Ibrahim’s photo studio is right next to Kolbugri’s shop so I see him daily. He seems to have a better grasp of English grammar and syntax than most so he is very helpful with my language learning as he can sometimes explain why something is said a certain way.
Two months ago my friend BaaMejida was enskinned as a chief and given the name Kulibidaana (“Little River Owner”). Here it is the custom to only call him by his new name. In fact, it is considered so disrespectful to call a chief by his old name that you can be sent to the court of the paramount chief and fined.
Saaibu is always hanging around Kolbugri’s shop. He doesn’t speak a lick of English.
Yakuba was the Kambɔnluŋŋa, or Chief’s Warrior Drummer, for many years. The first time he saw me wearing a traditional smock he went into his room and returned to give me one of his own traditional hats to match it.
Mercy runs a chemical store (a bit like a pharmacy) across from Kolbugri’s shop where I hang out most of the time.
This is my good friend Kolbugri. We sit for hours and hours talking in Mampruli. He’s definitely my “cultural insider” who fills me in on the do’s and don’ts, traditions, and beliefs of his people.