We are the Baye Fall – Timecoded Script




00:02 - 00:07

Aston - Senegal

00:13 - 00:17

Card - There is a group of Senegalese Muslims known as the Baye Fall


00:22 - 00:27

Card - The Baye Fall follow a spiritual leader called Cheikh Amadou Bamba

00:34 - 00:40

Card - Born in 1858, Bamba led a pacifist revolution against Senegal’s French colonisers

00:45 - 00:50

Card - Considered a threat to French authority Bamba was exiled from his country

00:56 - 01:00

Card - During his exile his followers grew exponentially

01:09 - 01:13

Card - Bamba’s followers come together every year in the holy city of Touba

00:17 - 01:20

Card - This pilgrimage celebrates Bamba’s return from exile

01:22 - 01:25

Card - Every year the Grand Magal attracts five million people

01:26 - 01:29

Card - It is the largest Muslim pilgrimage on earth

01:30 - 01:35

Title Card - We are the Baye Fall

01:40 - 01:44

Aston - Goree Island

01:42 - 01:46

Modu: There is an energy, a cosmic energy, around this island

01:49 - 01:54

Modu: It’s a spiritual place, with a history that has a universal echo

01:56 - 02:02

Modu: This cannon was brought here by the French army to occupy our country

02:03 - 02:05

Modu: It’s the biggest cannon that they built in West Africa

02:06 - 02:10

Modu: My name’s Modu, they call me Modu, my parents called me Modu, I’m a Baye Fall

02:14 - 02:16

Modu: We are under the cannon here

02:18 - 02:24

Modu: This was a manual lift, a manual lift under the cannon to be able to bring the munitions up to charge the cannon

02:25 - 02:35

Modu: The French said ‘we’re going to exist here intellectually, culturally, with our religion here and instruct them to follow us’.

02:37 - 03:45

Modu: But the Cheikh saw through his vision that what they were bringing here was not in the interest or the benefit of the population

02:48 - 02:58

Modu: Thank you Amadou Bamba x 3

03:00 - 03:03

Aston - Dakar

03:03 - 03:09

Bara: How you doing guys? I’m really good, the Grand Magal is coming up

03:11 - 03:14

Aston - BARA

03:12 - 03:16

Bara: We are here in Dakar, very excited to be here to prepare for the Magal Touba

03:26 - 03:29

Bara: Here’s a present for the Magal. It’s just a little gesture

03:34 - 03:38

Bara: The Magal is the most important thing for me in my life

03:40 - 03:44

Bara: The money I give to them isn’t a lot of money, they can buy transport to go to Touba

03:45 - 03:46

Bara: Have a great Magal!

03:47 - 04:02

Bara: I lost my dad when I was three years old, we didn’t have any work, nobody in my family like my mum or my sister had any work at that time. My mum came here to start a street restaurant selling food, my sister started selling tea, and I started hustling here

04:05 - 04:17

Bara: I always thought that I wanted to go to Europe, maybe there I could get more money to help my family. When I got to Spain I didn’t have residency, one person goes and feeds twenty people and is responsible for the whole family.

04:18 - 04:31

Bara: I couldn’t make what I earn in Europe here at home but with what I earn I bring it here and share it with the people. This is the way of the Baye Fall: acts are better than words. We work so hard but we take action, always action.

04:32 - 04:46

Modu: Baye Fallism is a concept of living, it’s a concept of life linked with spirituality. Share my food with you, share my drink with you, share my house with you, we’ll even share clothes, I’ll give you clothes, we’ll even share a bed

04:47 - 05:08

Modu: It’s simple but it’s the source of spirituality to take care of each other...Wolof....You have to do for God, you cannot just say that you believe in God. No you have to do for God, doing is like praying.

05:11 - 05:16

Aston: Dakar

05:18 - 05:27

Ami: Nobody is like Cheikh Amadou Bamba, he is exceptional. After all the suffering he endured, his belief never wavered (Wolof)

05:29 - 05:40

Ami: If you didn’t know now you know! You always have to ask Cheikh Amadou Bamba who can show you how it really is (Wolof)

05:45 - 06:10

Ami: When I sing for Cheikh Amadou Bamba, I do it from the bottom of my heart. Some people are really happy when they see me but others think I’m totally crazy but I know I’m not crazy. (Wolof)

05:47 - 05:52

Aston: AMI Yaye Fall (female Yaye Fall)

06:11 - 06:27

Ami: Cheikh Amadou Bamba taught us to always live together as a family. If today we have peace, happiness and liberty it’s because of Cheikh Amadou Bamba, he’s a gift from God for us, the black people, the Senegalese. (Wolof)


06:32 - 06:46

Ami: My sister Yaye Fall! I’m greeting you with so much happiness and joy (Wolof)

06:49 - 07:12

Modu: Every disciple who was close to the Cheikh became a teacher, a teacher of doing. If you don’t know how to plant he’ll teach you, he’ll teach you how to dig a well, he’ll teach you how to feed yourself, he’ll teach you how to have an economy, to be able to sustain yourself and sustain your surroundings

07:13 - 07:19

Aston: Abéné

07:16 - 07:24

Bas: I decided to be a Baye Fall from a very young age, because I love Cheikh Amadou Bamba (French)

07:27 - 07:30

Bas: He did everything in his life not to hurt anyone. (French)

07:35 - 07:53

Modu: The French authority saw that this citizen in this country, he is an obstacle to our authority, we have to send him out of the country, and they sent him to Gabon. A lot of rain, a lot of insects, a lot of mosquitoes, everything that you can imagine that could hurt the life of a human being, and they brought the Cheikh there.

