Who are the Fulani people?
The Fulani in Western Niger are sometimes called “Gorgaabe”, meaning “People of the West”. The majority of them have settled in and around towns and cities in the Departments of Niamey and Dosso, some have become farmers, although owning cattle is still a key part of their ethnic identity. Fulani culture places a high value on self-control and on a certain stoicism which does not allow any demonstration of weakness. When one Fulani wants to express friendship towards another, he will lend him a cow. The person receiving the cow takes care of it until it has a calf, and then he returns it to the owner.
What do they believe?
The Fulani are overwhelmingly Muslim; however, their traditional pre-Islamic rituals and beliefs are still followed today and only vaguely linked with Islam. Although it’s not fully understood, Islam is part of their ethnic identity, and it has been said that it is not possible to be Christian and Fulani at the same time.
What is being done to reach them?
A joint Training in Ministry Outreach (TIMO) team which started in May 2016 has been sent by AIM and SIM to the Fulani of Niger. The vision is to see Fulani families hear and respond to the gospel and establish a Fulani Church, where Fulani can worship the Lord and hear God’s word taught in their own language. The team have already seen a few Fulani come to know Christ.