Senegal is maintaining its oral historical previous in a podcast

“Let me enable you to know the marvelous historical previous of our Senegal. Let me accumulate you on a scoot into the ample feats of glory,” begins Massamba Gueye in a narrate that guarantees legend tales to come.

The famed Senegalese storyteller is familiar with talking to crowds of captivated adolescents or packed theater halls. But this time Gueye is by myself in a studio, recording a podcast.

The podcast Xam sa démb, xam sa tey (“Know your previous, know your fresh”) is the product of a partnership between Senegal’s National Archives, the Goethe-Institut, and the Home of Orality and Heritage, a cultural heart primarily based by Gueye. Thru 50 episodes published on-line in Wolof and French, it targets to originate Senegalese historical previous accessible to childhood and to preserve the nation’s storytelling custom.

Massamba Gueye

Properly-known storyteller Massamba Gueye works on the podcast. At lower than 15 minutes prolonged, every episode tackles a diversified matter in Senegalese historical previous.

“Orality peaceful plays a in point of fact great aim in the transmission of facts on the African continent,” says Bouya Fall, director of the library at Goethe-Institut Senegal, a branch of the worldwide German cultural association.  “It used to be in the will to elongate this put collectively, by adapting it to the favored and digital world, that we made up our minds to provide this podcast.”

The podcast started in February and ought to peaceful continue into 2022 with a up to date episode every Tuesday. At lower than 15 minutes prolonged, every episode tackles a diversified matter in Senegalese historical previous, from the smartly-acknowledged island of Gorée, an venerable slave-buying and selling submit, to the legend of Ndate Yalla Mbooj, a Wolof queen who fought in opposition to French colonization in the mid-1800s.

The scripts had been written by Ibrahima Wane, a professor of African literature at Dakar’s Cheikh Anta Diop University, and drawn from National Archive paperwork, which had been then re-labored and narrated by Gueye, the project’s ingenious director.

One of the most topics are taught in colleges, said Gueye, however he’s involved with how grand adolescents no doubt support. Classes might maybe maybe also additionally be dry and students hardly ever plod to the library anymore to study out books, he said.

“An increasing form of I receive requests referring to the historical previous of Senegal. Every single day I gain a dozen calls with people asking me to stamp one thing,” said Gueye, who wears many hats collectively with professor, author and handbook to the Senegalese government. He has labored on diversified radio shows and podcasts, however said this is the major of such scope and ambition.

Larger than 9,000 people maintain visited the podcast’s web space, said Fall, though there are no statistics on how many maintain listened to the episodes, that are free to skedaddle or get. Solutions has been sure, collectively with from Senegalese immigrants residing in Europe who said their adolescents are taking note of be taught their historical previous, she said.

Ismaila Fall

An illustration for the podcast The podcast Xam sa démb, xam sa tey (“Know your previous, know your fresh”).

As soon as all 50 episodes were produced the opinion is to create an “audio corner” in the National Archives the place people can come hear, and to originate them obtainable in colleges and museums, said Fall.

Gueye says oral transmission has aged in Senegal as more people maintain learned to read and write, however it’s peaceful the major strategy of facts transfer in certain domains, similar to aged treatment, crafts and stitching. He primarily based the Home of Orality and Heritage in Dakar in 2012 as a heart for be taught and documentation of oral traditions.

“Our total heritage, now now not most intelligent our historical previous however our criminal pointers, our religion, our customs, the entire lot used to be handed down by oral transmission,” he said.

Even the younger technology has confirmed its penchant for the spoken note via its exercise of the audio parts of social media, said Gueye. The dominant messaging platform in Senegal is WhatsApp, and most people exercise it to ship narrate notes reasonably than texts. The podcast on account of this fact reaches childhood in a medium they already be pleased.

“I mediate social media has helped orality come alive all but again,” said Gueye.

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