My sister, I remember you at those fashion shows in Paris, in the 80’s.I was still a teenager dreaming like all African girls of my age to become a Katoucha, a Kadidja or an Iman. You had presence on the stage , giving life to Yves-Saint-Laurent’s creation , giving wings to silk and flow to any skirt dress or pants even though Haute-Couture. Katoucha! clothes were living through your Charisma.
Our Princess, I remember those nights or early mornings in  » Keur Samba », you were hiding in ladies rooms, unaware of all of us, lost in your pain and suffering.
You are our icon, we Fulanis raised with an endless sense of pride and dignity no matter what…
You were always hanging with Chris Seydou, your spiritual brother and you inspired each other in your endless will to change the way the world was looking at our Africa.
Then you decided to go back home and you were betrayed by your likes, but you stood the humiliation,  »Born to Survive ». Once again, you have overcome, always in action, creative and beautiful.
As I write , I see you laughing , knowing you wouldn’t want us to cry but your loss is painful big sister…Too hard on us… we have unfinished projects but for you I will continue and make it happen.
I never became a top model or even a model but you inspired me as other African women as a role model..
I remember those days in Abidjan, in 1997 when you came for the launch of your collection, wonderful,l African inspired but universal like you and perfectly fitted. I can see you pregnant with Hayden and madly in love with Nigel a bunch of roses in his hands for my mum. You were so happy!!!. Generous you were , always giving and sharing.
And then your Japanese adventure following your husband in Tokyo. I remember our phone discussions on life in Japan, the lack of afrocentric Hairdressers and  »Tiep bou Dieune ».
I missed you when you were doing the Public Relations of the Pershing’s restaurant in Paris, you had left few minutes before my arrival…
I recognized you there, always ready to fight, to stand up, to BE.
Last April , I was in Dakar for few days and when you heard I was in town, you invited me to your Restaurant  »Monte-Christo » in Ngor. I was so happy to see you as usual beautiful, sparkling and lively. You were perfectly dressed in a black suit designed by you and made in Senegal and then you started praising capacities of Africa to sell itself… We made plans on organizing a big event in Central Africa in 2008…I went back home and while on a trip to Paris Marie-Jeanne Serbin Thomas told me you had written a book « Dans ma chair » (in my flesh) and you were on a promotion tour.
When I read on the net that you had disappeared, I was worried but Hope was stronger so I called a friend in Dakar and she was positive telling me you might have decided to take a break from the world and its wickedness. She planted seeds of hope in my heart.
I bought the new Brune , Marie-Jeanne wrote a beautiful paper on you STILL FULL OF HOPE.
The BAD NEWS came by mail…
Great Lady,  »Grande Dame », thanks for the wonderful time spent together, thanks for being an inspiration for all African women, we love you and will never forget you…

2 réflexions sur « TRIBUTE TO KATOUCHA NIANE »

  1. I remember buying Paris Match, Afrique Magazine & AMINA in the 80’s just to look at the pictures of Katoucha, my Kenyan sister Khadija Adams, Kimi from Cote d’Ivoire, Mounia and many other black girls. They were simply glamourous!

    Katoucha went too soon. R.I.P.

  2. Merci Nabou pour ce témoignage , tu m’as fait rouvrir mes vieux albums et j’en ai sorti quelques unes sur lesquelles j’étais avec elle … Life is so crual !

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