The Beggar's Strike. Story by. Aminita Sow Fall. Adapted for the stage by. Carlyle Brown. Music by. Kysia Bostic. The Beggar's Strike was first presented by The. Start by marking “The Beggars' Strike” as Want to Read: Great Books B: The Beggars' Strike, or The Dregs of Society - Aminata Sow Fall. Aminata Sow Fall (born ) is a Senegalese-born author. All about The Beggars' Strike by Aminata Sow Fall. LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for booklovers.

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HEGEMONIC MASCULINITY AND EMASCULATION IN BEGGARS STRIKE __ Sylvester Mutunda. International Journal of Educational. AMINATA Sow FALL'S NOVEL, The Beggars' Strike. is an account of a fictional strike in a West African Society. In this story state bureaucrats, who think beggars . Trove: Find and get Australian resources. Books, images, historic newspapers, maps, archives and more.

Fiqh az-Zakat, Dar al Taqwa. Monzer Kahf trans. London, vol. Arungwa, C. West African Association Group Limited, Beeman, M. Contributions in Black Studies, Vol. Cazenave, O. Africa Today. Edung, M. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. Fall, A. Dorothy S. But, because the streets have been cleared of the beggars, Mour cannot offer the prescribed sacrifice and consequently he is not made Vice-President of the Republic.

As can be deduced from the foregoing, not only men but also women possess and exhibit features of masculinities. In addition, masculinity is not a biological category.

Rather, it is a socially and culturally constructed ideology, having multiple representations and subject to change and revision.

In other words, men are not born with masculinity as part of their genetic make-up; rather it is something into which they are acculturated and which is composed of social codes of behaviour which they learn to produce in culturally appropriate ways. TBS, p. For Mour Ndiaye, to have a house of his own amounts to not only being free and not subject to harassment by landlords, but it is also the guarantee of his authority over his family for whom he is the sole provider.

Additionally, as Daouda Loum , p. Ironically, this publicly acquired status of hyper-masculinity, as we can see later, will be challenged by the beggars.

It should be stressed that in some cases, wealth can symbolize strength; the amount of money a man spends or wastes on himself, his wife and his children confers high social status upon him. In light of this, embezzlement has become common in African society, especially among some politicians who view their position in government administration not as a service but rather as a way to enrich themselves and enhance the masculine status.

This situation is unfortunate, misappropriating money is being perceived as an emblem of worth. However, as Daouda Loum rightly points out, this conception is neither rational nor ethical.

The position of power that Mour Ndiaye acquired makes him arrogant and uncompassionate towards the plight of the poor and underprivileged. When he went about hollowed-cheeked and anxious eyed.

It is important to remember that Mour Ndiaye was appointed Director of the Department of Public Health and Hygiene not on merit but solely because of political reasons. Mour Ndiaye is obsessed with his ambitions. He dreams of a nomination to the position of Vice-President of his country.

Associated with sub-humans, these dregs of society, as Mour Ndiaye view them, must be removed from the metropolis and banished to the outskirts, to make way for a booming tourist trade that warrant the beautification of the city. For the outsiders to be interested in visiting the capital, the beggars must be kept away from the public.

They should not be visible to the outsiders. They are to be relocated to another place of about kilometres away. This is to make them invisible to the visitors the Whites. Mour Ndiaye explains to his marabout, Kifi Boukoul, the reason why the beggars must be removed from all the city streets: Well, you see, nowadays, people who live a long way away, in Europe and the United States of America, White people especially, are beginning to take an interest in the beauty of our country.

These people are called tourists. You know, in the old days these White people came to rob and exploit us; now they visit our country for a rest and in search of happiness.

That is why we have built 26 Mutunda hotels and holiday villages and casinos to welcome them. These tourists spend huge sums of money to come here, there are even special societies over in Europe who organise these journeys. And when they visit the cities they are accosted by beggars and we run the risk of their never coming back here or putting unfavourable propaganda to discourage others who might like to come [ We must oppose anything which harms our economic and tourist development TBS, p.

At this point it is important to note that, Mour is so far portrayed as ambitious, exploitative, corrupt, haughty, hypocritical and selfish. Mour epitomizes those African leaders who, because of their selfish interest and insensitivity, do not think twice before taking decisions which affect the masses. The idea of welcoming the white men to African societies remains an indisputable fact.

As Iyanda further observes, among the reasons for embarking on tourism is to have knowledge of other cultures and natural events.

