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Senegal’s founding president’s poetry heard in native language for first time

The Guardian   in 
March 11, 2016

Fifteen years after the death of Senegal’s first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor, the west coast village of Fadial threw a three-day party.

As part of the festivities poet and academic Waly Faye presented his life’s work: he has spent the last 30 years translating the former president’s poems from French so they can be read in one of Senegal’s native languages for the first time.

Senghor was the first of a generation of African leaders to be democratically elected in 1960 after the end of colonialism. But he was also a prominent poet and cultural theorist, and has since been hailed as one of the leading African intellectuals of the 20th century.

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