Burkinabè Rising: People in the Film / Les Participants dans le Film

Burkinabé Rising
Photo credit: Benjamin Lebrave, Akwaaba Music


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For Burkinabè Rising, we were privileged to speak with an amazing collection of artists and activists. Below are a few of the great people featured in the film.

Pour Burkinabè Rising, c'était un grand honneur de parler à une liste incroyable d'artistes et de militants. Voici quelques participants présentés dans le film.

Le Balai Citoyen

Le Balai Citoyen is a new citizen force resisting and organizing to demand a true democracy, good governance, and a better life in Burkina Faso.

Link: Le Balai Citoyen

Serge Bayala

Serge Bayala, a student of Modern Letters at the University of Ouagadougou, is the leader of "Deux Heures Pour Nous, Deux Heures Pour L'Afrique," which means Two Hours for Us, Two Hours for Africa. Deux Heures is a student activist group at the University of Ouagadougou. Its main objectives are to decolonize people's minds, promote traditional modes of agriculture, build political consciousness among the population, and protect the cultural identity of the Burkinabè people. Bayala was one of the students removed from university campuses in July 2013. He was arrested for his role mobilizing demonstrations that led to the arrest of over forty students and the destruction of several state vehicles.

Link: Serge Bayala

Bouda Blandine

Bouda Blandine is changing the public’s perception of socially excluded women by profoundly improving the lives of these women. She is enabling women to pull themselves out of poverty, to improve their health, and to exert a greater influence on family decisions. At the core of her approach is educating women on a range of subjects, including social and environmental issues, so that they can change their own actions and prompt others to change as well. Blandine is beginning with women who produce dolo, a traditional beer-like beverage, because they are the least respected due to their profession. Blandine enables the dolo makers to become successful, respected business women by increasing access to literacy courses, disseminating cost-saving methods of dolo production, and advising on the importance of paying taxes. She educates women on health issues such as hygiene, HIV prevention, and family planning. While this education is targeted at dolo makers, women of all professions are invited to learn, thus educating all women and solidifying the dolo producers as role models supporting other women.

Link: Bouda Blandine

Konaté Bomavé

Konaté Bomavé is a traditional mask-maker in Burkina Faso.

Aimé Césa

Aimé Césa is an artist from Burkina Faso.

Link: Aimé Cesa

Raissa Compaoré

Raissa Compaoré is a media activist and the director of Agence Burkina Presse.

Link: Raissa Compaoré

Serge Aimé Coulibaly

Serge Aimé Coulibaly, a Burkinabè dancer and choreographer, founded the Faso Dance Theatre company in 2002.

Link: Faso Dance Theatre

Sophie Garcia

Sophie Garcia is a photojournalist based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Link: Sophie Garcia

Emmanuel Ilboudo

Emmanuel Ilboudo is a photojournalist in Burkina Faso.

Hado Ima

Hado Ima is a percussionist who works with Watinoma, an organization focused on sustainable development in Burkina Faso.

Link: Watinoma

Jean-Marie Koalga

Jean-Marie Koalga is a member of Slow Food's Burkina Faso Network. The Burkina Faso Network, comprised of 124 community members, works to safeguard food biodiversity and support public awareness campaigns, such as those against GMOs, land grabbing, and intensive farming.

Link: Slow Food Burkina Faso Network

Sahab Koanda

Known as "Mr. Poubelle" and "The Prince of Rubbish," Sahab Koanda uses metal to create incongruous characters, evoking great beauty from things hitherto unseen in his country.

Jean-Robert Koudogbo Kiki

Born in 1986, Jean-Robert Koudogbo Kiki is a Burkinabè dancer and member of JUMP, the Youth United for a Positive Movement.

Link: JUMP

Souleymane Ladji Koné

Born in the Ivory Coast in 1987, Ladji Kone is a breakdancer and contemporary dancer based in Burkina Faso.

Link: Ladji Koné

Bil Aka Kora

Bil Aka Kora is a Burkinabè musician who plays a version of Djongo that fuses Kassena and modern musical styles such as jazz, reggae, and blues.

Link: Bil Aka Kora

Sanou Lagassane

Sanou Lagassane is a coordinator for Festima, a showcase of traditional African masks, and an administrator at the Association for the Protection of Masks, which organizes Festima.

