Alburi Njaay, the Muslim ruler of Senegambia in the late 19th century, fought actively — though unsuccessfully in the end — against the French presence in West Africa’s Sénégal, and the colonial power’s efforts to extend its reach to his territory. He is the hero of an orally transmitted epic in Wolof, which has been textualized in French and entitled L’épopée d’Alburi Njaay.
Wolof is estimated to possess some 10 million speakers in Sénégal, Gambia and Mauritania. A standardized Latin script has been in use since 1985, but earlier scripts co-exist, such as Wolofal, a traditional Arabic-based transcription.
Host of the Chinese-language blog Dayanggung has left Morocco, passed through Western Sahara (disputed territory occupied by Morocco) and Mauritania, and has apparently now reached Sénégal, where he is now being tutored in Wolof.
This is a brief excerpt from the epic, with the Wolof transliteration followed by his Chinese rendition:
Di togg yápp.
Alburi Pëya Biram
Ak Biram Penda Njéeme Njote miy boroom këram,
Yàlla def ñu teggi ko,