Remarks by Deputy Chief of Mission Sandra Clark Universite Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD)

Asalamu Alekum!

Mr. Rector XXXX,

Mr. XXXX

Mr. XXXX,

UCAD students,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for coming out tonight to attend the concert with Mad Noise and Takeifa.  I am really delighted to be here at the University Cheikh Anta Diop in the company of so many students, professors, and officials.  I am also thankful to all the fans who have come from outside UCAD to join us on a Monday night. Welcome!

This morning, I had the opportunity to visit the Senghor Museum where Mad Noise and Takeifa treated a very special group of young people – Senegal’s Special Olympics participants – to a terrific concert as part of the International Day of People with Disabilities.  I really want to thank our musicians for their commitment and caring for people with different needs.  And I can assure you that you are also in for a treat – I enjoyed it so much the first time that I wanted to come back for tonight’s concert.

Music is a language that has no barriers.  That is why we at the U.S. Embassy are thrilled to sponsor Mad Noise’s first ever visit to Senegal.  Over the week-long trip, they will visit Dakar, Ziguinchor and Bissau with a public concert in each town.  They will also perform at smaller gatherings,  like this morning’s performance for Special Olympics, where they will learn how amazing Senegalese individuals are creating opportunities for vulnerable populations, such as orphans and the disabled.  Who knows?  Maybe Mad Noise will be inspired by the people and places they visit to write a new song that will reach their audiences in the United States.  In any case, we know that through the language of music, Senegalese and Americans will find new friends and that is our goal.

As for Takeifa, they need no introduction.  I have to confess that I am a big fan myself and would like to thank them for being so supportive of this event. They were quick to agree when we asked whether they would be willing to perform for students at University Cheikh Ante Diop.

The U.S. Embassy is proud to co-host this first in a series of cultural events planned by the “Direction de l’Animation Culturelle et Scientifique” and I congratulate them on their initiative to enrich the lives of students. But for now, it is time for the concert to start so I wish you a good evening and enjoy the music.