In Dakar, during a night time power cut, we met up in total darkness with musician Pap Guissé who that night invited us to visit the idyllic and peaceful village of Ndem where he’s from (about 4 or 5 hours drive from Dakar) to record members and followers of Baye Fall Ndem. As devotees of the Baye Fall faith, the villagers sing about peace, tolerance and workmanship. While there we recorded the brilliant kora player Kounta Dieye, and both fellow musicians Narr and Bouya playing their locally crafted drums; even the village kids joined in at the end for a mega clapping jam!
Featured in a BBC news story, Ndem has a fascinating recent history. To avoid an exodus to the big city, the village spiritual guide Serigne Babacar Mbow and his French wife Aisha worked incredibly hard to turn the very arid land into a beautiful oasis, they encouraged the villagers to learn craft skills and then launched the successful eco-friendly hand-made clothing company Maam Samba. We were simply humbled by their hospitality and in awe of what they’ve achieved.
Massive thanks to Cori from I-Science for the introduction.