Chiekh Ndiaye. I don’t know the exact pronunciation.
Senegal is probably a beautiful and definitely a poor place. To us, this country is known for its famous Dakar Rally. Chiekh Ndiaye, knew Senegal because that’s where his village was. I don’t know his village, nor if Chiekh Ndiaye will be buried there. Perhaps there is no way for him to go back; perhaps they will bury him in a cemetery of an Athenian neighborhood. Since Chiekh Ndiaye was killed in an Athenian neighbourhood.
Amongst the revolting screams of nazis and friends everywhere, related to any heroic colour and blood, I’m thinking that the mud on which this place’s life prowls through, was created only by a long list of unpronounceable names which for some echo like a sad ascertainment to a situation of total enslavement and for others give birth to eloquent memories of night outings to boarder line minefields; a silent seabed of a dark sea.
Chiekh Ndiaye was chased during the evening of February 1st 2013, by the Athens municipal police, while he was trying to sell his merchandise, illegally. However, Chiekh Ndiaye‘s merchandise was not illegal until it reached his hands. All merchandise arrives at the port -recently sold to the cosco group- which is not under the jurisdiction control of any municipal police department. Chiekh Ndiaye, chased for the illegal regime in which he had been obliged to live and in return for an uncertain survival. He was murdered on the railway tracks. He was a 37-year-old father.
We say he was «murdered». In Greek, the verb «murder»/ «δολοφονώ» (Gk. dolo-fonó̱) is a compound word, consisting of the terms «kill» (verb)/ «φονεύω» (Gk. fonév̱o̱) and «deceit» (noun)/ «δόλος» (Gk. dólos); i.e. to «murder»; to «kill intentionally and with premeditation». A premeditation perfectly planned by an economic system. A financial system which makes a huge profit through illegal merchandise, and then proceeds in taking an oath for its legality, over the bodies of all pedlars, wiped out by the system itself.
I keep writing the name Chiekh Ndiaye in order to learn it myself. I will probably forget it soon. You see, I lack its image, so I cannot connect it to the name. Maybe, I «meet» it in the face of a different African itinerant trader running with a bundle on its back, trying to escape. Or, in the face of any other, running, carrying a bundle, independently to where his village may be. Or even in the face of someone, carrying nothing at all, though always running. Some of us spend our entire lives being hunted.
I prefer to keep only the name of this man. He is not just another dead immigrant in a country in crisis. The dead man is Chiekh Ndiaye, from Senegal. In his mother tongue -the Wolof- or in one of the many dialects of his birthplace, his name might mean «storm»; «sunshine»; «brave»; or «desert»..
In my own language, Chiekh Ndiaye means rage.
Text written by Ε.Κ*
Translated by @k