AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Abdoulaye Wade

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Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Disgraced Abdoulaye Wade leaves behind “exile” in Versailles; returns to Dakar

Two years ago, Abdoulaye Wade, after 12 of years in power as Senegal’s President, lost his post in an election against his former Prime Minister, Macky Sall. Wade decamped to the wealthy Versailles suburb in Paris (his wife is French and he lived there during exile from Senghor’s regime). Last week he returned to Senegal.

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Senegalese collective who brought Abdoulaye Wade down reinvents media activism

“There are no foreclosed destinies, only deserted responsabilities” has become one of the mottos of the collective of Senegalese singers and journalists known as Y’En A Marre (“Enough is enough” in French). In the wake of the...

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Does Karim Wade’s arrest mean “the time when one could pillage public goods is gone” in Senegal?

Karim Wade, the son of octogenarian ex-president Abdoulaye Wade, has been sitting in a central Dakar prison for nearly a month as he awaits trial for corruption charges. The younger Wade was arrested and formally charged with...

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Rapping Against Impunity

Senegal’s rapper-activists recently collaborated on a new single in support of Amnesty International’s campaign against impunity in the country. The human rights advocacy organization launched the campaign to draw attention to the fact that there has been...

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

The United States of Africa

The rapper Awadi was a founder of a Senegalese’s brand of political hip hop. As ‘kola wrote on this blog, Awadi was at the forefront of a 1990s social movement that helped to galvanize a youthful constituency...

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

First Lady Marieme Faye Sall: ‘The good Senegalese woman’

Senegal's new first lady, Marieme Faye Sall, represents a break with the country's political history after independence. Madame Sall’s husband, Macky Sall, has just been elected as President of Senegal. Her significance lies in the fact that...

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The Hissène Habré “political and legal soap opera”

Guest post by David Styan In recent weeks media coverage of African criminals and their victims have been dominated by capture (Kony) and conviction (Lubanga), largely overshadowing the latest twist in the most comprehensive and longest-running African...

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The new type of Senegalese

Just in case you were busy being distracted by Kony2012 or the rising sales of Hoodies, I am pleased to inform you that after their 25 March 2012 election, the people of Senegal voted for the removal...

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

A fast train from Dakar

Young Philippe Ndour is the nephew of Senegalese pop star Youssou Ndour. And just like his uncle and his mother he wants to be a pop singer (see his Justin Bieber impression here). And like his uncle, Philippe dabbles...

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Y’En A Marre’s political hip-hop anthems

8 of 13 Senegalese opposition candidates trying to unseat Abdoulaye Wade in the upcoming presidential elections (including three former prime ministers under Wade, and no-longer-candidate Youssou N'Dour) gathered on Obelisk Square in Dakar last Sunday. The rally...

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Is Youssou N’dour qualified to be President?

One decisive factor is N’dour’s shaky relationship to traditional Sufi religious authorities who have some sway in electoral politics. (Wade is very deferential to them.) In the past N’dour has riled them. In the most famous case,...

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Dakar Hustle

Video for spoken word from Senegalese rapper Keyti–remember him? Keyti was one of the stars of Ben Herson’s 2009 documentary film about hip hop and politics in the Senegalese capital, “Democracy in Dakar.”  The video is directed...

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Subsidizing North Korea

ArtAsiaPacific has a feature essay on North Korea’s Mansudae Art Studio, which operates under the ‘special guidance’ of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-Il, and produces propaganda art–paintings, public sculptures–for the North Korean state. The studio also has...

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Dictators and Pop Stars

Yesterday pop star Nelly Furtado tweeted that she had performed privately for Gaddafi’s family, had earned US$1 million, but was feeling so bad that now she would donate the money she earned to “an undisclosed charity.” We...

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Wade’s Country

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Stereo President

In a May 2, 2010 article in “The (UK) Guardian,” the singer Youssou N’Dour is quoted saying of the very unpopular Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade (above in the picture with N’Dour):  “I get the feeling the president hears only...

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Wade’s Ego

Senegal’s President, Abdoluaye Wade, hired North Koreans to built a 50 meter high monument–at exhorbitant cost–to celebrate his country’s 50 years of independence. Oh and he’ll make some of the profits from tourists visiting the monument to...

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Senegal’s Dream President

Senegal’s 83-year old president, Abdoulaye Wade, is running for a third term.  What is it with these guys? Don’t they know when to go? The last time when he won, the opposition had a good case for...

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Wax Poetics “Africa Issue” and Other Links

* I just got the Wax Poetics Africa Issue in the mail.  Though the issue may give the impression that good music stopped being produced in Africa since the 1970s–in part it reads like a tribute issue...