In Senegal, rappers, activists, and members of the communities where it happens are uniting to stop the cut.
Dakar, Senegal – Just as the clock strikes 8:45am, Alassane Diallo turns up the volume of the radio inside his taxi.
It’s not long until he starts giggling, as the familiar voice of a woman with a thick French accent blasts through the speakers.
For five minutes every day, Moudou Moudou, a satirical character created by Senegalese comedian Marieme Faye, takes over the Vibe Radio airwaves – and Diallo is just one of many who tune in religiously.
“She pokes fun at everyone; politicians as well as regular people,” Diallo says.
“With comedy, she says out loud what people think, things that would never be published in a newspaper.”
Through her character, a migrant who returned home with a fresh perspective on her home country, Faye uses radio comedy to address politics and social taboos.
“Comedy is a window to communication,” Faye says. “It’s a good way to touch people without offending them.”
She describes her character as white on the inside and black on the outside.
On Valentine’s Day, she challenges dating rituals, such as paying for dinner in exchange for love. She also delves into criticising polygamy, a common practice in the country.
Faye says the practice has nothing to do with religion – all with good humour.
“We talk about serious topics, but I make them laugh and when they laugh they have an opportunity to reflect on serious issues,” she says.