Sokhna Benga is the author of novels, poems, scripts, children’s books and a play. At a very young age, while studying law at the universities of Dakar and Brest in the early 1990s with a specialisation in maritime law, she published her first novel, “Le Dard du secret” ([The Sting of Secrets], 1990), which already consisted in the two genres in which she excelled, the novel of manners and crime fiction. Encouraged by her father and the journalist and writer Ibrahima Mbengue, she is now pursuing a dual career. From 1997 to 2000, she also worked in academic services (schools, youth centres) and for people in difficulty (youth centres, prisons) through creative writing workshops organised in the department of Essonne. Back in Dakar, she was director of the Nouvelles Éditions africaines du Sénégal (NEAS) from 2002 to 2005 and was appointed Administrator of Maritime Affairs at the Directorate of Merchant Marine (DMM) in 2006.
S. Benga believes in the power of writing to denounce the social and political excesses that not only Senegal but every country must face. In her novel “La Balade du sabador” ([The Sabador’s Walk], 2000), she deals with mysticism and Senegalese beliefs, between the supernatural, the real and the unreal. Through the story of two twin girls, Mayé the rebellious and Ngoye the submissive, she denounces social facts and raises the question of the different behaviours of African women today in the face of the demands of Senegalese society. Her novel “Bayo” (2007) continues the question of the position of women and more precisely the relationship between generations in a constantly changing world. Against the backdrop of Senegal’s political and social life since 1940, we follow the character of Sabel, a happy mother, firmly determined to offer her children a loving home and to spare them the difficult childhood she had herself. As a result, she does not understand their choices when, as they are about to become adults, they reject what is given to them to follow more tortuous paths. With the trilogy “Le temps a une mémoire” ([Time Has a Memory], 2007), composed of short novels, S. Benga returns to crime fiction, with an oral style resembling her scenarios.