Senegal: Ndiaganiao, native village of the next president, displays its pride and hopes

Senegal: Ndiaganiao, native village of the next president, displays its pride and hopes

In Ndiaganiao, a remote village in an agricultural region of west-central Senegal, men flock from all over the country to congratulate the father of the next president Bassirou Diomaye Faye in the hall of the pastel-colored family home.

Dressed in a silky blue boubou, Mr. Samba Faye, 84, who moves with difficulty using a cane, says to himself “happy and proud” of his son who is “ born in this house » located at the end of a bumpy, sandy road.

He confides to AFP that he told his son that“a great responsibility now rests on his shoulders”. “I asked him to do everything to satisfy the Senegalese” Who “have high hopes” in him.

Ten days after her release from prison, anti-system candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye won Sunday's presidential election in the first round with 54.28% of the vote with the promise of radical change.

“I am happy and proud. This consecration proves that we have not missed our son's education. We could never have imagined that he would one day be President of the Republic even if we prayed that he would go as far as possible in his career. Bassirou has always been a serious and ambitious boy”he said.

“He came to me before the election, prostrated himself at my feet and asked me to pray for his success” in the ballot, he adds as men come to greet him. Others stick cell phones in his face so they can take calls in a courtyard where birdsong echoes.

“Connected” President

Women stay away from the gathering of men in the village where he grew up. He won 80.6% of the votes. His name and that of Ousmane Sonko, his mentor, are written everywhere in white paint on the walls and decrepit facades.

The new president's uncle and his namesake, Diomaye Faye, says that the ” “The advice we can give him is to remain himself, to be humble and to maintain his ability to listen.”

“He will be a connected president” reality, continues his uncle, a professor of political science in the United States who says he spent two years, from 1985 to 1987, with the pan-Africanist leader Thomas Sankara assassinated in Burkina Faso.

Outside the house, little girls play barefoot in the dusty alleys in front of buildings from another age where old wooden doors and others in rusty metal hold on as best they can.

Sometimes goats venture there. Residents seem to move around mainly on foot, in horse-drawn carts but also in a few rare cars which raise clouds of orange dust as they pass.

At the local headquarters of Mr. Faye's Pastef party, decorated with a few posters of Mr. Faye, Mr. Mor Sarr, who presents himself as one of his best friends, confides that he monitored the conduct of the vote to avoid any electoral fraud.

“We met at college when we were 11, then I shared his room from 2001 until 2004 at university” from Dakar, he said.

“Little Shepherd”

He says he remembers his “friend Diomaye with whom he played football on sandy fields demarcated simply by stones” but also having shared every last peanut when they were students without real financial resources.

Admirer of American President Barack Obama but also of South African Nelson Mandela and fervent reader of works devoted to psychology, “Diomaye has always been very close to his mother, Khady Diouf, whom he helped with household chores” after school, testifies this Pastef manager. He adds that the new Senegalese president is a fan of reggae.

“Diomaye was also a little shepherd who watched his goats” in the fields, he remembers, but also a sportsman, “big fan of Real Madrid and Zidane”. “He did martial arts, kung fu which he stopped to devote himself to another martial art, Viet vo dao, but with all his new functions, he only does swimming.”

Outside the Pastef premises, traders installed under trees placed some fruits and vegetables on carts while waiting for customers. The village has no infrastructure worthy of the name, no stadium, no dispensary, no paved road.

“We expect him to make changes. For example, the village needs a hospital. It must also invest in education to offer our children more chance of success,” says a trader, Fabienne Dione, saying to herself ” very proud “ of the victory of the new president.

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