It could be a source of income as those visitors would engage in commercial activities in one way or the other. This is what many African leaders perceive as a way to increase their internally generated revenue. To achieve this, many policies by policy makers are to the detriment of the citizens.

The Beggars could no longer allow themselves to be sent to untimely grave; to avoid harassments, imprisonments, physical abuse and unnecessary embarrassments they decided to reserve themselves to the place cleared for them.

As we shall see later, the rich with their wealth will now visit these beggars in their area. They could not survive despite their arguments against the presence of the beggars on the streets. This new area could be likened to segregation that existed during the colonial era. The privileged black discriminate against their black counterparts due to their medical condition.

The basic necessity of good living was not provided, the road not tarred, no pipe-borne water, no traffic light as in the city. In Church, Europeans were seated comfortably in sofas in front, while African were seated behind, on tree logs as they listened to the white priest sermon. The narrator reveals thus: 27 Mutunda In the Church of Saint Peter at Dangan the whites have their seats in the transept beside the altar. They can follow the Mass comfortably seated in armchairs covered with velvet cushions.

They sit on tree trunks instead of benches and these are arranged in two rows. Houseboy, pp. He ignores the boundaries of his power as well as the obligation of the rich toward the poor, as required by his Islamic-influenced society. According to the teaching of Islam, charity is an indispensable duty.

To the contrary, as Iyanda opines, The religion of Islam is designed to guarantee the establishment of a noble and virtuous society where all will live well. The religion encourages helping others. It discourages begging as a profession. It commands and persuades working and views it as a high virtue. It forbids and disapproves laziness and begging. It also orders and encourages Muslims to give food to the poor and to oblige the one who asks for something.

Despite the fact that Islam encourages the rich to give to the needy, it discourages people from begging. The policy should be to make life bearable to all citizens, as these people should be catered for, and for the infirm to enjoy life as citizens because their infirmities are not by their own making , p.

The Beggars' Strike

It is interesting to note that the beggars themselves are conscious of this religious teaching and confidently use it to justify their life-style, and even claim it as a right. Indeed Salla Niang, the strike ring leader, is echoing the ideas which another beggar, Nguirane, has been telling the others, to prove to them the feasibility of the strike which he proposes they should embark upon TBS, One can then understand why marabouts are always 28 Mutunda prescribing to their clients alms-giving and sacrifices which consist of making donations to the poor and the beggars, as we see so many times in the novel.

One such instance is Mour Ndiaye who religiously believes the prescriptions of the marabout Kifi Boukoul, and puts in everything in an effort of carry them out to the letter, in the hope of securing the post of Vice-President of the Republic.

Shortly after he succeeded in putting all the beggars out of town, therefore creating a conducive environment for tourism, Mour Ndiaye, as usual, visits Kifi Boukoul, one of his many marabouts — holy man spiritual adviser - to consult him over his Vice-Presidential ambition.

Kifi Boukoul tells him that his chances of becoming Vice-President will be enhanced only if he performs a ritual sacrifice: You will have what you desire, and you will have it very shortly.

You will be Vice-President. To achieve this, you must sacrifice a bull whose coat must be of one colour, preferably fawn. This offering must go to its correct destination, otherwise everything risks going wrong.

Mour Ndiaye said this as he pondered on the sacrificial offerings prescribed for him by the marabout, Kifi Bokoul, to enable him Ndiaye get appointed as the Vice-President of his country. As a result, Mour Ndiaye is unable to exercise the necessary sacrifice.

The tables have turned completely as the rich and important Mour Ndiaye is compelled to look for beggars and travelled to their new place. He wants the beggars to remain at their posts in the city so that he can distribute alms to them as prescribed by his marabout. Having failed in this bid, Mour Ndiaye next goes to plead with his assistant, Keba Dabo, to go and invite the beggars back into the city to enable him make his sacrificial offering to them in the streets.


And when Keba Dabo would not cooperate, Ndiaye goes himself to invite the beggars back into the city, even if for a few hours. This was my introduction to Aminata Sow Fall, read during the weeks after I came back from my first time in Senegal.

Some of her images were familiar, even decades later. Mour Ndiaye, a politician and hopeful for the vice-Presidency, undertakes the project of ridding the city of beggars, who are portrayed as dirty and embarrassing.

