His disappearance, reported in early January, had aroused the concern of his relatives and the authorities. Three weeks later, Diary Sow, this 20-year-old Senegalese student, educated at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris, ended up giving reassuring news. Investigators from the Paris judicial police, seized of this worrying disappearance file, were able to reach her by phone. “She is free and is doing well”, said a police source on Friday January 22 to France Televisions. Thanks to this contact, the police now know where the young woman is, and are certain that she is not in danger. The investigation opened in France could therefore be closed by the Paris prosecutor’s office.
A few hours earlier, Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister of Water and Sanitation of Senegal, who is also his godfather, had relayed on Twitter, with his agreement, the extracts of a letter sent to him by Diary Sow. A text which confirms the thesis of voluntary disappearance, but does not lift the veil on the exact reasons for this fugue.
We finally have news from #DiarySow who is doing well. In a letter she sent me, followed by several exchanges in recent days, she breaks the silence for the first time. With his agreement and the authorization of his family, below are some extracts from his letter. pic.twitter.com/dFwc4NPEB6
– Serigne Mbaye THIAM (@smthiam) January 21, 2021
In this tormented text, which we reproduce below, Diary Sow explains to his “uncle” be gone “freely”, and describes his disappearance as “a kind of salutary respite in [s]for life”, a “little break, to find [s]spirits “.
“Hello uncle. I want to make it clear that I am writing to you as freely as I left. I have left enough clues behind me so that people know that I was leaving of my own free will. I am not hiding. I “Don’t run away. See it as a kind of salutary respite in my life. If I hadn’t come forward so far, it was for the simple reason that I was unable to do so.
Uncle, I understand that you are all surprised. I would also understand if you were disappointed. The girl you know wouldn’t have missed a day of school for anything. Pressure ? No. Pressure has never been a drag for me. On the contrary. I am not the victim of any kind of pressure from anyone around me.
I have not tripped because of the confinement or the preparation. My life was as I wanted it to be, as it had to be. Doubts ? I never doubted my abilities or my strength. My departure is not an admission of weakness.
Uncle, know nevertheless that if it had been possible for me to do otherwise, I would not have acted thus. I never thought my name was going to fuel so much debate, that so many people would care. And until the last moment, I still didn’t realize that I was actually taking action.
“I haven’t told anyone about it. Out of modesty? For fear of being misunderstood, misunderstood? It’s not about overwork, or madness, or desire for freedom.”Diary Sow
in a letter to his godfather
Please read me from the heart, there are some things that reason cannot hear. Who would have given the slightest credit to this irrepressible, irrational and so deeply irrational desire that animated me? My mother ? I was too scared of what she was going to think. You, Uncle? You would certainly have tried to dissuade me. If it were possible for me to ask you this favor and I was sure that it would be favorably received, would you have allowed me this little break, to get my senses back? Many times, I have almost changed my mind.
The day before my departure again, I hesitated. As I discussed with you the future that awaited me, that I wanted, I realized how crazy my project was. Running away? A very pejorative word for such a deep quest (…) Uncle, I would ask you to reassure the people who are looking for me. I’m fine, I’m safe. Know that I am terribly, deeply sorry. “
For several days, the hypothesis of a voluntary disappearance, accredited by several testimonies, held the cord. “Diary is alive, she is fine. We must leave her alone, that we stop talking about her. One thing is certain, it will be explained one day or another, tomorrow, in a month or in a year “, confided on Tuesday, on condition of anonymity, one of his relatives to Parisian.
Diary Sow had spent the end of year vacation in Toulouse with his best friend, a medical student. She did not show up on January 4 at the resumption of classes at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, an attitude that was not like her, according to her relatives. The investigation later established that before disappearing, she had returned to her student room in Paris, from where she had taken personal belongings.
It remains to be seen why this brilliant student in physics-chemistry preparatory class in one of the most prestigious establishments in the capital chose to disappear without warning anyone. Can the weight of growing notoriety in his country explain this choice? Diary Sow, winner of a scientific baccalaureate mention very well, had been designated in 2018 and 2019 “best student of Senegal”, a title awarded by Senegalese President Macky Sall himself. Some of her compatriots would have seen her, in the more or less near future, playing an important role for her country.
Another element may have troubled those who were interested in the case: the similarities between the leak of Diary Sow and the story told in his novel. Under the face of an angel, published in January 2020 (L’Harmattan). The heroine of the book, a young woman in search of happiness named Allyn, disappears twice. “I want to trample all the forbidden, think outside the box, refuse all these agreed rules so that nothing ever changes. I want to live without any constraint. After having known only the regrettable side of life, the hour has come for me to enjoy. In my turn. Whatever sacrifices that implies “, explains this fictional character that some today hang up on very real events.
During a signing session organized in September, Diary Sow explained his literary approach as follows: “It’s very important for me to tell people as they are, not to limit yourself to the surface. I tell myself that there is no angel, no demon. Everyone has gray areas, everyone has a mask that they wear depending on the circumstances. “
After receiving her letter, Diary Sow’s godfather contacted her, and reproduced excerpts from their exchanges on Twitter. “Contrary to what people seem to think, to the words that I am given, I am not giving up my life before, she confides to him. My family deserves to know, until I find the courage and strength in myself to reconnect with them. Those who seek a rational explanation for my act will be disappointed, since he has none. “