Ousmane Sembene
Name: Ousmane Sembene
Occupation: Novelist
Gender: Male
Birth Day: January 1, 1923
Death Date: Jun 9, 2007 (age 84)
Age: Aged 84
Birth Place: Ziguinchor, Senegal
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

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Ousmane Sembene

Ousmane Sembene was born on January 1, 1923 in Ziguinchor, Senegal (84 years old). Ousmane Sembene is a Novelist, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Nationality: Senegal. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.


He received a prestigious award at the 1979 Moscow International Film Festival.

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As per our current Database, Ousmane Sembene died on Jun 9, 2007 (age 84).


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Before Fame

He was drafted into the Senegalese corps of the French Army, and he fought in World War II.


Biography Timeline


In 1944, Sembène was drafted into the Senegalese Tirailleurs (a corps of the French Army). His later World War II service was with the Free French Forces. After the war, he returned to his home country and in 1947 participated in a long railroad strike, on which he later based his seminal novel God's Bits of Wood (1960).


Late in 1947, he stowed away to France, where he worked at a Citroën factory in Paris and then on the docks at Marseille, becoming active in the French trade union movement. He joined the communist-led CGT and the Communist party, helping lead a strike to hinder the shipment of weapons for the French colonial war in Vietnam. During this time, he discovered the Harlem Renaissance writer Claude McKay and the Haitian Marxist writer Jacques Roumain.


From 1962 to 1963, Sembène studied filmmaking for a year at Gorky Film Studio, Moscow, under Soviet director Mark Donskoy.


In 1963, Sembène produced his first film, a short called Barom Sarret (The Wagoner). In 1964 he made another short entitled Niaye. In 1966 he produced his first feature film, La Noire de..., based on one of his own short stories; it was the first feature film ever released by a sub-Saharan African director. Though only 60 minutes long, the French-language film won the Prix Jean Vigo, bringing immediate international attention to both African film generally and Sembène specifically. Sembène followed this success with the 1968 Mandabi, achieving his dream of producing a film in his native Wolof language.


Sembène followed Les Bouts de Bois de Dieu with the (1962) short fiction collection Voltaïque (Tribal Scars). The collection contains short stories, tales, and fables, including "La Noire de..." which he would later adapt into his first film. In 1964, he released l'Harmattan (The Harmattan), an epic novel about a referendum for independence in an African capital.


With the 1965 publication of Le mandat, précédé de Vehi-Ciosane (The Money Order and White Genesis), Sembène's emphasis began to shift. Just as he had once vociferously attacked the racial and economic oppression of the French colonial government, with this pair of novellas, he turned his sights on the corrupt African elites that followed.


Later Wolof-language films include Xala (1975, based on his own novel), Ceddo (1977), Camp de Thiaroye (1987), and Guelwaar (1992). The Senegalese release of Ceddo was heavily censored, ostensibly for a problem with Sembène's paperwork, though some critics suggest that this censorship had more to do with what could be interpreted as anti-Muslim content in the film. However, Sembène distributed fliers at theaters describing the censored scenes and released the film uncut for the international market. In 1971, Sembène also made a film in French and Diola entitled Emitaï, which was entered into the 7th Moscow International Film Festival, where it won a Silver Prize. It was also banned throughout French West Africa. His 1975 film Xala was entered into the 9th Moscow International Film Festival.


In 1977 his film Ceddo was entered into the 10th Moscow International Film Festival. In the same year he was a member of the jury at the 27th Berlin International Film Festival. At the 11th Moscow International Film Festival in 1979, he was awarded with the Honorable Prize for the contribution to cinema.


Ousmane Sembène died on 9 June 2007, at the age of 84. He had been ill since December 2006, and died at his home in Dakar, Senegal where he was buried in a shroud adorned with Quranic verses. Sembène was survived by three sons from two marriages.

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Currently, Ousmane Sembene is 98 years, 8 months and 21 days old. Ousmane Sembene will celebrate 99th birthday on a Saturday 1st of January 2022.

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