Mamacounda Nightclub Tambacounda Reviews
Oct 25, 2007
Probably one of the only nightclubs in Tambacounda, Mamacounda is the spot where the young people of this town go. Close to the railroad tracks and very near the main road that travels through the town, it's the 'place to be'. Ladies always walk right in and the men are charged a nominal fee of maybe 1000 CFA which is around $2 USD.
For a place where the economy and the people are poor by comparison to us in the U.S., these young people pull out all the stops and dress to the nines! Wear your whites because they have a blacklight in the place and it's one of the few ways to be seen when the colorful disco lights turn out. One man was showing off some moves on the dance floor and his shirt and pants were all you could see...it was like clothing dancing by itself! The upholstered benches are so tacky that they're awesome! (I wish I'd gotten pictures of this place!) A psychedelic pattern from the 60's comes to mind and when the blacklight is on, it looks wild. Half of the benches need repair but everyone seems to make do. Once the Senegalese club music begins, no one is sitting anyway. Blaring out of the sound system is a mix of classic reggae, a few popular U.S. tunes (they LOVE Akon) & plenty of Senegalese club music (mbalakh) which is similar to sabar music that gets everyone on the floor jiggling all kinds of body parts from knees to booties.
The bar serves up sodas, beers & spirits. I found it interesting that the women don't drink alcohol, unless of course you're a tourist like me. They have a large outdoor patio area with lots of seating to go when you need to cool off from the sweaty dance floor. The only drawback is that virtually every man in Senegal smokes so it's kinda smoky out there.
A group of us had trekked there from our compound to see live music from a band in which some of the members were friends of one of our party. We were looking forward to their blend of traditional djembe and modern instruments. The thing to know about nightlife in other parts of the world is that unlike in the states where everything ends around 2 a.m., things are just beginning and go till daybreak when people finally slink home to go to bed. This is how Senegal is too. We came on the early side around 10-11 p.m. and watched the club attendance grow exponentially. Since we were not accustomed to this schedule, by 1 a.m. when things were just getting warmed up, we had run out of steam and gathered our posse to head back. We also missed the band because most likely they didn't even come on till around 2 a.m.
We left the crowded Mamacounda and headed out to the road to flag down a taxi. Since there were six of us, we couldn't get just one and didn't want to pay for two; especially considering at that time of night the drivers charged a premium knowing tired, desperate people will pay rather than walk the stretch home. After several attempts, we gave up and prepared to start walking, but not before we hit the roadside stand across the street from the club to have the man whip up some egg sandwiches on a baguette. Though I didn't partake, I'm told those were some satisfying sandwiches. So if you find yourself in Tamba looking for the action, Mamacounda is the place. Take a nap in the afternoon and prepare for an all-night outing since that's the only way you'll experience it like the locals do. And don't forget the egg sandwiches at the end of the night!
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