Oumar Ndao is a Senegalese who lives Married and father of family, he works as journalist-corrector for “Gbic” h! “Go Magazine” and “Allo Police”, Ivorian weeklies. Passionate about writing, he takes advantage of the little free time he has to devote himself to the joy of writing.
Ze-Africanews.com : How did you get to writing?
Oumar Ndao : By reading. Quite simply. I very early discovered a passion for reading. It started with comics that my father brought back. My adolescence was lulled by heroes such as Bleck the Rock, Zembla, Little Trapper, Rahan the son of the fierce ages, and so on. But also, an African hero that, Kouakou. My first real novel, it was on the office of my elder brother that I had “found” it, it is about “Children who love each other”, Claire France. I had almost devoured … Then I did not stop, I practically devalued the library of my brother. When I was forced to revise my classes, I sometimes managed to hide a paperback inside the notebook … On days when I did not have a class, I sometimes locked myself in my room during hours to read. It was like a drug for me. Then I began to entrust my feelings to a notebook that I took care to hide well … Followed news that I had read to my French teacher of the college, a certain Madame Ndiaye. A lady who encouraged me to continue. And who gave me very wise advice. I believe that it was above all thanks to her that I gained confidence. It’s gone like that!
“I tell a story of love under a post-election crisis that has practically turned into a civil war in a West African country.”
“Thieves of Dreams” is your latest novel, explain to us?
Yes, this is my last born, which will only be available in bookstores at the beginning of October, inchallah. I tell a story of love under a post-election crisis that has practically turned into a civil war in a West African country. I am trying to point out a number of defects that undermine African society. The thieves of dreams are manipulative politicians, it is these neighbors who overnight turn into a monster and attack you because you simply are not on the same political edge, they are the false prophets, these are the ones who offer you their hearts in the morning, and in the evening you tear yours … These are all those who steal our hopes of happiness.
Are your evil characters more wicked than those of Tasmani?
(To laugh). No, they are not diabolical. In general, they suffer. They have as karaba, the wicked witch, a thorn in the back that makes them dog hurt. It is their pain that makes them wicked, but most of them do not know it. It is enough to take away the thorn in question to humanize them.
In spite of a perpetual questioning, suffering or pain, love is never far away? Why ?
Yes. Love always Love. Because only love can save us. Love makes life more bearable.
You say on the fourth cover page: “It’s not the good against the bad guys.” With the good ones that win at the end to do ‘correct’. Because no, in real life, it is usually the bad guys who prevail.”, can you tell us more?
Yes, because we must not veil our faces. I say things as they are. We all would like to live in a fairer world, but that is not the case. It is not a smooth book, nice … Besides I hate nice books. I believe that the duty of the writer is also to put the finger on all ugliness. The truth must not be made to make it more bearable. So, as in real life, in this book, sometimes the bad guys prevail.
Are you talking about war? What war? What do you think of the war?
War, the one made with weapons, with men falling, the innocent burning alive, tires around the neck. The war against certain devastating passions as well …
What do I think of the war? I believe that this is the extreme manifestation of our bestiality. Only the merchants of the dead, I mean the arms industry, wins.
You are not in your first book, what are the other main themes that you address in your writings?
In Body and Soul, my first collection of short stories, I discuss topics such as domestic slavery, child labor, poverty … I try to reconcile pieces of shattered life. It is IDIOT D’AIMER, the second collection of short stories, summarizes a little bit what Beigbeder said: “Love is a magnificent catastrophe: knowing that one moves in a wall and accelerates nevertheless; run to his ruin, with a smile on his lips; wait with curiosity for the moment when it will mess up. IMAGINE, the first novel is a love story, but neither water nor rose.
As a writer, what is the message you are sending to African youth?
Just one thing: wake up! Stand up and fight against all these wicked politicians! Do not let them steal your dreams! The future is not in flight out of the continent, whether by plane or canoe. You must work for your dignity here. Do not be afraid !