Is Youssou N’Dour just seven seconds away from becoming Senegal’s new president? Well the elections aren’t happening until February, so it will be slightly more than seven seconds if he is successful. He is standing against his former friend Abdoulaye Wade who has been president of the country since 2000.
Despite having little education N’Dour has become a very successful musician fusing African music with Jazz and other western influences. He is also owns a number of broadcast companies in Senegal. Which may help his campaign.
Wade communicated plans last year to change the country’s constitution. This was not well received by the Senegalese people who took to the streets in violent protest. Tensions are still running high with one prominent politician having been accused of murder. This is quite significant for Senegal as it is now the only country in West Africa never to have suffered a military coup.
Wyclef Jean failed in his attempt to stand for the Haitian presidency last year, more for technical reasons than popularity and actors have made it to the top in US politics (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan). So why can’t Yousso N’Dour become senegal’s new president? Clearly he will have to make sure that convinces all the fans of his music to vote for him along with millions of others among the country’s population of 12.5 million.