Before Youssou Was “Monsieur le Ministre”


Youssou N’dour has been named the Minister for Culture and Tourism in Senegal under the administration of just-elected Macky Sall. But it’s unknown what kind of crimp that’ll put on his performance schedule.

Take a look at this brief excerpt of Youssou strutting his stuff on stage in Dakar at a Macky Sall victory concert he gave this past Monday.

Judging from those moves, it’s hard to imagine that irrepresible energy getting diluted by something like a ministerial post.

One scenario is that the post will keep him busy, and Youssou N’dour uses it to launch him further into career politics.

Another scenario is that perhaps Macky Sall gave Youssou the post in the same way some big campaign donors in the US get ambassadorial posts in a new administration.

If it’s the latter scenario, expect Youssou N’dour to be much more engaged musically in the near future.

Postscript: the above video (and still) was shot by the talented Andy Bowley, the videographer who shot all of the forthcoming documentary “Shakin’ the Tree” (working title), which will be featured in the upcoming episode of PBS Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders. It was a hellish concert to shoot says Bowley. He had a hard time maintaining his position in front of the stage. There was a lot of jostling, not to mention getting bumped by police who had to bring in stretchers for spectators who got injured during a melee near the end of the show. Apparently, the next evening’s celebration concert given by rappers from the Y en a marre coalition and Ivorian reggae activist Tiken Jah Fakoly was more chill and enjoyable.

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