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"How could I have lived and worked in the presence of the brilliant and caring young man called Ibrahima Amadou Niang (we called him Ibou, in great affection) and not know that I was rubbing shoulders with a great young poet ?
Because we talked about everything except the essential ?
Now the essential is here in these fierce and moving and often haunting poems speaking of love and travels and sadness and compassion - for people and for pelicans! - and sometimes of anger.
The love is deep and nuanced, the way with words is scintillating and apt and impressive way beyond what one would expect from a young wordsmith, and the anger can only be that of a profoundly committed poet.
I am privileged to have seen these poems and to be allowed to say: I know this man.
His heart is strong and nimble. He does pride to his ancestors. He takes his place among the finest voices of his country. And be sure - he will go far."
Breyten Breytenbach, author of Windcatcher (2007)
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