January 1, 1923 – June 9, 2007
"I think for us in Africa and in the Third World, artists are cultural ambassadors. It’s a new Africa that’s being created, in a slow and difficult birth. People throughout the world know only the pictures of misery and suffering that are distilled on television by non-Africans. Those are real and serious, but there is another side of Africa—the Africa which is struggling every day and winning, the Africa fighting to reassemble an illustrious past that was stolen, an Africa not losing faith. Our Africa is not the one represented by our leaders; it is not a bum begging around as they make the rest of the world believe. And we must get out and show them. Yes, we are self-appointed emissaries with the desire to represent the best, the worst, the great, and the meager of Africa. For me, it’s a duty and a cultural tradition."