A Tradition of Giving

By Nick Baldry It is post-Thanksgiving, and while we have heard over and over how this holiday has been far from normal, some things remain remarkably familiar. The following is a list of traditions and common experiences that punctuate many Thanksgivings. Despite the global pandemic, many households across the country have at least seen a… Read more »

Build It for Ourselves: Interview with Magaajyia Silberfeld

By Elsa Sichrovsky Source: FreeCorp “I grew up watching films and wanting to not only be in them but make them too,” is how Magaajyia Silberfeld describes her passion for filmmaking. She is the daughter of French journalist Antoine Silber and Rahmatou Keita, a Nigerien journalist, writer, and film director, whose work includes “The Wedding… Read more »

Women in Niger Empowered to Initiate Divorce

by Barbara Goldberg Source: willemstom In January of 2019, NPR’s Rachel Martin interviewed Dionne Searcey, West Africa bureau chief for The New York Times, about a startling change in the social fabric of Niger:  women now feel empowered to initiate a divorce. Prior to having safe water well in their rural village, Nigerien women walked… Read more »

A Hopeful Update on the COVID-19 Outbreak in Niger

By Omair Ali Source: World Health Organization The pandemic has brought immense chaos, uncertainty, and disease worldwide, but Niger has been fortunate to have experienced only a small COVID-19 outbreak so far. As of October 19, 2020, there have been 1,210 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 69 deaths, and 14 active, mild cases [1,2], which is… Read more »

Interview With Aminata Salifou Mody

By Elsa Sichrovsky Aminata Salifou Mody is a cultural ambassador whose passion is sharing the culture and beauty of her country, Niger, with the world. To find out more about her cultural celebration of Niger, I contacted her on Instagram and she graciously took time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions. Below… Read more »

Moustapha Alassane: Telling Niger’s Stories

By Elsa Sichrovsky Source: Alzinous Moustapha Alassane produced the first African animation in full color, Samba le Grand (Samba the Great), which follows the adventures of its hero, Sambagana, as he strives to ace a series of challenges in order to win the hand of his bride[1]. In addition to directing over 30 films, Alassane… Read more »

Hamsou Garba: Breaking Barriers

By Elsa Sichrovsky In the 1980s, Niger underwent massive economic restructuring initiated by the aid requirements of the IMF and the World Bank. Young women who worked clerical jobs were hit hard by massive layoffs. Among them, a young Nigerien woman named Hamsou Garba faced being laid off from her job as a typist at… Read more »

Rahmatou Keïta’s The Wedding Ring: Celebrating Niger’s Beauty

By Elsa Sichrovsky Source : Rahmatou Keïta Do you know what Niger’s first entry at the Academy Awards was? It was Rahmatou Keïta’s 2016 film The Wedding Ring (Zin’naariyâ!), and it was entered in 2018[1].  It follows the adventures of an aristocratic young woman named Tiyaa (starring director Rahmatou Keïta’s daughter, Magaajyia Silberfeld) as she… Read more »

Rethinking Womanhood: Childless in Niger

By Elsa Sichrovsky In a nation where the fertility rate is 7.5 children per woman[1]–the highest in the world–being childless is considered the mark of failure for a woman in Niger. Nigerien movie director Aicha Macky, herself struggling with infertility, bravely tackles the sensitive and painful social and psychological issues surrounding fertility in her first… Read more »

The Last Master: Malam Mamane Barka

By Elsa Sichrovsky In the 1980s, a teenaged teacher would often entertain locals in the town of Tesker, Niger by playing the ngurumi, a traditional instrument with a calabash shell body and iguana skin head[1] that is often used by the Toubou people of northern Niger. The Toubou schoolteacher went on to become headmaster of a… Read more »