Aboubacar is a 26-year-old tall guy from Mali, who comes toward us swinging his long arms, a bit shy, a bit perplexed, to tell us about his experience with the theater company “Piccoli Idilli” in the project “Without Sankara”.
Aboubacar can’t speak Italian yet, so we decide that he will speak bambara and Idriss will translate for him: he tells me that he really likes to go to school and he would like to learn Italian quickly, but it’s really hard for him because he only attended the Arabic school for four years when he was in Mali. He perfectly knows that learning Italian is the first step to develop opportunities. He tells me that he got to know the theater company thanks to an African dance laboratory that he attended in Airuno, a first shelter accommodation. He used to dance with the dancer Bintou Ouattara, from Burkina Faso, and the percussionist Sikiri Ouattara thanks to who he started to play the drum. Sikiri taught him how to get into the rhythm and how to keep it. Because he was extremely enthusiastic he decided to join the final theater performance called “Without Sankara”: he always heard about Thomas Sankara and he wanted to take part to the storytelling.
At this point, I ask him who is Thomas Sankara, because I really don’t know!
Aboubacar becomes animated and starts to tell me everything he knows about him. He tells me that Sankara was a revolutionary known in the African history of the 80 and nowadays he’s still a symbol of freedom and redemption. He used to fight for about food and raw materials’ self-sufficiency of Africa. He used to claim that external funding wasn’t the solution of the economic problems of Africa arguing that it was actually necessary but it doesn’t mean that the Africans could afford to be lazy; furthermore, he wanted his Nation to increase its standing in order to not depend on anyone else. Sankara asked the richer to help the poorer; he asked to grow many plants to have shadows zones where it would be possible to live; he asked to African people to work hard without waiting for western support. He used to push them to believe in themselves and get in the games. Then he looks at me and sais, in Italian:
He holds his phone and starts to search desperately for a video he wants to show me, with the ashtag #eternelsankara#immortelsankara; and then he tells me to watch it all. I watch it all and in the end he tells me:
– Did you understand?
– Yes, I understood!
– I want to get in the game as well, study hard and make it!