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Youssou N'Dour to enter politics

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Tuesday November 29, 2011

from guardian.co.uk

Youssou N’Dour to enter politics
By:Monica Mark

He is the son of a car mechanic who began by hustling pirated CDs in car parks and went on to become one of the most influential recording artists in the world.

Now Youssou N’Dour is putting his music career on hold so he can enter politics ahead of presidential elections in his native Senegal next February.

“I will free myself of all artistic commitments from 2 January next year to enter the political arena,” N’Dour told a cheering crowd at the weekend. “For me, there are two Senegals. The Senegal of the have-nots and Senegal of the haves. My concern is the Senegal of the have-nots,” the musician added on his own TV station, TCM, in the west African country.

N’Dour’s plan has been greeted with wild optimism by his many fans, but not everyone is thrilled.

“The political class is scrambling around to figure out his next move,” said Amadou Diop, an advisor to Idrissa Seck, a former PM and key oppostion figure. “Even if he doesn’t contest the presidency itself, his decisions are going to have a big impact. Anyone he throws his weight behind is going to claw a lot of votes.

“His political movement is going to put pressure on politicians. He’s loved by Senegalese, by music fans, and he’s a shrewd businessman who has created jobs – this is what the people want.”

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