It is a tradition in Senegal that the president of the republic speaks to his compatriots in French at the end of each year. Many of the latter did not understand these messages read in a colonial and foreign language, which was losing momentum all over the world. Less than 45% of Senegalese men and women understand this dialect of France. And besides, why dialogue with their people in a phraseology that the majority do not master? Normally, whoever wants to be understood, has the obligation to transmit his message in a language or expression understood by all. But this has never been the case in Senegal. The authorities, during these end-of-year festivities behaved like settlers from elsewhere and poured out river speeches as if they were in France or in the West. They forgot, de facto, that they were proud African warriors on African soil. Many of our compatriots consider these messages as contemptuous facts for the Senegalese people with their national languages recognized by the constitution and which must be developed. Our country must begin to turn the page on this dark period in our history. The chief executive must find a formula to join his people who have brought him to power democratically.
We also deplored an absence of the Pulaar or the Fulfulde in these messages intended for the Senegalese people although this community is the majority in the country. Some say that journalists speaking in the chat rooms of mbini and mbidone have always been excluded from official ceremonies in order to stifle their speech. Others believe that they are forbidden to use their language even if they are present. As a result, the authorities favored French and another local language. People of this unanimity have always found this situation frustrating and unacceptable. They do not understand that their language is embargoed and boycotted by the state of their country of birth and also by most public and private media. One wonders whether the competent state services would not refuse to license the new media (radio and television) to be used in Pulaar. People in this group would only be entitled to low or tiny frequency media like those in remote villages. Also, it’s undeniable to say that their airtime on the RTS is nothing but crumbs.
Thus, we appeal to Mr. Adama Barro Ba, president of the international convergence of Pulaaro-phone journalists and his organization to be actively involved in this debate. Their contribution and their commitment are necessary in this world where their community suffers deeply, among other things from under-information. They must also claim on behalf of the latter, the right to be informed in their language.
We hereby thank in advance the Head of State, Mr. Macky Sall, while hoping that our message will catch his attention. We send our best wishes for happiness, health and prosperity to all of humanity. YO JOMO WADD KISAL E JAMM E MEN!
Columnist, Montreal, Canada.
And his collaborators from Dental Fulbé Canada, Kisal Deeyirde Pulaagu, Tabital Pulaguu Germany and Kibaaruji Pulagu International and Fedde Pellital