Introduction / History The Bobo Madare of Burkina Faso are speakers of the Bobo Fing language, and they number over 250,000. This ethnic group is traditionally divided geographically and linguistically into a northern group and a southern group. The southern group is estimated to number about 150,00 and the following information pertains to this segment of the population.
The primary occupation of the Bobo Madare is farming. They farm millet, sorghum, peanuts, and tomatoes, along with raising a limited number of chickens, goats, and other livestock. Both women and men join in the daily agricultural chores. In addition to this, women are also responsible for all domestic work including cooking, washing, child care, and drawing water. Children are expected to help with chores at a very early age. Education remains a privilege for few children, and school enrollment creates a financial strain on any family. The men spend much time talking, sharing stories, and drinking beer. Because of their work load, women have little or no free time.
What are their beliefs? About thirty churches have been established in the southern area of the Bobo Madare. Over two thousand have professed conversions to Christianity, but the majority of the population remains rooted in traditional animistic beliefs. A translation of the New Testament in Bobo Fing was completed in 1989, and the completion of the Old Testament is expected in 1998. Though parts of the Bible are now available in the mother tongue of this ethnic group, there continue to be great needs for evangelization among the Bobo Madare.
What are their needs? Life remains challenging for the Bobo Madare peoples. Malaria, measles, meningitis, and malnutrition annually take many lives. Health care is often inaccessible and unaffordable.