Youssou N’Dour’s campaign team today released the video for his presidential campaign song ‘Fekké Maci Boolé’. Strangely, N’dour’s official French facebook campaign’s biography (apart from punting the obligatory “Yes You can!” profile) only mentions the wives he wed and the children he has fathered. How will these details possibly help him win an election?
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, in 2004 N’dour recorded an album, “Egypt,” of Sufi Islamic praise music with the Egyptian national orchestra. The album won him a Grammy, but it was controversial in Senegal. (The album controversy forms the heart of the 2008 documentary “I Bring What I Love” — including objections by some Senegalese that the filmmakers film holy sites and religious rituals.) I wonder if N’dour has lived that down.