My thoughts on Saint-Louis today
“There is already a lot that people can do for themselves. Like today with the Corona virus, there are people who make masks that are very pretty, I congratulate them for that! People can work if they want, but lazyness is dominating. I think that now when they see an opportunity to earn more money and be more secure, young people work more and they manage to sell and move about, all that I like very much! There is something I think I would like to change in this town though: I would like to have a second bridge. We have had a bridge for a long time and often when a car is blocking the way, it is very difficult for another person to pass. It can take several hours for traffic to work smoothly again. If I wanted to change something in Saint-Louis, it would be to have a second bridge, that’s my wish.”
What is the place you dream of?
“The place of my dreams is always somewhere in Africa. I have traveled in parts of Europe and in Istanbul and all that, I think that there is nothing that would please me a lot compared to Africa because we have good things, we have good herbs, we are more comfortable at home. It’s the culture, and food, you see. I can give an example: just to prepare an African dish I have to leave from Gera all the way to Chateau Rouge to have the ingredients, but here in Africa it’s everywhere on our doorsteps! You just have to work the land well and cultivate it again and not necessarily imitate the whites and do like them with pizzas, chawarmas and burgers. We must cultivate our land well, it can help us a lot and do us good. Africa is the best! I don’t want to live elsewhere if it is not in Africa.”
What are your thoughts on the current pandemic?
“There is a lot of advertising and controversy in social media about corona virus, we really do not know what the reality is. Was it created? Did it come from an animal in Wuhan? Was it created in a Chinese laboratory? Is it a complicity of all that? We see a lot of things and we are confused in the head. We just don’t know.
But what I can see is the way the virus has spread, it goes everywhere, right and left. Until today we are protected in Africa, I think it makes you ask: is this real? In Senegal for example everyone eats together, the family lives together, almost ten people, that means that there is solidarity, human brotherhood. We have a lot of that here, compared to Europe where everyone has their own room, you know? But until now, we have been spared from this virus, why? I’m asking this question: isn’t it something that was created to scare us? To destabilize the whole economy? I don’t know… I think – and I’m entitled to my own opinion – is it not something that makes us fall even more because, you know, Africa is starting to wake up, there are many people who are starting to see the reality. Excuse me, but the French, the Americans and the English are colonizing Africa for a second time. Maybe this is one way to make us destabilized once again. I can say “No -” to Africans and to our leaders: ” – stop reaching out, stop taking loans with these people.” We can live with what we have. Everyone is able to go back to the land and cultivate, and I think we can make it. Voilà!”
This is a partial translation from French from a video interview and discussion with Blaise Abebado on Saint-Louis of Senegal and on the Covid-19 pandemic. The recording was made on 22 April 2020 for Afropolis Saint-Louis.