Youssou N’Dour, the hugely popular Senegalese singer most famous in the west for his hit with Nenah Cherry 7 Seconds, has announced he will run for the post of president. N’Dour will take on the two-term incumbent Abdoulaye Wade in the race starting in February.
N’Dour was once a supporter of Wade, even singing for him at rallies, but recent constitutional changes and anti-business moves have alienated him and many other Senegalese voters.
He is hugely popular – rated as Africa’s most famous singer by Rolling Stone, his combination of salsa, rock, soul and traditional Senegalese music have made him an icon for many Senegalese. It remains to be seen, however, whether this popularity can be transformed into political power.