Prayer Profile
The Western Fulani of Niger

[IMAGE] Many scholars believe that the Fulani came from the Middle East or North Africa as herdsmen many years ago. Gradually they expanded westward in search of new grazing land for their herds. Today, the Fulani occupy many parts of western and central Africa as far east as Sudan. They are classified according to language and occupation.

Appearing to be of Caucasian origin, many of the Fulani have straight hair, narrow noses, thin lips, and copper-colored skin. The language they speak, Fulfulde Niger, comes from the West Atlantic branch of the Niger-Congo language family.

During the sixteenth century, the Fulani settled in the area occupied by the Hausa in northern Nigeria. The Muslim Fulani attempted to influence the Hausa with Islam, but they resisted and a revolt followed. By 1810, the Fulani gained control over the Hausa and have since maintained power and influence over them.

What are their lives like?
The Western Fulani, or Bororo, of Niger are nomadic herdsmen. Still following the way of life of their forefathers, they are considered the purest of all Fulani. Their customs have changed little in hundreds of years, and they desire to maintain their traditional culture.

Long-horned cattle are not only prized possessions but are, in fact, a means of survival for the Western Fulani of Niger. Their lives revolve around and are dedicated to their herds. The more cattle a man owns, the more respect he is given. An advanced knowledge of cattle herding is an education desired by all. Their staple food, milk, is obtained from their herds.

A Western Fulani family consists of a father, his sons, their wives and children, and the herds. With each new season they journey—always for the needs of the herds. A man's responsibilities lie in herding, political affairs, treating illness, and planning the next migration. A woman milks the cows and prepares butter and cheese. She is allowed to sell any excess dairy products at the market. She also makes clothing and blankets, gathers firewood, and prepares the daily meals, which usually consist of a millet-based porridge.

The younger Fulani boys help their older brothers with herding. When they reach the age of twelve, they enter sukaabe, or "young adulthood." At this time, they learn the rules of respect, courtesy, and justice, as the Western Fulani are an independent people with a strong moral code.

What are their beliefs?
The Western Fulani of Niger are said to be 99.9% Muslim; however, their traditional pre-Islamic rituals and beliefs are still followed today. Only vaguely are they linked with Islam.

The Western Fulani are expected to follow a code of high moral behavior. Those who refuse to do so are disowned. Their traditional nomadic heritage extols virtues such as honesty, generosity, and dignity. To be reserved is also a virtue; thus, they are shy and modest in public. A mother does not show affection to her infant son. In fact, she never even calls her firstborn by his name, all throughout his life.

Animal sacrifices play an important role in the ritual celebrations of fatherhood, deaths, marriages, and other formal ceremonial occasions, such as the worso. The worso is an annual celebration held within family groups just before the rainy season. Among other things, firstborn sons are honored, and marriages are acknowledged. The men arrive on camels and are dressed in their finest attire. Women arrive on donkeys and show off their wedding ceremonial gifts and their most prized belongings.

What are their needs?
The Western Fulani of Niger have the New Testament, Christian broadcasts, and the Jesus film available to them. In addition, three missions agencies are currently working among them. Still, only a handful have become Christians. These "true Fulani" need prayer for God to open the door to their hearts and show them that there is a greater "class" to belong to, if only they desire to become a member.

Prayer Points

  • Ask the Lord of the harvest to send African Christians to demonstrate the love of Christ to the Western Fulani of Niger.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the three missions agencies that are targeting the Western Fulani.
  • Pray for effectiveness of the Jesus film among the Western Fulani, with many conversions resulting.
  • Ask God to anoint the Gospel as it goes forth via radio in their area.
  • Pray that God will reveal Himself to the Western Fulani through dreams and visions.
  • Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that have kept the Western Fulani bound for many generations.
  • Ask God to raise up prayer warriors who will faithfully intercede for the Western Fulani of Niger.
  • Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Western Fulani by the year 2000.

See also the following related groups:
the Adawama Fulani of Cameroon;
the Bagirmi Fula of Chad and the Central African Republic;
the Bauchi Fulani of Nigeria; the Benin/Togo Fulani of Togo; the Bororo Fulani of Cameroon;
the Fula of Benin and Burkina Faso;
the Fula Jalon of Guinea, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone;
the Fula Kita of Mali;
the Fula Macina of Mali and Maruitania;
the Fula Toro of Senegal;
the Fula Kunda of Guinea Bissau, and Senegal;
The Fulani of Chad, Gambia, and Sudan;
the Gurma Fulani of Burkina Faso; the Krio Fula of Sierra Leone;
the Sokoto Fulani of Niger and Nigeria;
the Liptako Fula of Burkina Faso; and the Toroobe Fulani of Nigeria.

Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.


  • People name: Western Fulani
  • Country: Niger
  • Their language: Fulfulde Niger
  • Population: (1990) 154,600
    (1995) 183,000
    (2000) 216,100
  • Largest religion: Muslim (Malikite) 99.9%
  • Christians: <1%
  • Church members: 37
  • Scriptures in their own language: New Testament
  • Jesus Film in their own language: Available
  • Christian broadcasts in their own language: Available
  • Mission agencies working among this people: 3
  • Persons who have heard the Gospel: 58,600 (32%) Those evangelized by local Christians: 5,500 (3%)
    Those evangelized from the outside: 53,100 (29%)
  • Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 124,400 (68%)
  • Country: Niger
  • Population: (1990) 7,731,400
    (1995) 9,151,400
    (2000) 10,805,000
  • Major peoples in size order: Zerma 23.7%
    Tazarawa 14.9%
    Sokoto Fulani 11%
    North Hausa 6.6%
    Adamawa Hausa 6%
  • Major religions: Muslim 91.2%
    Ethnic religionist 8.5%
    Christian 0.3%
  • Number of denominations: 14

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Bethany World Prayer Center

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