“A woman without a husband is like a country without a leader”
Love & Family
“A wife without a husband is like a country without a ruler:” Do you agree with this Indian proverb?Updated on October 15, 2020, Soninkara
In Soninke society, marriage issues have become a hot topic, even disturbing. In the past, marriage was a prerequisite for any Soninke girl in her twenties. Not finding a husband at a certain age was a source of unhappiness, abandonment for the daughter (Sontoye: Single) and recurring worries for the parents. In the Soninke villages of Africa, parents gave their daughters to marriage from an early age (adolescence or a little earlier) and suitors jostled at the door. Most often, unions were sealed according to family ties or neighborhood. Celibacy was almost invisible among the Soninke.
The case that particularly interests us today is that of the Soninke girls from France, better known under the pseudonym “Fatou” or “Ninjattes.” It's not about stigmatizing. Our focus is different, our purpose is different. In immigration, the issue of marriage has become more than crucial for girls and parents. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was the “Blédard Boom” among the Soninke community in France. Blédard: A word used in the Soninke to speak about Soninke men residing in the country of De Gaulle or those living in villages awaiting for “transit.” While some cast their nets from the village, during the holidays of the young Soninké girls in the native land of their parents, others matured their plans not far from the Ile-de-France (Paris and its suburbs) or provincial cities (Le Havre, Rouen, Marseille, Dunkirk, Mulhouse, Lyon, Haute-Savoie ...). For love or interest, marriage offers swarmed like mushrooms.