Senegal’s Blues du Fleuve is an annual music festival founded and headlined by Baaba Maal – a singer so popular and influential in this part of the world that in the course of the weekend a shipment of mosquito nets is dropped off at his house, courtesy of the minister of health, to protect his guests.
Maal is the man who gets things done around here. In Francophone West Africa he is Kanye West, with a diplomatic passport – the Pope with better dance moves. Maal’s festival has run since 2006. It usually takes place in Podor, the northernmost town in Senegal, but in previous years it has visited the capital Dakar and crossed the border to Boghé in Mauritania. However, Podor will always be its spiritual home, for two reasons: it is Maal’s hometown, and lies in a prime spot on the Senegal River – the Fleuve which gives the festival its name – which forms the border between Senegal and Mauritania, after passing through Guinea and Mali. Read More