Introduction / History
The Fulani became zealous Muslims in the 11th century, and from 1750 to 1900 they engaged in many holy wars in the name of Islam. Although traditionally most Fulani have been cattle herders, through the centuries many settled down and turned to politics. The Fulani held much of northern Nigeria in subjection until defeated by the British in the early 1900s.
Where are they located?
Nigerian Fulani live mostly in Nigeria, but some also live in either Cameroon or the Central African Republic (CAR). The larger Fulani network of people groups extends into many areas of West Africa.
What are their lives like?
These semi-nomadic people fiercely reject anything they perceive as contrary to their lifestyle, i.e., roaming with their cattle herds. This includes permanent homes and education; they are mostly pre-literate. They are widely regarded as troublesome by large cattle ranchers. Nomadic Fulanis have been known to steal and loot, which makes the ranchers all the more suspicious. In some circumstances Nigerian Fulanis are being forced from their historic grazing land without compensation.
Nigerian Fulanis lack education and health care. Most girls marry young, and their parents arrange their marriage. Polygamy is common in their communities. Within the families are households that eat at least one meal a day together. The homestead is the domestic unit, consisting of a man, his wife or wives, unmarried children, and dependent parents. Each household represents a cattle-owning entity, headed by the eldest, most able-bodied member of the family.
What are their beliefs?
Although Nigerian Fulani are over 99 percent Muslim, their form of Islam is tainted with traditional religion or animism. Many of the politically oriented Muslim Fulani have justified their conquests on religious grounds.
What are their needs?
Since their literacy rate is low, especially for those who live in rural areas, radio and other audio resources are the best medium for telling stories, which are always welcome in African cultures. Bible portions (printed audio and online), gospel recordings, the JESUS Film, and various other resources are available in their language. Medical services are a serious need, especially among the nomadic Fulani.
* Pray for the few Nigerian Fulani believers to exhibit love, unity, and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
* Pray that the entire people group will see their need for the one who died to save them.
* Pray that the Nigerian Fulani will be able to care adequately for their families, and resources will soon be available to them as they adjust to the rapidly changing conditions of the 21st century.
* Pray for believers to establish medical care for them in the name of Jesus.
Text source: Keith Carey