Cow can you disappear in a country like France when you are twenty and a brilliant student with a bright future? What is happening so that, since January 4, we have not heard from Diary Sow, a Senegalese student at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris? Is there still a chance that it will be found safe and sound? These are all questions that torment her family, the government authorities but also all the people who know her personally or by reputation with regard to her quality of “best student of Senegal” in 2018 and 2019.
Described as very studious, the young girl from Malicounda, in the region of Mbour, 80 km south of Dakar, had a brilliant career at the Keur Madior establishment in Mbour before joining the scientific high school of excellence in Diourbel. which propelled her in view of her results in preparatory class for Louis-le-Grand in Paris.
Beyond that, she has become a girl for all Senegalese, starting with President Macky Sall as well as his current Minister of Water and Sanitation, Serigne Mbaye Thiam, who is none other than the godfather of Diary Sow.
Palpable concern within his former association
“This is sad news. This is the first time that we have faced this kind of situation. We are in shock and a little lost, ”says Mohamed Massal Gueye, founder and coordinator of“ Les élites Senegalaises ”, an association that aims to promote excellence, leadership and entrepreneurship in Senegal. Diary Sow had been its vice-president for several years. Very involved, the second year preparatory student at the prestigious Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris thanks to the obtaining of an excellence scholarship continued to be an active member, even from a distance.
She had recently participated in the educational platform project set up to help students in exam class during the first wave of Covid.
A concern at the height of its strong notoriety
The “little sister”, as she is sometimes affectionately known, is a well-known personality in the country for having won the distinction of “best student of Senegal” for two years in a row in 2018 and 2019, after having won the title of Miss Science. “It is rare to have a girl who wins the title of” best pupil “since the conditions of access to education for girls are still complicated in Senegal. So getting it two years in a row is quite exceptional! », Explains Saourou Sène, general secretary of the Autonomous Union of Middle Secondary Teachers in Senegal (SAEMSS). After these awards, Diary Sow saw his popularity grow and his media aura greatly strengthened.
Strong mobilization on social networks
Deeply upset and surprised by the news, members of the “Senegalese elites” organized a day of prayer on Tuesday January 12 on the campus of Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar. “For this extraordinary person, very attached to Senegal”, specifies Mohamed Massal Gueye who got to know him through a mutual friend. To continue to challenge, but also to support the family, new actions are planned in the days to come. A way for young Senegalese to show that even if we have to wait for the results of the survey, “the youth are united and mobilized”.
At the origin of the “Save Dakar” page, a citizens’ initiative for good citizenship, the environment and citizenship, Mandione Laye Kébé shared from the first days the notice of the girl’s disappearance.
“What happens moves everyone. To be in this waiting is really a pain. I have a thought for his family so it was normal and important for me to alert ”, reports the native of the suburbs of Dakar. If initially interest was low, the #RetrouvonsDiary quickly invaded Twitter platforms and Facebook pages … Public figures such as Alain Mabanckou, Rokhaya Diallo and Demba Ba relayed the message like many Internet users, both in Senegal than in France, which amplified the message. “The Senegalese are united: the diaspora in France and those who remained in the country are closely linked. There are no calculations for once, all the Senegalese people are united “, welcomes Mandione Laye Kébé before insisting on the strong involvement of Senegalese students in France, at the origin of the Diary Sow collective which organized a distribution of flyers and preparing to organize other actions.
Emotion in school settings
“She is very humble and brings everything down to luck, as if she had nothing to do with her success. She is a very intelligent, hard-working girl who has her head on her shoulders, ”explains Saourou Sène, who had met her in 2020 on the occasion of the release of her first roman, Under the face of an angel, published by L’Harmattan editions. And the secretary general of the Autonomous Syndicate of Middle Secondary Teachers in Senegal (SAEMSS) to call on the Senegalese government so that it officially communicates on the case and informs the population on the follow-up to the investigation.
“I saw her on television. It is an example to follow for me, it motivates me ”, indicates Marietou Fall at the exit of the high school of Ouakam where she is a student in class of 4.e. Same appreciation on the side of his friend Maman Kanté, aged 15. “Diary Sow is cited as an example by our parents. They encourage us to be as hard-working and to do as much as she does if not exceed her, ”she says with a smile. And to explain that since the disappearance of Diary Sow, their parents are distressed, even raising the fear of sending their daughters one day to study abroad. Nevertheless, the two teenagers, inspired by Diary Sow’s career, hope later to be able to continue their training, one in hydraulics, the other in medicine, why not abroad, and return to the country.
“With her modest family situation, Diary Sow has shown that with willpower and hard work, you can succeed. We were rather accustomed to the successes of children from well-off families and graduates, ”Rosalie Diop analyzes. For this teacher-researcher in Sociology, Diary Sow “allowed her family, but also others, to nourish a lot of hope”. Also a mother of six children, she confides in praying every night, thinking of the young student: “I didn’t know her but it’s as if she was my daughter and for many Senegalese it’s the same thing. It can happen to anyone. The threat exists everywhere and this disappearance made it more real. ”
These are all illustrations of the tension in which many Senegalese find themselves today. On the lookout for all the information relating to this disappearance of Diary Sow, they continue to comment on articles dealing with the subject hoping that this nightmare around the one that Saourou Sène describes as “national heroine” will have a happy ending.