Introduction / History Many believe that the Fulani emigrated from the Middle East or northern Africa years ago in search of grazing land for their cattle. Today, the Fulani occupy many parts of central and western Africa. They are grouped according to location, occupation, and dialect.
Some of the Fulani travel with their herds, some are settled, and some mix herding with farming. The Bauchi Fulani are nomadic herdsmen. They have straighter hair, narrower noses, thinner lips, longer faces, and lighter skin than their African neighbors.
A few hundred years ago, the Fulani conquered the Hausa of northern Nigeria. Though they continue to dominate the Hausa, the Fulani have adopted the language and some customs of the Hausa. The area they occupy is a grassy savanna with hot temperatures and high humidity. Lions, giraffes, elephants, and wild pigs are among the many animals that inhabit the region.
What are their lives like? Because the Bauchi Fulani are nomadic herdsmen, or Bororo, their livelihood is based on their cattle. Owning cattle is a symbol of health and well-being among all Fulani. In fact, a man is respected according to the number of cattle he owns and how much he knows about herding. Sometimes a man will choose his bride according to the number of cattle she owns. Milk from the cattle is the staple food of the Fulani. Their daily diet usually includes milk, butter, and cheese.
Although the Fulani travel with their herds, they also live with the Hausa farmers for part of the year. Together, they make use of the fertile land during the rainy season. Many Hausa become frustrated because some of the crops may be eaten or trampled by the herds. However, no ill feelings linger, since the manure left behind provides fertilizer for the next season's crops.
A typical Bauchi Fulani family consists of a man, his wife, and his sons with their wives and children. Throughout the year, the families travel from place to place with their herds. Each member of the family has specific duties. The men's responsibilities include herding the cattle, tending to political affairs, treating illnesses, and making plans for traveling. The women's duties include milking the cows, preparing butter and cheese, making the clothes and blankets, and preparing the daily meals.
The younger boys help their older brothers with the herds, while the girls help their mothers. When a boy reaches the age of 12, he enters sukaabe, or "young adulthood." At that time, he is taught the rules of respect, courtesy, and justice according to the strong moral code of the Bauchi.
What are their beliefs? The Fulani were one of the first people groups in Africa to be converted to Islam, and today, almost all of the Bauchi Fulani are Muslim. In spite of their devotion to Islam, however, many Fulani continue to observe some of their pre-Islamic practices.
The Bauchi Fulani feel very strongly about morality. Their lifestyle embraces a high code of ethics, which include respect, generosity, modesty, and kindness. This "code of moral behavior" must be strictly followed for the Fulani to be considered part of the Bororo, who are considered the purist Fulani group.
To the Fulani, children are the future. They do not believe in an afterlife, so children are the only means by which they can live on from generation to generation. They believe that through their sons, their names and features will remain. If a Fulani dies with no children, it is as if he dies twice.
What are their needs? A reasonable effort has been made to reach the Bauchi Fulani with the Gospel. Christian broadcasts and audio recordings are available. Despite this, very few of the Bauchi Fulani has accepted Jesus as their Savior.
The Fulani are extremely resistant to change. Prayer alone has the power to open their hearts to the Truth.
Prayer Points * Pray that the Lord will call forth teams of intercessors who will faithfully stand in the gap for the Bauchi Fulani.
* Ask the Lord to give the missions agencies strategies for effectively reaching the Bauchi Fulani.
* Pray that God will use the Fulani believers to minister the love of Jesus to their friends and families.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will anoint the Gospel as it goes forth via radio among the Bauchi.
* Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Fulani who will boldly declare the Gospel.
* Ask the Lord to raise strong local churches among the Bauchi Fulani.