Senegal: My Camera, my Shooting Weapon Dafadoy! Enough is Enough!

This is the slogan that the young activist Fatou takes with her everywhere. With a degree in philosophy and journalism and communication, Fatou, the very committed young activist, has been involved in film production and direction for more than 3 years.

Her objective: fight violence against women by presenting images that project some of the horrible experiences some women go through, and the harmful consequences of the atrocities they are victim of.

At 30, Fatou owns an online television channel called WarkhaCom TV, the channel through which she broadcasts the films she produces. Thanks to a partnership agreement between Plan International and the structure of which she is the founder, she managed to produce 16 films of 16 minutes for the 16 days of activism against violence on women. "My camera is my weapon," she says, before narrating her passion.

 Fighting girls' rights, a passion from childhood

I have had a passion for defending girls since I was a child. I don't remember the exact date, but I started by bringing together the girls in my neighbourhood to create an informal association in which we organized talks and debates on how we are treated in our homes. We were not really aware of what we were doing at the time.

After that, I started defending all my classmates who were under the influence of boys. I had the chance to grow older than my age as they say, since I had a strong build. It allowed me to stand up to the men in the class... So that's when it all started, I can tell.

I have long been under the influence of a Senegalese artist who is very committed to women's rights issues, and I think that her songs and her story have inspired my commitment.

In 2005, I created with friends an association called "BANDO RAG DE VAINCRE", which aimed to fight violence against women and children. And within the framework of this association, we have made many achievements such as awareness raising sessions, advocacy actions against rape and child marriages, etc....

Few years later, I noticed that our action was not really bearing fruit. I decided to move up a gear: video. Why video, you will ask me, because video has been the basis of several revolutions in Africa and the world. Video is indeed an unequivocal evidence that makes it possible to witness the subjects evoked, while evoking emotions and reactions in the person watching the film.

That's why I decided to take the camera. I am currently a Videographer. I make awareness raising films and lead workshops on shooting and video editing techniques with a smartphone. In addition, I am active in the field as one of the founding members of the #dafadoy collective, which campaigns for the criminalization of rape in Senegal. I am a community relay and I do communication for behaviour change.

I work with the members of our WarkhaCom community communication space, with whom we form a team of dynamic and highly committed young people.

We broadcast our films through our website. We also make projections. And our videos are sometimes shown on TV.

My journey with Plan International

As a community relay, I had to take part in Plan International's projects. So I knew Plan International well before I had this opportunity that just united us.

I wrote a partnership request and sent it to them with my project, and they contacted me.  As part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, we are co-producing 16 films of 16 minutes for the 16 Days campaign on different themes, which we broadcast on our respective channels. The impact is great and the benefits of this partnership are great.

Our collaboration not only made the project possible, but also reached thousands of people. On a personal level, I have gained a lot. I multiplied my courage coefficient by 1000.

Nothing will stop me anymore. I also learned a lot on the technical level because with the support of Plan International's specialists, I had to be much more demanding and rigorous with my team. My TV channel and I have gained notoriety and credibility. Since the beginning of this campaign, I have been a guest on several radio and TV programs.

After the 16 days, we will continue the workshops, make film projections in the neighbourhoods, and produce videos on other themes. Thanks to Plan International, we are even planning to subtitle the 16 films produced in English, in order to broaden the audience.  Our struggle continues and, as Plan International so aptly puts it, "we will not stop until every girl is seen, heard or valued". And to all those who still maltreat girls and women, I just ask them to stop: dafadoy, enough is enough!

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