Saturday, December 12, 2009

How not to inspire confidence in African Unity

What is it with undemocratic leaders and giant statues? First there was Turkmenistan, where you can find these stunners, and now Senegal. The story is complicated though. Abdoulaye Wade, the President of Senegal, has a Ph.D in law and one in economics, is possibly a murderer, and is building quite a statue in the capital city. This statue, called "African Renaissance Monument will be taller than the Statue of Liberty when complete, and will cost $28 millions dollars. The imams criticize it for its cost, and the nudity.

It would also be interesting to question how will the image of a muscled man pushing his child, and pulling his wife (?) forward represent the ideals of African Unity, and how well a seeming Soviet inspired piece of public art can reflect or inspire a member of a potential future pan-African nation.

In addition, President Wade claims that since the statue is his idea, he must receive 35% of the revenue collected from people who pay admission to see the statue (presumably from people who pay to see it, as you might be able to see it all the way from Mali).

To cap it all off, the statue was made in your favorite crazy dictatorship and mine, North Korea.

The only answer I can think of is that the opponents of African Unity might be paying President Wade to make them look bad. Really, a giant neo-Soviet statue? Really, made in North Korea.

Listen to your imams my friend.