logo Kasala

From poetry to action

What is
kasàlà ?

Kasàlà is a text of variable length, usually in poetic form, recited to celebrate life in oneself, in others or in nature, to express gratitude, admiration or wonder. As practised today, it is a heritage of African oral literature, open to writing and other contributions from elsewhere. 

What is the kasàlà ?

Kasàlà is a text of variable length, usually in poetic form, recited to celebrate life in oneself, in others or in nature, to express gratitude, admiration or wonder. As practised today, it is a heritage of African oral literature, open to writing and other contributions from elsewhere.

The tribute to Bishop Tshibangu Tshishiku is an example of a transitional kasàlà, or more accurately, a kasàlà of mourning. The kasàlà of mourning accompanies the deceased. Without kasàlà, the funeral ritual loses an essential dimension.

Contemporary kasàlà, which combines writing with orality and is performed in African languages as well as in other world languages, has the advantage of being accessible to a large number of people.

Mar Ndiaye – better known by his artist name Mar Kasàlà – is both a storyteller and a dedicated practitioner of contemporary kasàlà. For some years now, he has been transmitting it mainly to the population of the Saloum islands in Senegal, but his ambition is to spread it far beyond. His mission is to teach it to young and old alike, in order to develop special qualities in them, such as a sense of wonder, the courage to move from theory to action, self-esteem and the memory of their nobility. He believes that these qualities can help them to stand up and take their destiny into their own hands.

When you sing your strong names, you strengthen the hearts of others.
You have to stop now and then so that your soul can join you
If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.
The strength of the baobab is in its roots
If you think you are too small to influence the world, you have never spent the night with a mosquito.

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WHO AM I ?
I who celebrates you?
My name is Jandhi Kabuta The-Artist
He-Who-Makes-Means-and-Tools
Above all, I am the creator of stepping stones
I offer my fellow man the most precious gift
That anchors us all to Mother Earth
That propels us all beyond ourselves
So we truly care for each other
Then peace abounds in you and me
In the trees and birds here and there
I am the open-eyed dreamer
I dream of distant journeys
Beyond the horizon
Jean Kabuta