West Africa News

Ebola vaccines arrive in Guinea after dust storm delay
These are the first cases in West Africa, five years after the end of the world's deadliest outbreak. www.bbc.co.uk | 2/23/21 11:27 AM
Guinea records first Ebola deaths since 2016
These are the first cases in West Africa, five years after the end of the world's deadliest outbreak. www.bbc.co.uk | 2/14/21 10:48 AM
How ‘Nafi’s Father’ Director Examined Roots of Extremism in Senegal (Video)

“Nafi’s Father” director Mamadou Dia and producer Maba Ba found the inspiration to make their film — which is Senegal’s entry in the Oscars International Film category — out of the desire to show how the roots of extremism start small but can cause long-term damage.

The film, set in a small Senegalese town and filmed where Dia grew up, follows the fight between an Imam and his powerful brother over their children’s marriage. The story becomes a metaphor for the insidious nature of extremism that invades the village and shows extremism — be it political, religious or cultural — is a global problem that must be addressed before a crisis happens, not after.

A panel discussion of “Nafi’s Father” was truly an international event, with Dia connecting virtually from Dakar in Senegal, Ba weighing in from Brooklyn, New York, and TheWrap’s editor in chief Sharon Waxman moderating in Los Angeles. The creators noted that the virtual connection was reflective of the fact that extremism is a global issue.

Also Read: Oscars International Race Breaks Record With 93 Entries

The filmmakers said that although Senegal has not yet become a center for religious extremist events, they have noticed that Timbuktu, Mali and West Africa have, at times, fallen under the sway of Jihadists. And that’s not all they noticed. “This started not only from Senegal but also from the U.S.,” Dia said, adding that he doesn’t see too much difference between Mali and the U.S. embracing extreme views in recent years.

“I have worked as a journalist traveling around Africa…and I just remember how Timbuktu people and Malians were so peaceful and nice,” Dia said. “But I was in America in 2016, studying at NYU when Trump got elected, which to my mind, is also political extremism. Those two moments that happened hit me really personally, and hit everyone around me. I said, ‘We should talk about that. We should talk about not only what happens when it is too late, but how do we get to that point.'”

Marriage is used as a metaphor in the film, which Ba said is rooted in truth. “(Extremists) marry into communities to infiltrate them; I thought this was a subtle way to show it,” he said. ” When it comes to onscreen depictions of extremism, if you think about it, we only see the part with the AK-47s out, but you don’t see how they infiltrate the communities.

Also Read: Cynthia Erivo to Star in Film About African Princess Offered as 'Gift' to Queen Victoria

“Nafi’s Father” is only the third film from Senegal to be entered into the Oscar competition. “I am not sure it is because of a lack of industry…I think it is more a problem of structure, and that’s why we want to bring a better structure,” Ba said. “The talent is definitely there.”

Ba has a very personal stake in nurturing the art of filmmaking in Africa, as he lost his father to COVID-19 just four days before the panel. “We keep talking about these numbers, and it sometimes takes away from the actual lives COVID definitely hit us hard, ” he said.

“But it puts things into better perspective, especially in the art world and the films that we are making and our legacy, because he was a filmmaker, and a big champion of pushing Senegalese and African film, So it kind of put all the work that we do in perspective, the importance of it.”


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Billie Eilish to Perform at the 92nd Academy Awards

www.thewrap.com | 1/31/21 2:28 AM
Untold Sadness - She dropped out of med school after finding love n Sierra Leone national now struggling in Jamaica
Etta Isatu Findlay was on her way to earning a medical degree from the Carlos J. Finlay University of Medical Sciences. She said that she left her homeland of Sierra Leone in West Africa, and was receiving medical training at the Cuban university... jamaica-star.com | 1/22/21 10:02 AM
Canary Islands sees 1,600 migrants arrive over weekend
The islands have seen a sharp increase in the number of migrants from West Africa in recent months. www.bbc.co.uk | 11/8/20 8:06 PM
American hostage rescued in West Africa by SEAL Team 6 in daring raid
An American hostage has been rescued in Nigeria by SEAL Team 6 in a daring raid, Fox News has learned. www.foxnews.com | 10/31/20 1:10 PM
At least 140 migrants drown off Senegal coast, UN says
A boat carrying 200 people caught fire and capsized on Saturday after setting off from West Africa. www.bbc.co.uk | 10/29/20 3:50 PM
ISIS-linked Boko Haram dispatches bomb-strapped donkey to ambush state governor
In what is being touted as a "coordinated ambush" by Nigerian officials, militants belonging to the West Africa-based, ISIS-affiliated terrorist organization Boko Haram on Sunday unleashed a donkey carting explosives to assail the convoy of Borno State Governor Babagana Zalum. www.foxnews.com | 9/29/20 4:13 PM