With the help of his assistant, Keba Dabo who in reality does the majority of the work , they go as far as physical violence against the city's impoverished populati This was my introduction to Aminata Sow Fall, read during the weeks after I came back from my first time in Senegal. With the help of his assistant, Keba Dabo who in reality does the majority of the work , they go as far as physical violence against the city's impoverished population in order to clear them from street corners and make way for European tourism.

Unfortunately, there are roadblocks on the path to unproblematic adoption of Western ideals, and one of them is that Islam requires donations to the poor. Mour Ndiaye's marabout proscribes such donations in order that he can achieve his political goals.

Meanwhile, the beggars organize under Salla Niang's direction and in her courtyard. The population delivers their offerings to the courtyard, and the people living there no longer have to leave in order to earn enough money to eat. Because of this, Mour Ndiaye is unable to follow his marabout's instructions for offerings to the poor; his political plans are thwarted and his personal life falls apart.

I read this book as a nuanced and beautiful parable of excess: When Mour Ndiaye sacrifices a carefully-chosen cow but cannot deliver it to the beggars, there is an excess of food which is in danger of spoiling in the heat. This excess, Sow Fall shows us, has consequences. Her book asks us to see the complexity and nuance in a social system, to carefully approach change, and to exercise compassion.

Mar 19, John rated it liked it Shelves: The christian bible teaches that "the poor will always be with us Especially, when they are aggressively asking tourists for alms. Mour Ndiaye, the Director of the Department of Public Health and Hygiene, under takes an ambitious project to remove the beggars from the city. His motivations are suspect. First, he sees the beggars are sub-humans.

Second, he has grand political ambitions. In true modern fabulist fashion, Mour's adventure is one of sweeping su The christian bible teaches that "the poor will always be with us In true modern fabulist fashion, Mour's adventure is one of sweeping successes, minor frustrations, and superstitious interference.

His frustrations are rooted in his own failings and moral nastiness and one is loathe to feel sorry for his ultimate plight. Where the book fails, I think, is in its scant development of the community of beggars. There is a structure set up, a sort of organization with Salla Niang, a strong lady boss, at the head.

But as for the rest of the beggars, they exist as a herd, a rabble. Which undercuts one of the messages of the book, which seems to be that the poor are necessary, so one not try to dictate how they remain with us.

PDF Download The Beggars' Strike, or, The Dregs of Society, by Aminata Sow Fall

Aug 04, Justin Echols rated it liked it Shelves: Nothing particularly poignant about this novel, but it was a quick, engaging read. Dec 03, Libbyyoung rated it really liked it.

Great parable of unintended consequences of not valuing people who don't have the social status we think is desirable. Jun 21, tartaruga fechada rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. These people are called tourists. You know, in the old days these White people came to rob and exploit us; now they visit our country for a rest and in search of happiness.

That is why we have built hotels and holiday villages and casinos to welcome them. Aug 04, sweet pea rated it really liked it Shelves: An intriguing read. Mar 20, Tayo rated it really liked it. I absolutely love this book, read for my literarture class in high school and read it in my african literature class during my undergraduate study.

Captures the different classes in the society, Aminata Sowfall isnt a name you would forget after reading this book. Mar 11, Lychee rated it it was ok.


Clever set-up, very funny in parts. Would like to read more criticism about it and would then likely have more appreciation for it. Learned that a play based on the book was performed at the Children's Theater Company in Minnesota back in -- that would've been great to see. Apr 15, Shafaat Abubakar rated it it was amazing.

Sep 10, Amy rated it it was amazing. One of my favorite books. Feb 06, Dick Powis rated it really liked it. Read in original French. Jan 24, Dorandosmash added it. Dec 21, Polly Lebl rated it liked it.

Took me a few starts as I tried to absorb the names of who's who Un coup de coeur. Jul 04, Opeyemi marked it as to-read. Jayla rated it liked it Jan 06, Soon after, another raid resulted in the death of the old well-loved, comic beggar Papa Gorgui Diop.

Connell, R. He wants the beggars to remain at their posts in the city so that he can distribute alms to them as prescribed by his marabout. Quick and sharp, Aminata Sow Fall moves like a bantam-weight fighter through this fast-paced, satirical novel, jabbing deftly at her targets of patriarchy, polygamy, privilege, and hypocrisy. Cambridge: Polity, pp. So Long a Letter. How can Ndiaye convince them to return to the streets so that he can become Vice-President? The beggars have triumphed over their oppressors.

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