“Out of Africa, Part III” Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times, 27 April 2016

“The land and the climate cannot sustain enough of them anymore. And they don’t want a benefit concert in Central Park or Hyde Park. They want what they see on their cellphones --Europe, which involves a trek across the desert and a boat across the sea--. But who can blame them?”

Babacar Niang --known as Matador-- is one of the pioneers of African rap whose lyrics appeal to young Senegalese to stay home and build their country instead of joining the migration to Europe. He comes from the Thiaroye slum of Dakar, which is often driven by floods, droughts and overpopulation. Around 2000 the rains returned to the Thiaroye slum and it became uninhabitable. Then he decided to do homage to his place with a song called “Catastrophe”, which became a hit. According to him, Senegal’s Government has spent money on sports stadiums instead of draining his neighborhood. “It pains me because the people, they’re forced to leave. To build Senegal we need those young people. But how can we keep them here in these conditions?”. Another of his songs --called “Tukki”, which means "trip"-- is a migrant´s lament about a nation which cannot be sustained any longer by the land and the climate. Matador understands his generation, when they leave the country to find work and money to send home. In the meanwhile, he reminds them the need to stay and build Senegal. Another person with an idea on the main situation in Africa today is Ousmane Ndiaye--the weatherman of the climate unit for the National Civil Aviation and Meteorology Agency--. His research displays recent extreme weather patterns, like those taking place in the area of Matador. Average temperature in Senegal has increased 2 degrees Celsius from 1950 to 2015. Last week it was 5 degrees above normal. “People are still doubting climate change, and we are living it”. In Senegal, you can see on TV people having a good live in other countries, while they cannot have it living here. So they have to do something, even if it risks their lives. "The human being is just a more intelligent animal, and if [he or she] is pushed to the extreme, the animal instinct will come out to survive. Everyone wants a better life”.

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“Out of Africa, Part III” Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times, 27 April 2016


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