Laudation for the winner of
Ibrahima N'Diaye from Senegal
If you take a closer look at the person, who will receive one of the two Africa Festival Awards this year, one question will come up quite quickly: Is there anything he cannot do?
He is a true all-rounder, who is at home in so many cultural areas, so you do not even know where to begin with when talking about him.
Many of you know him and have seen his show at this festival. Maybe you have even come across him today. He is an actor, drummer, entertainer and presenter, he is a singer and musician, he is charming and quick-witted, he knows how to captivate young and old when he starts to tell his stories in his charismatic manners. When he smiles all you can do is smile back. He is a truly positive person who makes other people happy and I have never seen him in a bad mood.
The man I am talking about is originally from Senegal, where he was born in 1963. But you will not be able to tell that when you speak with him nowadays. Our awardee has been living in Germany for many years. Here at the Africa Festival he has become an institution. In all these years he has brought the African continent closer to thousands of children with his ‘sene-gallant’ style and his adorable stories, which is exactly the message the festival carries.
You might have guessed by now who I am talking about. The awardee is standing right next to me. It is our highly appreciated host of the opening ceremony, Ibrahima Ndiaye, or just Ibo.
The voice of Cap Verde - Sara Tavares
This year there is a second award which we will award to a young lady.
In 2000 two staff members of the festival travelled to Rotterdam to listen to a young singer who performed at the local world music festival. Rumours had it that she is a major insider’s tip who would fit right into our Africa Festival. Those two colleagues returned from this trip absolutely enthusiastic and we asked this young vocalist to perform at the festival in 2001.
Her charming manners and her beautiful songs, which reflect the spirit of her native country, enchanted the audience here in Würzburg. Her breath taking songs, her fascinating way of performing, combined with her charisma and natural style make her concerts an emotional event which you cannot forget so quickly. “It is music to feel, not to explain.” She says herself. And nothing more can be said about her music.
All the things I just mentioned are part of the reasons why she receives the award this year. Another reason is that her home country, which her songs are about, is the focus of this years’ festival.
Nowadays she is known as the young voice of her home country who carried the traditions of her country over to modern times. After an illness caused break she is fortunately back on stage and delights the audience with her songs which you will be able to convince yourself about tonight at her concert.
We are more than happy to have her here today and will give the Festival Award 2012 to Sara Tavares from the Cape Verde.