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Some present her as the “Senegalese Shonda”, in reference to Shonda Rhimes, the creator of successful American series (Grey’s Anatomy, Murder, Scandal). ” It amuses me and makes me proud.” admits Kalista Sy, a smile in her voice. Like the showrunner African-American, the Senegalese screenwriter and producer has shaken up the audiovisual industry in her country. A hint of scandal and more. Adultery, depression, rape, alcoholism… his productions evoke taboo and sulphurous themes for Senegalese society, very steeped in religious values.
“She changed the game! », enthuses Jessica Gomes, alias Dalanda, central character of Mistress of a married man (MDHM), the famous sitcom imagined and scripted by Kalista Sy. “Before MDHM, we saw on the screen submissive women, totally devoted to their husbands, to their homes. Women who support everything. Kalista shows what we live and what we dare not expose in our patriarchal society, for fear of the gaze of others. »
Kalista Sy takes malicious pleasure in shattering the figure of the Senegalese woman respectful of the injunctions to discretion, modesty (“sutura”) and patience (“mougn”) and which constitute, for many of them, the expected norm. ” VShe principles, I respect them… but not too much anyway! », mocks the one who claims a choice of monogamous marriage. In Senegal, the husband can choose the regime of polygamy during civil marriage. “I simply denounce the fact that women’s lives are centered around men. There is this continual injunction to serve them, to be perfect when the men are encouraged to have several wives, because it values them socially. »
In his new series, Yaay 2.0 (mother in Wolof), on screen since the end of May, Kalista Sy explores the question of the desire for motherhood and tackles male infertility, disability, miscarriages. So many difficulties that weigh on couples and eat away at them. “When a child does not arrive, the woman is held responsible. But what if we discover that it is the man who has the problem? It is this reality that I wanted to tell”, explains Kalista Sy between two shooting scenes.
At 38 and faced with a desire for motherhood that is slow to materialize, the screenwriter draws on her personal experience and the testimonies received via social networks to nourish her writing. At the head of a company of 24 employees, this autodidact now alternates roles. She writes, chooses her actors, the music, supervises the editing and oversees discipline on the set. ” She is very directive and strict during the scenes. If we don’t give her what she wants, she gets angry. She can be a friend and a little bully “, carries Jessica Gomes.
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