The joys or misfortunes of love in the courtly epics of Djado Sékou

  • Ousmane M. Tandina The University of Niamey, Niamey, Niger
Keywords: Djado Sékou, courtly epic, love, Niger


Djado Sékou, a professional storyteller, is one of the most celebrated griots in Niger. He has a predilection for everything that deals with the imaginary and dreams. His audience is fond of love stories, which he considers a superior form of literature. Love in the narratives of Djado Sékou, it is a founding and fundamental theme. The theme of love permeates Niger’s courtly epic as the narratives “Labdedjo” by Tinguizi and “Garba Mama” by Djéliba Badjo well exemplify. Djado Sékou is one of the storytellers who have sung the most of love, in particular, the love of men for one woman, Awli Djawando. Along with Lobbo Soga, Takadé Waldé, Fatumata Bidani and Sipti Diembel, Awli Djawando has entered the pantheon of Niger’s celebrated muses. However, if Djado Sékou sings of love, the joy and revival of individuals who experience “dizziness”, it is noteworthy that his songs also often originate from suffering and the misfortunes of love. This essay explores constituting themes Djado Sékou’s narrative repertoire: love stories as fairy tales, ecstasy and loss, metamorphosis of places and names and journeys. 

Author Biography

Ousmane M. Tandina, The University of Niamey, Niamey, Niger

Ousmane M. Tandina teaches in the Department of Modern Languages, at University of Niamey, Niger. He is in charge of courses on the Traditional African Epic, African tales and African drama.


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