Peul’s (Fulani) Worldview as Seen in Bâ’s Work: A Critique
Peul and Fulani are synonyms. The Francophone countries know them as Peulh or Fula or Fuldé. They are no fewer than 40 million in the whole of West and Central Africa. They are divided into nine constituents with three basic leading clusters seen in their ruling caste; the academic driven caste – consisting of the marabouts and teachers of the culture – and the pastoral caste consisting mostly of those could be termed as peasants – nomadic and sedentary. By Amadou Hampaté Bâ’s account, they are basically driven in their culture and tradition by the greater search for loftier existential pursuits that culminate in “probity” to face the hereafter. Each constituent acts in consonance with probity for the wholistic wellbeing of the rest to avoid quarrels among the constituents. Given this well-established fact that the Peul are peacefully integrated intra-culturally, why do they find it difficult to extend the integration values to their other African neighbours who are not Peul? This paper aims at identifying the cultural integration constraints in Africa, as social and economic sustainability endeavours fail. Bâ, a Fulani sage, and his works, serve as subjects of the study. The paper critiques Bâ’s thought patterns in the light of what mythocritique theories state as guide for knowing the origins of cultures and traditions as peoples of different cultures meet and seek to integrate in line with globalisation concepts and their constraints. Findings show that Bâ’s thought patterns are quite relevant in understanding the Peul’s worldview which sees probity and constituents’ responsibilities as inalienable with peaceful living; hence a continuous critique of his works is important, if only what they reveal could be made to adapt to current global knowledge process for a review of the Fulani old ways that still remain elastic and amenable to new ways that can lead to progress and friendly multicultural integration.