Les Filles de Illighadad: Daughters of the Desert
In the middle of the Niger, near a town called Abalak, lies the tiny desert village Illighadad. A few houses and a school surround a well, nestled amongst the bushy landscape of the Sahara. Its Tuareg community lives a quiet existence, guided by the seasons. Traditionally the men work and occasionally travel to trade. The women are in charge of the home and the animals. While they herd goats, they sing to pass the time. At night, they perform tende, a convivial cacophony of drumming and female voices that underscore the village’s celebrations. This is the place where, a decade or so ago, a young girl named Fatou Seide Ghali picked up a battered old guitar and taught herself to play.