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N 2004, SOME SENEGALESE FRIENDS of mine visiting the UK asked me why there was so much negativity and pessimism about Africa in the British media. As I had lived so long with the


“negativity”, I had taken it for granted. I never questioned it: Africa simply was a dangerous place where one was not really supposed to go. It was always at war and its people died of famine or diseases. Good Westerners even organised mega-concerts to help the continent, singing “give them a chance”! My Senegalese friends insisted I visit


them in Dakar and see things for myself. I did. And it changed my vision of Africa


Nigerian musician Tony Oladipo Allen; and Papis (DJ Paco), Nouakchott, Mauritania


Some shots from Sibelly’s project “The Other Africa”: (clockwise from top left) Manal Guerbi, TV presenter, Algiers;


New African March 2011 | 83


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