Death of Zalika Souley: the oldest African actress


11 juin, 2021

digital training, television, art, makeup

Zalika Souley was a pioneer, and until recently a role model for African actresses. She was not even 20 years old when she started acting in the 1960s. She entered the still embryonic world of cinema in Niger, a newly independent ex-French colony, attracting criticism from those around her.

The Nigerien filmmaker Moustapha Alassane gave her her first role in The Return of an Adventurer. In this African western, the beautiful young woman appears on horseback, dressed as a cowboy and holding a gun. Oumarou Ganda directed her in Le Wazzou polygame in which Zalika Souley played a woman drunk with jealousy who mistakenly killed a bridesmaid in an attempt to kill her husband's new wife. The film made history by winning the Etalon de Yennenga at the very first Fespaco, the Pan-African Film Festival in Burkina Faso, in 1972. 

In 2003, in the documentary Allèèssi ("destiny" in Djerma), Nigerian director Rahmatou Keïta paid tribute to Zalika by retracing her glory days on the big screen.

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