Ousmane Sembene


Ousmane Sembene was born in Ziguinchor, Senegal on January 1st, 1923 and is the Novelist. At the age of 84, Ousmane Sembene biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Date of Birth
January 1, 1923
Place of Birth
Ziguinchor, Senegal
Death Date
Jun 9, 2007 (age 84)
Zodiac Sign
Actor, Film Director, Film Producer, Filmmaker, Playwright, Political Activist, Screenwriter, Stevedore, Writer
Ousmane Sembene Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

At 84 years old, Ousmane Sembene physical status not available right now. We will update Ousmane Sembene's height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, and measurements.

Not Available
Not Available
Hair Color
Not Available
Eye Color
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Ousmane Sembene Religion, Education, and Hobbies
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Ousmane Sembene Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
Not Available
Not Available
Dating / Affair
Not Available
Not Available
Ousmane Sembene Life

Ousmane Sembène (1 January 1923 or 8 January 1923 – 9 June 2007), often credited in the French style as Sembène Ousmane in articles and reference works, was a Senegalese film director, producer and writer.

The Los Angeles Times considered him one of the greatest authors of Africa and he has often been called the "father of African film".

Descended from a Serer family through his mother from the line of Matar Sène, Ousmane Sembène was particularly drawn to Serer religious festivals especially the Tuur festival.

Early life

The son of a fisherman, Ousmane Sembène was born in Ziguinchor in Casamance to a Lebou family. From childhood he was exposed to the Serer religion especially the Tuur festival, in which he was made "cult servant". Although the Tuur demands offerings of curdled milk to the ancestral spirits (Pangool), Sembène did not take his responsibility as cult servant seriously and was known for drinking the offerings made to the ancestors. Some of his adult work draws on Serer themes. His maternal grandmother reared him and greatly influenced him. Women play a major role in his works.

Sembène's knowledge of French and basic Arabic besides Wolof, his mother tongue, followed his attendance at a madrasa, as was common for many Muslim boys, and a French school until 1936, when he clashed with the principal. Sembène worked with his father—he was prone to seasickness—until 1938, then moved to Dakar, where he worked a variety of manual labour jobs.

In 1944, Sembène was drafted into the Senegalese Tirailleurs (a corps of the French Army). His later World War II service was with the Free French Forces. After the war, he returned to his home country and in 1947 participated in a long railroad strike, on which he later based his seminal novel God's Bits of Wood (1960).

Late in 1947, he stowed away to France, where he worked at a Citroën factory in Paris and then on the docks at Marseille, becoming active in the French trade union movement. He joined the communist-led CGT and the Communist party, helping lead a strike to hinder the shipment of weapons for the French colonial war in Vietnam. During this time, he discovered the Harlem Renaissance writer Claude McKay and the Haitian Marxist writer Jacques Roumain.


Ousmane Sembene Career

Early literary career

Sembène taught himself to read and write in French and later drew on many of his life experiences in his French-language first book, Le Docker Noir (The Black Docker, 1956), the tale of Diaw, an African stevedore who is subjected to bigotry and mistreatment on Marseille's docks. Diaw writes a book that is later stolen by a white woman and published under her name; he confronts her, mistakenly murders her; and is executed in scenes reminiscent of Albert Camus' The Stranger. Despite the fact that the book is primarily focused on African migrants' mistreatment, Sembène also explores the abuse of Arab and Spanish workers, making it abundantly that xenophobia precedes race. It is written in a socially realistic style, like the majority of his fiction. Many commentators today dismiss the book as mediocre; however, Sembène's literary career was launched today, and the author was given the financial resources to continue writing.

O Pays, Sembène's second book, is a play on words. Mon beau coeur! (Oh country, my beautiful people!, 1957), tells the tale of Oumar, an aspiring black farmer returning to his homeland Casamance with a new white wife and suggestions for improving the area's agricultural practices. Oumar, on the other hand, is battling both the French colonial government and the village social order, and is eventually executed.

O Pays, mon beau peuple!

Sembène invitations from around the world, particularly from Communist countries such as China, Cuba, and the Soviet Union, were a hit on the international stage.

Les Bouts de Dieu, Sembène's third and most popular book (God's Bits of Wood, 1960), is considered to be Sembène's third and best-known work by most commentators, who rivals only by Xala. The novel based on a true story of a railroad strike on the Dakar-Niger line, which went from 1947 to 1948. Although Ibrahima Bakayoko, the charismatic and brilliant union spokesman, is the novel's most central figure, the community is the only true hero in the face of poverty and oppression to assert their rights. According to a bit, the novel has nearly fifty characters in both Senegal and neighboring Mali, depicting the threat from all possible angles; in this, the novel is often compared to Émile Zola's Germinal.

Sembène followed Les Bouts de Dieu's (1962) short fiction collection Volta (Tribal Scars). The collection includes short stories, tales, and fables, as well as "La Noire de," which he'll later adapt to his first film. He published l'Harmattan (The Harmattan), an epic book about a vote for independence in a African capital in 1964.

Sembène studied filmmaking for a year at Gorky Film Studio in Moscow, under Soviet director Mark Donskoy.

Later literary career

Sembène's attention began to shift with the publication of Le mandat, précédé de Vehi-Ciosane (The Money Order and White Genesis, 1965). With these two novellas, he had once criticized the French colonial government's racial and economic oppression, as well as the corrupt African elites that followed. He was one of Lotus's founders, and Egypt and the Soviet Union funded him.

Sembène continued the theme with the 1973 novel Xala, the tale of an El Hadji Abdou Kader Beye, a wealthy businessman who was struck by what he believes to be a curse of impotence ("xala") in Wolof, on the night of his third wedding to his stunning, young widow. El Hadji is obsessed with banishing the curse by going to marts, but only after losing the majority of his money and fame, is he reveals the source to be the beggar who lives outside of his office, who wronged in obtaining his fortune.

Le Le Dernier de l'empire (The Last of the Empire, 1981), Sembène's last book, depicts discontent and a possible military coup in a newly independent African nation. In urban Senegal, Niiwam et Taaw (Niiwam and Taaw) and his comrade, Niiwam et Taaw, continue to explore social and moral decline.

Sembène is one of Africa's top writers, thanks to his biography of Les Bouts de Bois de Dieu and Xala. "Of Sembène's ten published literary books, seven have been translated into English," Samba Gadjigo writes, although Nigerian pioneer writers Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka wrote in English.