With no intention of sounding or being presumptuous: Did the Sunday Telegraph ape my comparison of Boulkheir to Morgan Freeman for this long piece on Boulkheir’s candidacy (by Nick Meo)? Just who is reading this blog?
And like thousands of other slaves and freed slaves across the Saharan country, her hopes are fixed on an inspirational candidate, a man born to slave parents who has sworn to put an end to the practice of “owning” humans if he is elected president.
That candidate is Messaoud Ould Boulkheir, a 66-year-old former civil servant with a strong resemblance to the film actor Morgan Freeman. Mr Boulkheir has vowed that in power he would punish slave owners and do everything he can to free their human property.
His prospects of winning power are growing by the day – and he is being hailed as Mauritania’s brightest star by his supporters.
The peice is generally well put together (although it quotes a “Berber” taxi driver; it would interesting to see where this fellow is from, in Mauritania), and though I disagree with its assessment that Boulkheir will win (I am inclined to say that of the opposition, Ould Daddah has the best chances of going to the second round; Boulkheir comes next after him), it is the first article in a major paper that I can think of that deals with Mauritania in a serious way and on its own terms. It is also the first one to look at Boulkheir in terms of Mauritania’s history, and that is a good thing. One might to suppose that Boulkheir’s uncanny resemblence to Freeman is plain for all to see; I’ve not heard it with an frequency, though.