Senegalese reciters collected most accolades from the second edition of the international Qur’an competitions organised by the Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema (FM6OA).
Cheikh Mouhamadou Mahi Toure was the best performer from the West African country, emerging the best in the category of memorization with a recitation in a style of Quranic recitation chosen by the candidate.
Toure beat of the challenge of 32 competitors from the rest of Africa who registered in this category.
His fellow countrymen, Mame Abdou Aziz Toure and Cheikh Diop emerged second and third in the categories of Tajweed and recitation in the style of Warsh An-Naafe respectively.
Abdou Aziz Toure was beaten to the top spot in Tajweed by Tanzania’s HUSENI Kesi Mwamtoa while in Warsh An-Naafe, Senegal’s Diop finished behind Nigeria’s Khadijah Yakub Yunus and Cameroon’s Abakar Tahamit.
This year’s competitions were held virtually from centres in each of the 34 member countries of the FM6OA.
The closing ceremony was streamed live across the continent from Fez in Morocco on May 4.
Before announcing the winners, Abdellatif Bakdouri Al-Ashqar, the general supervisor of the competitions, expressed excitement for the foundation’s holding of this year’s competitions, having failed to hold the same last year due to the disruptions caused by Covid-19.
Last year’s finals had been planned for Libreville, Gabon, but were called off as the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the globe.
“May God Almighty slow the spread of this epidemic that prevented the completion of these finals in the prescribed manner,” Bakdouri said.
“We organized [this year’s competitions] from a distance using modern technologies to communicate with all branches from the city of Fez, where the foundation is headquartered,” he added.
Out of the 86 contestants, 13 were females including an 11-year-old Faiza Amira Selto from Cameroon. Guinea Bissau’s Mamadu Aliu Balde at 10 years was the youngest male participant. They were both rewarded with a cash prize of $4,000 from the foundation.
Winners in each category got a cash prize of $6,000 while the categories first and second runners-up pocketed $5,000 and $4,000 respectively.
The top three reciters in the Warsh category got an additional $1,000 each as an incentive to further popularise the style of Qur’an recitation in Africa.
The rest of the contestants bagged a consolation prize of $2,000 in appreciation of their participation in the competitions.
The top five reciters per category
1. Recitation in Warsh An Naafe (21 contestants).
Khadijah Yakub Yunus (20 points), Nigeria.
Abakar Tahamit (19.45 points), Cameroon.
Cheikh Diop (19.3 points), Senegal
Amadou Cisse (19.25), Mali.
Issah Umar (19.15), Ghana.
2. Recitation in a style chosen by the candidate (32 Contestants).
Cheikh Mouhamadou Mahi Toure (20 points), Senegal.
Madou Jobe(19.85 points), The Gambia.
Tahir Kossei Mahamat (19.8 points), Chad.
Suliman Zakaria Mousa Mohamed (19.75 points), Sudan.
Habiib Sulaiman Wafula (19.65 points), Uganda.
3. Tajweed (33 contestants)
Huseni Kesi Mwamtoa (19.5 points), Tanzania.
Abdou Aziz Mame Toure (19 points),Senegal.
Sacko Massire (18 points), Mali.
Aminata Doumbia (Ivory Coast), Amadou Uri Balde (Guinea Bissau) and Bashir Abubakar (Uganda) tied with 17 points.