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Archive for January 7th, 2012

Beware bards bidding to take charge of court

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 7, 2012

 By Christopher Caldwell, New York Times

When Youssou N’Dour announced this week that he would run in Senegal’s presidential elections next month, the singer probably surprised his neighbours more than his western fans. Mr N’Dour is Senegal’s most famous citizen. He has performed with Peter Gabriel and Sting. He cuts a more imposing figure on the world stage than Abdoulaye Wade, who at 85 is running for a third term as president. In poor countries, singers have often been tribunes of the people. They find themselves drawn into politics. Two singers ran (or tried to) in Haiti’s last election. The polygamist composer Fela Kuti thought he would make a good president in Nigeria three decades ago and so did the salsa musician Rubén Blades in Panama in the 1990s. Mr N’Dour comes from a family of west African griots, or praise-singers. Why shouldn’t he run? Read the rest of this entry »

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