Often regarded as the “father of African film”, Ousmane Sembene was a prolific writer, director and producer. The son of a fisherman, Sembene was born on January 1, 1923, in traditional Ziguinchor in Casamance to an Islamic Lebou family.
Sembene was greatly influenced by his maternal grandmother, who raised him and this was evident in most of his works as women played a major role. An example is the towering Ramatoulaye in God’s Bits of Wood. Other notable films to his credit include Xala (1975), Ceddo (1977), Thiaroye (1987), and Guelwaar (1992).
He passed away on June 9, 2007, in Dakar at the age of 84.