Ousmane Sembène was one of those rare people whose death feels like a personal loss even to those who did not know him. We have lost a great mind.
Sembène had an extraordinary life. Born in 1923, he was sent by his father to an Islamic school in the Casamance - the poor southern region of today's Senegal, then part of the huge French West African colonial empire. Expelled from the school in 1936 for indiscipline, he worked as a fisherman before leaving to find work in the capital, Dakar.