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El Hadj N'Diaye

El Hadj is an extraordinary musician (composer, vocalist and guitarist) from Senegal. His mother is from the north, near Mauriatania and his father from Cassamance in the south. It is significant that his parents come from these regions in the extremities of Senegal because this has given him a balanced understanding of his country.
N'Diaye used to sell cola nuts in a Dakar market and went on to study economics at Cheikh Anta Diop university. However it became clear that his true vocation was to music and the arts where he has made an indelible mark. He has acted in two of Senegalese film-maker Ousmane Sembène's films: 'Camp de Thiarye' and 'Guelar'. Later he also appeared in Joseph Gaye Ramaka's film 'Karmen Gei',which is a version of Bizet's 'Carmen'.
N'Diaye has had three albums released internationally. The first bears the name of his local neighbourhood, Thiaroye, and won the Choc du Monde de la Musique award in France. Secondly Xel (2001) won an 'Academie Charles-Cros' award. The third is Géej - meaning 'The Sea' (2007) and it includes a track about the Jolaa ferry disaster. Always ready to try something new, one of the tracks on Géej, 'Tokoroni', is in Japanese. Each album has accompanying printed notes with most of the lyrics translated in Wolof, French and /or English. The very sound of the lyrics strikes chords
deep in the heart of the listener. Reading the translations then confirms that these are songs of deep feeling about struggles and troubles.
Known as 'the people's poet', El Hadj has deep insight to the plight of troubled people in his country and all