Link: Festima

Benjamin Lebrave

Benjamin Lebrave is a leading member of the Akwaaba Music label and agency in Accra, Ghana.

Link: Akwaaba

Ki Léonce

Ki Léonce is the executive director of the Association for the Protection of Masks, which puts on Festima, a showcase of traditional African masks.

Link: Festima


Mabiisi is the artistic collaboration between acclaimed Burkinabè MC Art Melody and Stevo Atambire, one of the most influential Kologo musicians of Ghana.

Link: Mabiisi


Originally from Besançon in Franche-Comté, Marto is an illustrator, graffiti artist, and visual artist.

Link: Marto

Alif Naaba

Nicknamed the "Barefoot Prince," Alif Naaba is a musician from the village of Konkistenga in north-western Burkina Faso.

Link: Alif Naaba

Bend Naaba

Born in Ouagadougou into a family of traditional drummers, Bend Naaba began playing the instrument at age 7. After finishing his studies, he started working at the municipal radio station in Ouagadougou. He is currently the leader of the ID SiGRE NOS ORIGINES troupe, a promoter of the Bendré Day festival, and a teacher of the Bendré language, which he was also learned from his father as a child.

Arnaud Ouambatou

Arnaud Ouambatou is a Tiébélé architecture guide with Tiébélé Tours.

Link: Tiébélé Tours

Mohamed Ouedraogo

Mohamed Ouedraogo is an artist in Burkina Faso.

Link: Mohamed Ouedraogo

Qu'on Sonne et Voix-Ailes

"Qu’on sonne et Voix-ailes" is a slam collective in Burkina Faso.

Link: Qu’on Sonne et Voix-ailes

Blandine Sankara

Blandine Sankara is the coordinator of the Yelemani Association, which organizes around food sovereignty at the national and international level.

Link: Yelemani

Odile Sankara

Odile Sankara is a Burkinabè actress and the sister of Thomas Sankara.

Link: Odile Sankara

Salia Sanou

Salia Sanou founded the dance company Mouvements PerpОtuels.

Link: Salia Sanou

Sophie Sedgho

Sophie Sedgho is a national project coordinator for the Educational Garden run by La Saisonnière, an association in Ouagadoudou that works to guarantee the economic and social rights of Bukinabé women.

Link: La Saisonnière

Malika La Slameuse

Malika La Slameuse is a slam poet who works at the African Institute of Management.

Link: Malika La Slameuse


Smockey is a hip-hop artist, actor, and political activist from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Link: Smockey


Snake is a dancer, choreographer, and performer who lives in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Link: Snake

Joey Le Soldat

Joey Le Soldat is a Burkinabè rapper and member of the band Waga 3000 with Art Melody and DJ Form.

Link: Joey Le Soldat

Fatou Souratie

Fatou Souratie is the secretary for Le Balai Citoyen, a new citizen force organizing to demand a true democracy and good governance.

Link: Le Balai Citoyen

Ali Tapsoba

Ali Tapsoba is the president of Terre A Vie, an association that advocates for food sovereignty and human rights and against GMOs and land-grabbing. It is a member of the Collectif Citoyen pour l’Agro-Écologie, a group of citizens promoting ecological agriculture.

Link: CCAE

Gualbert Thiombiano

Gualbert Thiomiano is a member of Afrik'Image, a production and audiovisual company.

Link: Afrik'Image

Issa Tiendrébéogo

Issa Tiendrébéogo is the president of the Centre Thomas Sankara.

Link: Centre Thomas Sankara

Ousmane Tiendrébéogo

Ousmane Tiendrébéogo is a farmer and a member of the Collectif Citoyen pour l’Agro-Ecologie, a group of citizens promoting ecological agriculture.

Link: CCAE

Gidéon Vink

Gidéon Vink is a Dutch television director and the coordinator of Droit Libre TV, which focuses on human rights in Africa.

Link: Droit Libre TV

Onasis Wendker

Onasis Wendker is a young artist in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Link: Onasis Wendker

Blandine Yameogo

Blandine Yameogo is a Burkinabè dancer and actress.

Amina Yanogo

Amina Yanogo is the administrator and communicator for the "Qu'on Sonne & Voix-Ailes" slam collective.

Link: Amina Yanogo