Taafé Fanga (Skirt Power) (Mali: 1997)


Adama Drabo

Cast list

Fanta Berete... Yayeme
Ramata Drago... Kuni
Ibrahima S. Koita... Ambara
Helene Diarra... Timbe
Teneman Sanogo... Agro
Michel Sangare... Nomoku
Nana Diabate... Yandjou, the "Andumbulu"
Oumou Berthe... Naton
Sidiki Diabate... The Griot


Writing Credits: Adama Drabo


This film, with supernatural elements, challenges patriarchal order through role reversals. Yayeme, who is continuously abused by her husband, steals the mask and skirt of a mythical creature. These items provide Yayeme with great power, and, in the hopes of seeking revenge against her husband, she chooses to use her powers to change gender roles. The women explore what life is like for the men, and the men explore what life is like for the women. The women choose to exert dominance over the men, and the men have no choice but to be submissive. Both literally and figuratively, the women now wear the pants in the relationship.



Dmeltz,  Taafe Fanga,  IMDb (internet movie database)

Cosmicyoruba, TAAFÉ FANGA (SKIRT POWER),The Adventures of Cosmic Yoruba and Her Flying Machines (blog)

Academic Articles:

Aziza Braithwaite Bey – The Role of Women in Kemet, Dogon, Mayan and Tsalagi Societies by Aziza Braithwaite Bey. The Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice, Vol. 3, No. 3 ( SUMMER 2006)

Teaching Aberrance: Cinema as a Site for African Feminism by Corinna McLeod.  Journal of International Women’s Studies, Vol. 12, No. 4 (2011), pp. 79-96

Africa Shoots Back: Alternative Perspectives in Sub-Saharan Francophone African Film by Melissa Thackway. Google Books (2003)

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Kabala Mali 2002 Assane Kouyate
Taafé Fanga (Skirt Power) Mali 1997 Adama Drabo
Fantan Fanga (Power of the Poor) Mali 2009 Ladji Diakite, Adama Drabo
Ta Dona (Fire) Mali 1991 Adama Drabo
Bamako Mali 2006 Abderrahmane Sissako
Bamunan Mali 1990 Issa Falaba Traore
Faraw: Une mère des sables Mali 1997 Abdoulaye Ascofaré
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