors, to whom he had paved the way, claimed it.

Mayor’s daughter supports his cause
It all started well. In 1993, the Senegalese sculptor, who two years earlier had covered Revue noire – a quarterly that revealed many African talents – was invited to the major five-year exhibition at Documenta de Cassel in Germany. In 1995, here he is at the Venice Biennale, which is to contemporary art what the Cannes Film Festival is to cinema. The self-taught dreams of an event in Paris.

Chance made him meet Hélène Tiberi, daughter of the mayor of the time, Jean Tiberi. Who supports his cause at the Town Hall. The location is easy: it will be the Pont des Arts, between the Louvre and the Academy of Fine Arts. It will take diplomatic treasures to convince these two institutions, which did not look favourably on the proximity of massive silhouettes imagined by an African artist.

Archives «Monde»: Ousmane Sow questions Bordeaux and politics
The nearby National School of Fine Arts, where the figurative is then taboo, also pinches the nose. Money is missing. The Havas group had initially promised to contribute to the addition of 5 million francs (the equivalent of 1 million euros today), but its new CEO, Jean-Marie Messier, withdrew. Béatrice Soulé moves heaven and earth, finds sponsors and has personally indebted herself to 1 million francs. To read more here

Source : Le Monde

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