By Charlotte Young
Senegal’s president Abdoulaye Wade may be facing formidable opposition to his 2012 re-election. Out of the frustrations of the youth, a group of rappers have formed and are starting to shake things up.
Their name speaks for itself: “Y’en a marre,” French slang for “enough is enough.” Though they are formed out of Senegal’s rural Kaolack, their music speaks to the corruptions, urban flooding and frequent power cuts that are signature to the capital Dakar.
“We couldn’t keep talking without getting involved,” Fadel Barro, the founder of the anti-wade group told Reuters.
Since January the group has formed nearly 40 local chapters with the aim to sign up youth aged 18 and up to vote against Wade in the February 2012 elections.
The protests can be seen in concerts and demonstrations across the country, their black t-shirts boldly displaying their name. Their Facebook group carries hundreds of followers.
One senior Dakar-based diplomat watches their growth in “fascination,” acknowledging the group’s ability to address the average citizen the way no political candidate can.
Y’en a marre has had enough impact to gain government attention and has even led for some demonstrations to be banned and a few arrests.
While some analysts warn against fraudulent elections and revolutions similar to what has taken place in North Africa and other nearby regions, independent political analyst Djiby Diakhate says he doesn’t believe the religious leaders will be able to “manage things” if they attempt to manipulate the new political efforts.
“It is a movement that has emerged from the heart of the people, the real people, using the language of the people,” he said.