Posté par Fabulafricana
“So guyz back end of the summer of 2012 I was involved with a cool project called “Women Groove Factory”basically it’s a project centered around 2 Senegalese female artists who come from different horizons and work around an album. It was a great experience, met some cool cool people and spent some time documenting their journey, so this essay is part of it.We went to Niodior, the village of Nnima…good experience I shall share more abt my experience with the Women Factory in the near futur”
On a rainy Saturday we squeezed up into a van, and by we I mean the La Factory /Women groove family on our merry way towards the village of Niodior in the regions of the Sine & Saloum.We were going to visit Gnima’s family. The Women Groove Family include Sarah our extraordinary photographer, Dalliso our resident film maker, Cheikh & Jules our camera men, drivers/problems solver, Lune & Yarame the production team members. The mood was good, we didn’t let our getting lost for an hour or two or three really who’s counting depress us J In some ways, the rain was a blessing, the weather was cool and the ride enjoyable. The guys stopped a few times to ask our way around, we shared sandwiches and our love of music, we played everything from Felaeske rythm to Oumar Pene acoustic sound .We finally reached the little fishing port & I realized some of Allah’s greatness ; indeed it was unnimaginable to me that in Senegal ,there were some people living so far away surrounded by water.As we got on the dugout canoe, Nnima & her brother seemed totally in their element , sitting all the way at the tip of the boat.Mamy,I & Yaram our production extraordinaire assistant sat close to each other african style.I As we departed, Mamy started singing , she later explained that each time a griot crosses over water, he has to sing as a way to praise the spirits.It was a beautiful moment seeing Nnima totally in her element lost in the moment ,her beautiful dark skin glowing from afar dressed up in colorful hip hop gear, a colorful scarf on her head. Mamy on the other hand was quiet, singing or praising silently the spirits.It reminded me of what life was about ; we were all miniscule points in the middle of the ocean, our destinies all in the hand of our creator…. Allhamdoulilah ! The ride was probably about 45 minutes, ok I’ll admit it, I was absolutely scared & amazed at the same time that some people were actually living in the middle of the Ocean. After a while, we started seeing far away mosks, greenery, brick houses. I just couldn’t wait to meet Nnima’s family & see what life in Niodior was all about.
From the little I knew already, Niodior is a beautiful fishing village where Senegalese people of Serere ethniciy lived in.We finally arrived and were greeted by the village children, they were curious, happy to see new faces it seems. Sarah particularly made a strong opinion from the go they shouted hapilly « toubab= white person ».She was gracious enough not to be offended but wave and smile to them. Ada, Nnima’s cousin and our guide for the rest of our trip, lead us to Nnima’s house.We walked on sandy roads passing by a few houses, people sitting right in the front looking at us quietly.We finally arrived at Nnima’s family house and were greeted by her mother, a tall beautiful woman. Looking at her, it’s amazing to know that she gave birth to over five children…. MashAllah !
We took of our dirty shoes and made our way barefoot in the cozy house. Mamy was exhausted &crashed in a bedroom. Yarame & I made our way to the room were we given, a spacious room with a bathroom where we found iron buckets of water, we were about to experience village life.Over our bed was fasten a mosquito net in order to protect our bodies from the attacks of the miniscule mosquitoes Mout-Mout but let me tell you guys this was to no avail, at the end of the weekend we had mosquito bites all over our bodies.Fatou,Nnima’s aunt cooked some fish and rice for us, & it was excellent & cooked with little but just enough oil . During the afternoon, Yarame & I decided to go along Dalisso , Sarah & Nnima to take some pictures . As we walked, we discovered beautiful mangrove that I’ve heard so much about in middle school. I wonder why no one had told me about this gorgeous site before The sky was blue , the people elegant, the elder women drapped beautifully with long veils.Nnima was greeted by everyone, everyone was happy to see one of their children back in town .
We walked around , Nnima & her niece Nylane sat on the heavy branches of a baopap totally absorbed by an aunty/ niece conversation.It’s obvious that Nylane adores and admires her aunt, it’s gonna be interesting seeing how this beautiful little girl turns out years from now & I would’nt be surprised if she becomes an artist. After the photo session, I wanted to buy some fruits but it was impossible to find any apples or oranges on the island. I was told that people were seldomly buying fruits, I thought to myself no pastry shop no apples but hapiness and simple living. Finally at diner time, we all got together around two big plates laughing teasing each other about our apetite.Nnima and her mother the perfect hosts made sure we fell comfortable in their house. I discovered in Nnima a young lady proud of her origins, close to her family, speaking fluently both serere and french.I discovered a young lady proud and content, sweet towards her mother.At different times during our stay, Nnima had to leave us in order to greet her family, her mother just like any of our african mama was adament about that. During our stay, we got to roam around the town a bit and get into the early rythm of its habitants, rising early going to bed late, We city people weren’t so used to being up so early .During the nights there we could often hear the loud laugh of Nnima who was hanging with her musician brother Youssoupha & Dalisso .
Till next time people:)