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Senegalese music legend N'Dour gets political post

April 5, 2012 |  2:54 pm

Youssoundour

REPORTING FROM JOHANNESBURG -- Senegalese music legend Youssou N'Dour, who helped spearhead the opposition campaign to oust former President Abdoulaye Wade last month, has gotten his political reward. He has been named minister for culture and tourism by the new president, Macky Sall.

Grammy award winner N'Dour, the country's must successful musician, put aside his musical career to compete against Wade, who angered Senegalese by trying to evade a constitutional limit to seek a third term in office.

The constitutional court ruled out N'Dour's bid to run for office, but the musician played a prominent role in the campaign against Wade. Street protests against the incumbent were mounted daily, and N'Dour was hit in the leg by a projectile in one of them.

After Wade failed to win an outright majority and was forced to a run-off against Sall, N'Dour thew his weight behind Sall. After Sall's victory, a democratic milestone for the country, he held a celebration concert in Sall's honor.

Before entering politics, N'Dour, who started performing at the age of 12, had toured the world for more than three decades and was hailed as one of Africa's greatest artists. Adored in Senegal, he has millions of fans globally.

Sall cut the number of Cabinet posts from 40 to 25.

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-- Robyn Dixon

Photo: Senegalese singer Youssou Ndour speaks during a meeting in Dakar ahead of the second round of the presidential elections. Credit: Tourebehan / Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

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