Senegal classic featured in Beyoncé’s ‘OTR 2’ tour reveal

The air has changed and the bees are buzzing. If you haven’t already heard, Beyoncé is getting set for the second version of her joint tour, On The Run, with husband, Jay-Z

True to her fashion, like she’s done before and is not ashamed to admit, her latest inspiration from the mother continent is making all the rounds. Beyoncé had previously featured a dance originating in Maputo, South Africa, inviting the young dancers to Los Angeles to join her in her 2011’s “Run The World (Girls) and also at the 2017 Grammys, where Beyoncé channeled the Yoruba fertility goddess, Oshun, during her performance in the US.

Just recently, a vintage Senegalese film, Touki Bouki (The Hyena’s Journey), a 1973 drama directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty which tells the story of two lovers, Mory and Anta, was referenced as part of the promotions released for On The Run II.

A scene from Touki Bouki, directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty.

The movie shows Mory, a cowherd who drives a motorcycle mounted with a bull-horned skull, and Anta, a female student, who, tired of life in Senegal, plot their escape to Paris while devising over-the-top plans to raise money for their trip. Social media users were quick to point out the reference with cultural critic Suede being one of the first to make the connections.

At the end of slow-motion clip announcing their “On The Run II” tour, and soundtracked by Marcia Aetkin’s, I’m Still In Love With You, Jay-Z and Beyoncé are seated on a motorbike decorated with a bull’s long-horned skull above the handle bar.

The tour seems to paint a trilogy to the formidable couple’s story as two years after their original On The Run tour, Beyoncé dropped Lemonade, a resonating album which addressed her husband’s infidelity to the surprise of many, and a year later, 4:44, which was a medley of repentance from Jay-Z.

Mambéty was a Senegalese film director, actor, orator, composer and poet  that showcased his documentary-like and colorful style which made for an aesthetically rich visual film. His films received international acclaim for their experimental, unconventional narrative style, with Touki Bouki having shown at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival and the 8th Moscow International Film Festival, winning the International Critics Award at Cannes, the Special Jury Award at the Moscow film Festival, and in 2010, “The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema” where it ranked #52 in Empire magazines.

To this day, Touki Bouki is considered to be an important film in African cinema and we hope the fans will be curious enough to watch Mambéty’s film.

While the globally acclaimed power couple are yet to officially explain the promotional art, with the consistent nod to the African continent through her references, we look forward to the materialization in form of an African city being on slot for tour, as this, judging by their past two emotive albums, is bound to be a vibe.