It has been thirty years since our national Charlot, Belhoussaine Abdeslam, 58, has been clowning in the streets of the capital, where there are crowds and more particularly on Boulevard Mohammed V, on the large central and pedestrian alley so rich in historical events, between the mythical ” Balima ” which one day hosted among other eminences of history, a certain ” Che Guevara ” or a ‘Mokhtar Ould Dada’ and the Parliament.
It is in these magical places with all the antecedents of another life that “Charlo” likes to mislead his talent by seeking the penny among the quiet passers-by of the capital. There he sells his informal icon ” of laughter and tears ”, stolen from Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, or Charlot for close friends. This aptitude or this natural disposition to mimic the late artist, he acquired by passing himself off in absolute absurdity for the actor and director of silent films which made the glory of Charlot. It will not be for lack of trying, but “If Abdeslam” will not have such a glorious journey, it is a question of time and space, that goes without saying.
However, if today he owes anyone sudden notoriety, it is to the Associated Press (AP) a global and general-interest news agency nearly two centuries old and headquartered in the United States. United. One of his 3,000 journalists will have met him and will have painted his portrait in all its forms, will have presented it and why not have also drawn the “worms from the nose”. Belhoussaine Abdeslam in recounting his life will say that he saw the spark on his release from prison. “It was when I lost everything that I became Charlie Chaplin, (who) made the world laugh and cry without saying a word“.
According to him, Abdeslam Belhoussaine spent a year of his life in the 1980s tasting cell straw for activities linked to his political activism and journalism. We are willing to believe the former sports photographer because these years of lead were an integral part of the life of a large part of the current Moroccan population and we know things about Driss Basri and other apostles.
Never mind ! that is not the point. Our Charlot from here sees parallels between him and the legend of a lost screen from the beginning of the last century, whose humor and painted face hid a deep well of painful childhood memories. Likewise, imitating Chaplin gave “Si Abdeslam” a comic mask to hide his own sadness and difficulties by, saying “She is a unique person who fought against discrimination and united (everyone) “.
Making people in Rabat laugh to tears, that’s a small consolation, he earns no more than 150 dollars a month thanks to the coins that the quiet passers-by of the capital deign to grant him. So far and in spite of this, he remains proud to be the street fame as “Charlo” as long as he wears balloons, masks, oversized shoes, trumpets, pigeon food and especially his smile, a story of delighting children with magic tricks and other impressions that make the burlesque character of which he has imbued himself forever. But will say the author of this praise, our “Charlot“, also carries the ghosts of his past, it is obvious as for any legend of the genre.
He always keeps with him photographs of his previous career and images of himself as a young man in a suit engaged in politics. Let’s not bet, history will not say whether he is on the left or on the right, Abdeslam Belhoussaine, has only built himself through a legendary character and his political option will remain his and his alone.