Born to a Senegalese father and a Quebec mother and raised in Quebec City's Limoilou neighbourhood, Aly Ndiaye, aka Webster, has always been proud of his dual origin and sees himself as a SeneQueb. His passion for history drove him to study this field in college.
Webster has rapped on themes revolving around social justice, racial profiling, environmental issues, and the history of African slaves in Canada. He conducts creative writing workshops all over the world. He was invited to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, youth correctional facilities in Geneva (Switzerland), schools in the Bronx (New York) and cultural centres in Mauritiana, Senegal, Mali and China. He regularly collaborates with the Governments of Quebec, Canada and France.
“The mission of Webster University is to educate global citizens and we want to show our students that learning foreign languages is the key for their education,” explains Webster. He also gives lectures about a variety of topics. He meets troubled youth to speak about courage, perseverance, discipline, resilience, and other aspects of positive reinforcement. His main subject is the history of black people and their enslavement in the province of Quebec since the start of the colony in the 17th century.
Since 2009, he has been travelling the globe to give workshops and teach students how to use creative writing in French; he performed in Asia, South America, Africa, Europe and North America. Musically, he has been active since 1995; founder of the Limoilou Starz collective, he is a pioneer of the hip-hop culture in Quebec.
Webster says, “It is my second tour in India but first concert in Chennai, feeling very excited to meet the crowd.”
The Old Man of the Mountain (as he is known) is reputed for his wise lyrics and the smartness of his music. His art is a tool that he has been sharpening for two decades.
Speaking about this, Webster says, “I like to express humanity through my songs; I want to spread love and unity. Regardless of the language being French, people enjoy my songs,” he concludes.
Webster will be performing tonight 7 pm, at Alliance Française, Chennai. For reservations call 99403 66947.