was a year of educational crisis in Senegal. Students were protesting for
better schooling and against the latent lack of basic equipment in schools and universities.
It resulted in a year where no classes were attended and the entire educational year was declared void.
The young people had spare time and hence a group of friends in the town of Thiès started a band.
It took some years before they became a professional band, and adopted their name
Taking inspiration from Xalam
, Touré Kunda
Seydina insa Wade
, Wasis Diop
, but also
and Manu Dibango
, they made a first demo and they were
invited by the Dakar FM radio station. Eventually, a first cassette was released in 1996, another one in 1998, in honour
of Prosper Niang
(of Xalam). The public loved Waflash for its diversity in styles, the voices
of the two lead singers Ma Sané
and Mamadou Yade
and the fresh
lyrics on a variety of subjects, such as emigration, African women, children's rights, war or the environment.
Waflash were invited in Algeria and South Africa in 1999, where they visited Robben Island.
Two more cassette were produced, in between there was an international tour that brought them to Italy.
In 2003, they recorded two albums, « Bella Casa »
, probably their best album,
and an EP « Mappando »
, recorded with American musician Ken Stringfellow
(R.E.M., The Posies). The album Mappando was among the first releases by an all-digital label UMe (part of Universal
But Waflash had a dream they were fighting for. They wanted to create more room for performing arts in their home town,
struck by economic downfall and lack of investment in culture by the national government. After years of hard work
and sacrifices, they finally opened the Palais des Arts in Thiès in 2009. During these period, their discographic
production was suffering from their building activities, but in 2012 they released a digital single
« Wa Aleu Bi »
, a world music song, and in 2013 another new song
« Nanga Fané »
• Members of Waflash
Mamadou Yade « Blanc Plume »
vocals (left the band in 2009)
Moustapha Guèye « Kool-U »
Cheikhou Bâ « Toto »
Maguette Thiam « Mags »
Racine Bâ « Race »
Macodou Ndiaye « Ndiaw »
Bougouma Mbengue « Gallas »
Pape Mamadou Mbaye
percussions (sabar / tama)