Oumarou Ganda was born in Niamey, of Djerma ethnicity. At the age of 16, he joined the French Far East Expeditionary Corps. After spending two years in Asia during the First Indochina War he returned to Niger. He was unable to find work, so he emigrated to Ivory Coast and became a longshoreman in the port of Abidjan. There he met French anthropologist and filmmaker Jean Rouch. Rouch was interested in the Nigerien community in Ivory Coast and hired Ganda as a statistician for his research on immigration.
Ganda had a small role in Rouch's 1957 film Zazouman de Treichville, and the lead role in Moi un Noir in 1958. A few years later he returned to Niamey and became an assistant technician. His first film, Cabascabo, is based on his experiences in Indochina. He continued making films throughout the 1970s, many of which received international acclaim. His most famous, Le Wazzou Polygame (1970) won the first FESPACO Film Festival Best Film Award. In addition to his feature-films, Ganda completed several documentaries.
Among his posthumous honors, a major cultural center in Niamey, Le Centre Culturel Oumarou GANDA (C.C.O.G) was named after him in 1981, shortly after his death.
FESPACO began awarding an African Feature Film Award named the Oumarou Ganda Prize.
Le Niger au Festival de Carthage, 1980
Cock Cock Cock, 1977
Le Wazzou polygame, 1970 - First FESPACO grand prize in 1972.
Cabascabo, 1969 - Special jury prize at the Moscow International Film Festival, International Critics' Award at Málaga, Honorable Mention at the Carthage Film Festival.
Le wazzou polygame (1971)
Moi un noir (1958)
Based on a traditional African tale.A king has the habit of listening to the wishes of his people whilst walking in disguise on the streets of his kingdom. One day he overhears two brothers daydreaming of marrying the king’s daughters, even if it meant being beheaded one year later. The weddings take place and one of the brothers is decapitated one year later. The other one escapes at his wife’s insistence. On a long journey full of surprising incidents our hero becomes king of a village, with wives and subjects. More
A sorcerer (played by the director himself) controls all activities in a village.Manipulating the different parties, he promises love, good health and riches in exchange for the most extravagant rewards. One day someone exposes him and the sorcerer becomes the laughing stock of the whole village. Desperate, he throws himself off a cliff. More