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Sahel Sahara Sahel Ethiopia Rainforest Great Lakes Great Lakes Savanna Swahili Southern Africa



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series profile: Errou Sisse


Each year, Errou Sisse spends about eight months in the Sahel, grazing his cattle and battling to keep his herd alive and healthy. He will continue to do so until he marries.

For centuries, Errou's Fulani people have grazed their herds in the Sahel to escape the seasonal flooding of the Niger River delta. Though cattle herding earns only a subsistence living, it is highly respected by the Fulani. Women from Errou's village in Mali, Djafarabe, regularly greet returning herders with town-wide celebrations.

But recently, the Fulani herders have run into obstacles. Taxes imposed on the herds as they cross national borders are cutting into income. Frequent drought throughout the Sahel presents an equally daunting challenge. In the end, these obstacles may outweigh tradition.

Errou dreams of getting married and moving to Bamako, Mali's capital, where he can work as a shopkeeper or businessman and live a more comfortable life. The one catch is the bride.

The filming of Errou's long-distance romance with Ica, a Fulani girl from Djafarabe, promised the happiest of endings. But it was not to be. After shooting for AFRICA wrapped, Ica and Errou went their separate ways. In the end, Ica's parents objected to her match with this most industrious of cattle herders.

Setting out accross the sahel.


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