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Ndiadiane Ndiaye, what every African should know about this Senegalese hero

28 September 2021, Mamadou Chroniques
Ndiadiane Ndiaye, what every African should know about this Senegalese hero

Ndiadiane Ndiaye, whose real name is Amadou Aboubakar Ibn Omar was the son of Abu Bakr Ben Omar, an Almoravid warlord (the Almoravids are a Berber dynasty who founded between the 11th and 12th centuries an empire comprising Mauritania, the Morocco, western Algeria and part of the Iberian Peninsula) and Fatoumata Sall, a princess Haalpulaar. Ndiadiane did not live with his father Abou Dardai.

Indeed, according to many sources, the latter perished under the sharp arrows of a Soninke archer in battle. According to tradition, tells us Alassane Diouck de Minguègne Boye, her mother was to remarry with one of her ex-husband's companions, a certain Mbarick, of whom little is known. The latter's servile origin prompted the young Ahmad to fiercely oppose this union. He could not accept that his mother, from a royal line, would unite before God and men to a former war captive. This opposition caused him to lose the good graces of the court and forced him to go into exile in Waalo country. The young nobleman spent more than 3 years in Waalo territory. Going back through history, Ideu Boye and Alassane Diouck show us the precise place where the future king of the Waloo left the river before being captured by the villagers. Indeed, they recalled, Ndiadiane NDiaye went through the river to come to Minguegne Boye. After a long stay, he would go out to reconcile the fishermen who were arguing over the fish they had caught. Then it would go back into the water. The children told their parents who set a trap for Ndiadiane to bring him to the village. Once out of the water, the mysterious being would have walled in a long silence. It would have taken the insight of a woman named Baté Boye (now his wife) to make him say those first words.

How Batté Boye got him to speak Ndiadiane

During the first few nights, Batté tried in vain to get her husband to come into contact with her. In the end, she played her role of wife so well that the one who was considered a "Djin", no longer holding on to it, ended up enjoying her favors. But he still didn't speak. Batté, instead of being discouraged by this prolonged silence, knew that the first part was won and, this time, tried to put her husband to the test of hunger (Pékhé Djiguen or Tips from Women). She therefore deprived him of food for several days. When she saw that the latter, struggling against hunger, was almost at his end, she brought a pot and some food, near her husband, and began to prepare a meal. She fired, but instead of three bosses (a kind of stone wedges to support the pot above the fire), necessary for the balance of the container, she took only two. Several times, she put down the pot, which, poorly supported, always fell. Amadou Boubacar, whose stomach was tight, watched his wife, who kept repeating, tirelessly, this useless operation. Finally, unable to stand it any longer, and after snapping his fingers to attract the attention of his wife who turns a deaf ear, Boubacar shouts to him "Oss-Tati", a Pulaar expression which means "you need three wedges to stabilize the cooking pot ". Batté, finally satisfied, called her parents and the whole village to tell them that she had succeeded in making the so-called Djin speak. Joy was general in the village.

Oral tradition also says that his real name is Ahmadou and that he owes his nickname to the mystery that surrounded his presence in Minguegne Boye. The inhabitants of Minguegne Boye then went to see a marabout to tell him about the mysterious being who had come out of the river. And the Serer marabout, Meïssa Waly Dione, told them "this is Ndiadiane" which means in Serer "this is mysterious" ... but his real name is Ahmadou ". This is where the name Ndiadiane Ndiaye came from, which means "Extraordinary" or "mysterious" in the local Serre language. It is this episode which, according to certain versions collected in Minguégne, explains the appointment of Ndiadiane Ndiaye as head of the Waalo. A few years after his installation in power, as Premier Brack du Walo, a plot was organized against him. Having learned of this, he left the region to settle in Djolof. It was from Djolof that he founded the empire by uniting the lamanes. The Djolof was an empire located in what is now Senegal. He was a vassal of the Mali Empire and the Songhai Empire. In Minguegne Boye, the history of Ndiadian was the pride of its inhabitants; this earned them the visit of several foreigners who had come to fetch the water from the river and the stones (they are credited with therapeutic virtues) which were used to wash the body of the future king. “These pebbles are called pebbles of Ndiadiane; Moreover, many people who suffer from certain diseases come here to look for these stones and also for the river water to wash with. This promotes their healing.

What does Minguègne mean?

According to Alassane Diouck, scholars of the Holy Quran and other marabouts of this land had the power to ensure that kidnappers foreigners do not find anyone in the village. Based on this observation, the Wolofs used to say that in this village "Gneup-Nénagnou-Mingue", to explain this bizarre way of disappearing when the enemy was ready to raid this locality. Over time, Mingue transformed into "Mintègne", finally into "Minguègne".
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