Mënik is spoken by only a few thousand people, but Benoit Fader Keita hopes to change that by bringing it to a new audience, from Dakar to Paris and Berlin
Benoit Fader Keita never intended to make electro music. But after a sell-out first show in Dakar last month, the singer believes the genre could be key to saving his beloved language from extinction. “Techno has an international appeal. Everyone came to this concert – there were people from lots of different countries,” he says. “It is probably the first time that they have ever heard someone singing in Mënik.”
Known by stage name Beni Fadi, the 36-year-old comes from the Bedik minority of south-east Senegal. Mënik, his mother tongue, is spoken by fewer than 4,000 people. Unesco classifies it as one of nearly 2,500 endangered languages around the world.
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