Has God Forsaken Africa?

Your video will begin in 10
Skip ad (5)

Members don't see these ads. Sign up or log in with Google or Twitter.

The story of this documentary unfolds in a working-class neighborhood in Dakar, Senegal. The director, Musa Dieng Kala, returns there to see what happened in a district he grew up in. Twenty years have passed since he and his friends dreamt of rebuilding their land. Today the young people there dream of a sole opportunity to leave and go far away, elsewhere.

Many young people are finishing school and they're just wandering around for years. They're not really losers. In fact when they get up in the morning they look for ways to make money to survive. You may conclude that they lack ambition but they're smart enough to know that in order to get anywhere they need to take action. They do a bit of everything - painting, cleaning - to make a living.

They experience their highs and lows. They could've been violent, like others in their age, they could've robbed or soled drugs, but they're sober. No alcohol, no drugs. The values they share among them are respect for the individual, mutual cooperation and sharing. Instead of eating lunch at home, they prefer rummaging through leftovers and eating them on the bench. At their age, it's dishonorable to be fed by their parents.

But, they're at the point where they'd do anything to go to Europe, anywhere in Europe. They'd hitch onto a plane or go by pirogue. Deserting Africa is like claiming that nothing can be accomplished, established nor enjoyed there. This is a severe problem.

Like rats deserting a sinking ship, their leaders send their children abroad to study in the most prestigious universities in the world. Their wives give birth abroad in hopes that their children will one day become American or European; in fact, anything but African. They leave behind an African youth feeling lost, frustrated and in despair, yearning to go to the West to escape a seemingly pointless future. The land, see and sky become their refuge. Leaving Africa thus becomes a life-long task - to live elsewhere, anywhere, but not there.