Mademba Sèye: Fama de Sansanding, Soudan français, Mali: Conflits coloniaux, Etat de droit et collaboration négociée


The plot of this book centers on Mademba Sèye - Mademba Sy, who left the status of telegrapher in 1879 to reach, with the help of his French godfathers, the rank of African king (in Bambara fama ) of the States of Sansanding on the banks of the Niger. In 1899, Fama Mademba, a Senegalese born in Saint-Louis in Senegal, was placed under house arrest in Kayes on the grounds of abuse of power, ritual murder, rape and extortion of funds.

Despite the seriousness of the accusation, he is exonerated and regains his "throne". The Mademba affair already reveals the negation of the principles of the rule of law in the face of the interests of colonialism under construction. The story conveys emotions and information about this character who is very skilled in playing to resist the challenges posed to his power. To his great regret, the author reveals that Donald Trump in the electoral campaign was his muse. Indeed, Mademba shares similar traits with Trump: narcissism, fear of insecurity, misogyny, abuse of women and an attitude of constant tinkering.

By deciphering colonialism through the character of Mademba, the voice of Richard Roberts is not the only one to be heard. Indeed, thanks to the subtleties inherent in the reported speech, the text lets hear the voice of the protagonists whose words are quoted or transposed. This management of polyphony gives the text an original, even captivating style to paint the beginnings of the colonial period and the complex relationships between the various actors, based on the principle of negotiated collaboration.