Laeila Adjovi

Writer, Radio Reporter, Photographer
Malaïka Dotou Sankofa
Location: Dakar, Senegal
Nationality: Beninese
Biography: Laeïla Adjovi is a Beninese and French storyteller. She grew up in Gabon and South Africa, studied in France, lived in India and New-Caledonia, before working as a radio reporter for the BBC from Dakar, Senegal. As a reporter and... read on
Public Story
Malaïka Dotou Sankofa
Copyright laeila adjovi 2021
Updated 05/19/21
Archived as

My name is Malaïka Dotou Sankofa.

I don't know how long I have been kept here. I was told it was for my own good. To never try to escape. That the skies would be all gloom. Storm, squalls and night. So I stayed. But now. Freedom feels just a dream away.

My name is Malaïka. I am not trying to be the center of the world. Only my own. I am being told to develop. Take off. Emerge. Grow. All without stepping out of the box, force-fed with empty concepts, watermelon and fried chicken. So I started a hunger strike. I hear revolution rumble in my empty stomach.

My name is Dotou. This drab old suit is my sole attire. One uniform, impossible to refute. Fortunately, seams are bursting. I have learnt to sew. I am no longer afraid to outgrow it, and finally patch up my own suit

My name is Sankofa. In my cell, in myself, I have learnt to tame words and Letters, without ever betraying the tongue. I can read through history books' stains, and write on typewriters nested in barbed wire. From now on, no one can turn off my Lights. I will dance high on the ruins of yesterday, on the tombs of plunderers in the graveyard of their clichés.

My name is Malaïka Dotou Sankofa.

Laeïla Adjovi

Analog photography. Dakar, Senegal, 2016 - © Laeïla Adjovi/ Loïc Hoquet.

This photographic series was awarded the Grand prize Leopold Sedar Senghor in May 2018,
at the 13th edition of the Dakar contemporary arts biennial.




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