Senegal’s Feminist Hip-Hop Star

Sarabah, the stirring documentary directed by Maria Luisa Gambale and Gloria Bremer, will premier this Sunday, Jan. 15, on Link TV.  Sarabah is available for purchase at Women Make Movies

Senegalese rapper and feminist Fatou Mandiang Diatta defied her country’s traditional expectations for women in order to succeed in Senegal’s male-dominated hip-hop scene. Now, using her music as a medium, “Sister Fa” campaigns against female genital mutilation, which she herself endured as a child. In this documentary of how she fights entrenched beliefs, she travels from Dakar to her home village, where she performs and teaches about the dangers of this centuries-old custom. The village women pledge to help end the practice, but the most promising moment comes onstage, as students are jamming with her band. A young boy calls to the crowd, “Who is ready to fight against excision? Raise your hand!”

Reprinted from the Fall 2011 issue of Ms. To have this issue delivered straight to your door, join the Ms. community.

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Christie is a senior Journalism and International Studies major at Northwestern University. Recently returned from a semester in India, she is ready to take on international women's issues and the L.A. public transit system.