Singer Youssou Ndour to challenge Abdoulaye Wade for presidency

Singer Youssou Ndour to challenge Abdoulaye Wade for presidency
Published: 03 January 2012 (1616 Views)
Dakar - World-renowned Senegalese singer Youssou Ndour announced on Monday night that he was running for president against incumbent Abdoulaye Wade in February 26 elections.

"I am a candidate," the country's most famous export declared on his privately-owned television station after weeks of speculation about his plans.

"I have listened, I have heard, and I am responding favourably," Ndour said, referring to numerous requests that he throw his hat into the political ring.

"It is a supreme patriotic duty," he added of the race in which he hopes to use his massive star power to unseat 85-year-old Wade who is seeking a much criticised third term in office.

Ndour, 52, announced at a concert at the end of November that he had put performing on hold and formed his own political movement, Fekke ma ci bolle ('I am involved' in Wolof).

"It's true, I haven't pursued higher education, but the presidency is a function and not a job. I have proved my competence, commitment, rigour and efficiency time and time again.

"I have studied at the school of the world. Travel teaches as much as books."

Hailed by the New York Times as "one of the world's greatest singers", Ndour has achieved huge international success with his mixture of Senegal's popular Mbalax music style with samba, hip-hop, jazz and soul.

He was born in October 1959 in Dakar's populous Medina suburb to a modest family and is an icon in his home country.

Abroad he has collaborated with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Wyclef Jean, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and many other famous names.

Outspoken critique

In his declaration on Monday night, Ndour said his campaign would include initiatives for peace in the troubled southern Casamance region, good governance, agricultural and social development projects.

"My life is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration," he said.

The singer has also been heavily involved in social and political issues.

In 1985 Ndour organised a concert for the release of South Africa's then-apartheid prisoner Nelson Mandela who went on to become the country's first black president. He has been involved in scores more benefit concerts.

He owns private media group Future Medias which includes a radio station RFM, a television station TFM and daily newspaper L'Observateur which are often critical towards Wade's government.

Ndour has emerged as an outspoken critic of Wade, whose bid for a controversial third term in office has opposition and civil society groups fuming, and tensions have led to violent clashes in recent months.

Wade was first elected president in 2000 for a seven-year term, and re-elected in 2007 for five years after a constitutional reform shortened presidential terms.

In 2008 the seven-year term was re-introduced, raising confusion over whether Wade had exhausted his two-term limit. The opposition says yes, he says no, and the constitutional court will rule on the issue in early January.

Some 20 candidates will be taking part in the election.


- AFP

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Mwonzora's law firm fails to pay rent

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 50 Views

It will be easier for Zimbabweans to emigrate to the UK

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 58 Views

MDC statement on victims of torture

by MDC Youth Assembly | 26 June 2019 | 62 Views

Zimbabwe could be plunged into total darkness

by Staff Reporter | 26 June 2019 | 87 Views

Mthuli Ncube mops up $190m local liquidity to support Zimdollar

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 98 Views

Welshman Ncube's brother appointed Supreme Court judge

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 June 2019 | 88 Views

Forex withdrawals still permissible

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 65 Views

Zanu-PF unveils Nkayi south bye-election candidate

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 59 Views

Mnangagwa backs youths

by Staff Reporter | 26 June 2019 | 64 Views

Zimbabwe Warriors held

by BBC | 26 June 2019 | 52 Views

MP demands Mnangagwa appears before Parliament

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 51 Views

Zimbabwe's new currency on the way

by newzimbabwe | 26 June 2019 | 60 Views

Some road construction companies short-changed us

by Thomas Murisa. | 26 June 2019 | 57 Views

LIVE: Tendai Biti responds to Mthuli Ncube

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 June 2019 | 55 Views

Stop the stigmatization, vitiligo is not a disease

by Thomas Murisa | 26 June 2019 | 50 Views

'Zimbabwe reaches a point of no return'

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 June 2019 | 87 Views

Socio-economic Implications of banning the US Dollar

by ZIMCODD | 26 June 2019 | 97 Views

Zimbabwe now back to normalcy, says Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 90 Views

Mthuli Ncube's currency move triggers chaos

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 115 Views

MDC to ramp up pressure on Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 96 Views

Explosive Zanu-PF politburo meeting

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 109 Views

Jonathan Moyo begs Chiwenga for out of court settlement

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 84 Views

Domestic worker axes employers

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 65 Views

ZANU PF Youth leader speaks out

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 June 2019 | 71 Views

'Chiwenga inspires African armies to commit coup'

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 June 2019 | 105 Views

DEMOCRACY - A Citizen's Responsibility

by Agencies | 26 June 2019 | 94 Views

New twist to ZANU PF Youth corruption list

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 June 2019 | 154 Views

Health consultation fee shoots up to ZW$1 800

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 June 2019 | 107 Views

RBZ dismisses false reports on foreign currency

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 June 2019 | 118 Views

David Coltart speaks on dialogue with Mnangagwa

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 June 2019 | 141 Views

BREAKING: RBZ boss sues Zanu-PF

by Staff Reporter | 26 June 2019 | 122 Views

PHOTOS: Chinese nationals detain Temba Mliswa

by Mandla Ndlovu | 26 June 2019 | 116 Views

Zinara finance director arrested

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 169 Views

Zimbabwean exporters to continue getting US$

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 131 Views

Zimsec exam ID scam unearthed

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 137 Views

Obert Mpofu exposes 'lying' chief

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 197 Views

Mnangagwa claims that 'Country has returned to normalcy'

by Staff reporter | 26 June 2019 | 146 Views