Last week I had the pleasure of bumping into Thiat – activist, entertainer, and visiting NED Democracy Fellow from Senegal on two occasions. First, we spoke briefly at NED before Charles Mangongera’s presentation. He gave me a copy of a very interesting documentary in which he features prominently, Boy Saloum (there is particularly compelling footage of him being arrested while opposing Wade’s attempts to remain in power in Senegal). Our second encounter (above) was on the metro while he was heading to the studio for a recording session (and I was returning from reading Liberian newspapers on microfilm at the Library of Congress).
In this blog I often speak on what I perceive to be a significant lack of interest by Africa watchers in regards to African entertainment issues, particularly those that appeal to youth. NED has taken a great step in bridging this divide by recognizing Thiat.
To register for Thiat’s presentation at NED on January 30 and to get more background info on him, go here. I’ve also been informed that he’ll be performing at the Kennedy Center soon.