A new wave of creatives is transforming Dakar, the capital of Senegal

“When I have friends in town, we’ll go to The Pointe des Almadies. It’s no frills but serves amazing grilled seafood; I always get the thiof, a local take. Often there are also drummers and singers. For something a little fancier, I go to Seku Bi, a charming hotel with restaurant in an old colonial house in downtown Dakar. The ocean view from the dining room is phenomenal.

“The Mamelles Lighthouse is one of the highest points in Dakar and has a cafe. Go late, have a drink and dance the night away. It’s like dancing on top of the city. This is so cool.”

Fishing boats on Ouakam beach

Jessica Sarkodi

Mamadou Boye Diallo in front of street art in Medina

Jessica Sarkodi

The urban gallery owner

In 2010, the curator and entrepreneur Mamadou Boye Diallo, better known as Modboye, his graffiti artist name, launched Yataal Art, which means “expanding art” in Wolof. Through the initiative, he invites artists to paint the colonial buildings of the central Medina, which were in danger of being destroyed. He organizes art tours of the region and this month will be showing at Dak’Art.

“For art, do Museum of Black Civilizations. The Antenna Gallery has bronze and wooden masks and sculptures from all over West and Sub-Saharan Africa. And the Trames gallery hosts residencies for contemporary artists and aperitif dinners on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The House of Sheain Medina, belongs to a couple who make artisanal soaps and oils for the hair and body. Designed by Ousmane Mbaye is by Ousmane Mbaye, a self-taught local artist and furniture designer known for his work with galvanized metal. His pieces are true works of art.”

“After going around Medina, cross the water to Magdalen Islandswhich is mostly deserted so you can bring a picnic.”

Mamelles Beach has good waves. Settle there at At Max’s to go out, eat and drink between swims. You can even see climbers on Mamelles beach.

Babacar Thiaw in his living room Copacabana Surf Village

Jessica Sarkodi

A surfer at Virage Beach

Jessica Sarkodi

defender of the ocean

A childhood in the fishing village of Yoff in Dakar helped inspire Babacar Thiaw, a former competitive surfer, to devote himself to the environment. After years of grassroots beach cleanups, he launched Copacabana Surf Village, a groovy beachside hangout made from natural materials like bamboo and local wood, home to a surf school, lounge and the first zero waste restaurant in Dakar. Thiaw is the founding member and president of the Senegal branch of the Surfrider Foundation, based in Malibu, California, which is dedicated to keeping our oceans clean.

“The quality of the surf is on par with California and Australia, but we’re so under the radar. Kayar is a favorite place. It’s down the hill from Yoff and quite unknown. It has a reef break and a beach break, which produces a really surfable wave. The best time to go is from September to December.

“It’s a lively, chaotic, but also peaceful city”

Noflaye Beach owned by Senegalese, unlike many restaurants on the Corniche. There is a real local atmosphere. »

“Don’t jump Goree Island, The House of Slaves. Our past has been traumatic, but it’s important to understand what happened to appreciate how things are now. It is an undeniable part of our history.

About Joseph Minton

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