07:54 - 08:28

Bas: The Europeans told him: ‘you say that you will never do any harm to a person and you also won’t do any harm to God but today if you pray in our boat, you’re going to do wrong by us and if you don’t pray at all you’re going to do wrong by God’. He threw it! He threw his prayer mat on to the sea to pray. He prayed on top of the saea. The Europeans were completely astonished because it was their first time seeing someone who prayed on the sea without sinking. (French)

08:29 - 08:45

Modu: They kept him there for seven years, they never had any impact on him, and then they had to bring him back because they didn’t know what to do with him anymore. And he just said to God ‘forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing’.

08:46 - 08:58

Bas: Cheikh Amadou Bamba fought a war but he fought a holy war. He fought a war without injuring anyone, without killing anyone, without even spilling a drop of blood (French)

08:59 - 09:02

Aston: The Grand Magal, Touba

09:32 - 10:01

Modu: Every year the community gets bigger for the Magal. Over five million people come to the Magal, everybody eats, drinks and sleeps and nobody pays a penny. In Mecca you don’t have that. Where’s that coming from? From the service of the Baye Fall. He is the one spending all year in the fields preparing for the Magal to feed everyone who comes. It’s the day that Islam had a victory in this country.

10:03 - 10:07

Aston: Dakar

10:09 - 10:26

Ami: Everyone that you see here is Baye Fall. Everyone is Baye Fall here. We live and breathe Amadou Bamba. Amadou Bamba is exceptional and so are you my friends! (French/Wolof)

10:34 - 10:38

Ami: The children are reciting Cheikh Amadou Bamba’s writings (French)

10:41 - 10:57

Ami: We’re doing Cheikh Amadou Bamba’s work here. This is all we do every day for the whole month before Magal, cooking food and sharing it with the people. This is what Cheikh Amadou Bamba taught us, our unity and hospitality are the rewards of his struggle. (Wolof)

11:09 - 11:23

Ami: Our mission here is to share everything with the community. Everything we do creates our shared happiness, it’s all because of Cheikh Amadou Bamba and the Baye Fall. End of story! (Wolof)

11:30 - 12:09

Ami: It’s not easy to be a Yaye Fall, it’s a woman who is not easy to understand. You can see a woman with dreadlocks who wears the multi-coloured clothes of a Yaye Fall but that doesn’t make her a Yaye Fall. It’s really not that easy. Real Yaye Fall and Baye Fall have to be courageous and do things that people will thank you for. Baye Fall and Yaye Fall are always working, they never give up on work and always share what we have to help other people. (Wolof)

12:10 - 12:20

Ami: We are the Baye Fall, always the Baye Fall, every day the Baye Fall, every essence of us is Baye Fall. We are the Baye Fall. (French)

12:21 - 12:26

Aston: Touba

12:28  - 12:44

Bara: I’m walking without shoes! I’m walking in socks because this is the holy city, it’s different to Marbella, if I walk in Marbella I walk like a European and I’m not European but when I’m in Senegal I feel like I’m living my real life, I feel like I’m back in my real life.

12:47 - 13:19

Bara: There’s a lot of people! They’re from everywhere. This makes me feel the power of Cheikh Amadou Bamba because everyone that you see is a disciple of the Cheikh and they follow the Cheikh. When I’m in Spain this day is stuck on my mind, every day I’m thinking about this day. We’re living together, we’re living like a family this is the way the Cheikh taught us, first of all we have to love each other.

13:32 - 13:41

Bara: Now we’re approaching the Great Mosque, the holiest mosque in Africa. This for us is like a symbol.

13:48 - 13:54

Bara: With the help of the Cheikh I was able to get my papers in Europe and have the opportunity to come every year

13:58 - 14:10

Bara: When I leave here to go back to Spain the only thing I want is to come back to the Magal. I need to be here in my homeland, I need to be here in holy Touba, getting money and bringing it to Touba, getting money and helping people

14:16 - 14:22

Bas: When the Magal arrives, the Baye Fall have to drop everything and respond to the day of Cheikh Amadou Bamba. (French)

14:30 - 14:40

Bas: Never in your life will you go anywhere, where you can eat, drink and sleep without paying. Touba is the only place on earth you will find that. (French)

14:50 - 14:53

Bas: It’s our unity that gives us great power. (French)

15:06 - 15:17

Bas: We are singing the Baye Fall chant, it’s to show that we are happy after the work is finished, after having served the people well with everyone eating and drinking in peace, so we feel fulfilled. (French)

15:27 - 15:34

Bas: It’s step by step, we dance in a circle just like the world but it’s other people that move you around it (French)

15:56 - 16:06

Bara: It’s like a legacy. It was my grandfather, my dad, my mum and now it’s me, maybe tomorrow it will be my son or my daughters

16:07 - 16:13

Bara: I feel so happy, excited to be here, that’s why I don’t want to miss this day, I don’t want to miss it

16:17 - 16:49

Bas: Cheikh Amadou Bamba worked hard and now he’s reaping the fruits of his labour. He always tried to reunite people, he didn’t care if you were black or white, he didn’t care if you were Christian or Muslim, no! Touba is open for everyone. That’s why we say that the Baye Fall are everywhere. We’re trying to reunite all positive people to get back those who have lost their way in life because there are so many people who are lost (French)

18:09 - 18:14

Ami: The Magal Touba is the most important event for us. (Wolof)

18:26 - 18:41

Ami: The whole world should celebrate the Magal because when Cheikh Amadou Bamba sacrificed himself with his exile to Gabon, he didn’t just do it for himself, he did it for everyone. (Wolof)

18:48 - 18:55

Modu: The writing of the Cheikh was not meant only for the Senegalese, he was writing for mankind

19:00 - 19:22

Modu: The Cheikh, Cheikh Amadou Bamba, he is our everything. The Cheikh is the energy that will help Africans to come together. The unity of Africa will come from the source of the Cheikh.


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