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La vie est Ouaga


In the end, I decided not to accept the President's invitation for a few reasons.
Farai Sevenzo
Farai Sevenzo

We went live on air as the bus left for the Presidential Village.

There was a new film by Mweze Ngangura which could not be missed, Fanta Regina Nacro - Burkina Faso's most prominent female filmmaker - was having a party at her home in down town Ouaga.

We arrived at the party in our permanent state of cinematic debate, having just seen Mweze's "The Governor's New Clothes".

Mweze did the hilarious La Vie est Belle some eighteen years ago and won Fespaco's grand prize in 2001 with a documentary.

His latest film is a return to fiction.

Musicals and manners


It's a musical. I hate musicals - I have never liked Grease or The Sound of Music and the idea of singing actors detracts from the drama too much for me to concentrate.

But Mweze is a charming man, and I recognise the effort of his achievement.

His actress is here too, all height and chest and one amazing Congolese voice.

Fanta's party went on into the morning. A friend had been to the President's rather than the film.

After a very short time he said goodnight and then stood by the door so he could shake everyone's hand as they left

"It was not good. After a very short time he said goodnight and then stood by the door so he could shake everyone's hand as they left. So one had no choice but to leave the man alone."

Fanta's genorosity is endless, and I must get out of here before I collapse.

In the morning we have a sizeable amount of wind to keep away the heat.

The streets of Ouaga are full of Burkinabes selling things. Fans, microwaves, books, bronze statues and food.

For richer for poorer


There is evidence of poverty here, as there is anywhere else in the world.

But we are in Africa, and the constant contrast between fillmakers lugging around thousands of dollars worth of kit, actresses in "bling bling" designer jewelry, Europe's Africans parading sexy linen shirts, long queues outside the beureau de change cannot have gone unnoticed by the poor and desperate.

Djibril Diop Mambety
The late Senegalese film maker Djibril Diop Mambety

So no big surprise really that a few digital cameras have gone missing, mobile phones have taken a Ouaga walk and my Japanese guest on the show this afternoon can't find his camera.

I'm not that bothered about it all, some insurance will pay for it.

Mweze and I remembered Djibril Diop Mambety, the Senegalese filmmaker cruelly snatched from us by throat cancer in 1998.

I told Mweze that I missed him. "Oh I miss him too" he replied.

In Harare he looked up at the purple Jacaranda trees and suddenly announced 'I know the answer. I know what the gods eat.

The food of the gods is colours, many different colours.' And no one had asked the question."
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