For our last interview, our teens returned to Brooklyn’s famous Joloff restaurant where we sat down with Papa Diagme to learn more about his life and career as Senegalese restaurant owner and chef. Papa Diagme and his wife have been in business since 1995. On our first trip to Joloff some of our teens experienced Senegalese cuisine for the very first time. They really enjoyed the traditional dishes we ordered last time so after our interview with Papa Diagme we treated them to some more delicious Senegalese food and beverages!
During our final week of learning contemporary dance with Papa Sy, our teens had the honor of meeting the legendary Malang Bayo, master dancer, choreographer and former member of the National Ballet of Senegal. After greeting Mr. Bayo and learning about his recent visit to Senegal our teens sat down with him for a 30-minute interview.
During the interview our teens learned about Mr. Bayo’s exciting career. Malang Bayo is a very accomplished artist. His entire career has been devoted to teaching the art of African song and dance. He is well versed in the folklore and dance of the Wolof, Mandinka, Djola, and Bambara people of Senegal. His own performance company, Mussukeba Sane West African Ballet was founded in 1992. They have performed lectures and demonstrations for schools and colleges throughout the country. In addition to this Malang Bayo has also provided choreography for several dance companies, including Silimbo D’Adeane West African Dance company in Boston, Maimouna Keita School of African Dance in New York, and Teye’ Sa Thiossanne African Dance Company in San Diego.
Our teens have been working on the Next Stop: Brooklyn/Dakar project for over 6 months now! During this time they have had the opportunity to meet and interview many artists that have made significant contributions to the growing Senegalese community in central Brooklyn. The knowledge acquired from these interviews combined with their research has taught them many exciting new facts about Dakar as well as the various ways Senegalese migration has been impacting their community.
Here is what some our teens have to say about the experience so far:
The project has been very interesting so far. I have never done anything like it before. It has taught me a lot of fascinating facts about Dakar. Petra C.
Overall, the program has been great. It has gotten me out of the house and it has helped improve my communication and research skills. I also get to meet a lot of new people. Trevor F.
I enjoy watching videos and learning about how different news sources present information about Senegal and Mali. Jinelle T.
Speaking to people of Senegalese descent is an honor. It’s not everyday we get to meet and learn about accomplished people like Marie Basse. Senee R.