There’s a man in our neighborhood that seemingly everyone knows.

When he leaves his house, he greets Mr Diop and Mr Sow as they head to work downtown in their shiny cars, and he also greets the guards and chauffeurs who work for these men.

The man's niece

As the man walks down the street, he stops to drink a round of attaya (Senegalese tea) with Al Ousseynou, one of the fruit vendors. He buys a kilo of mangoes and then Al Ousseynou gives him a corrosol fruit to try.

The man continues down the street, stopping to shake hands with Boubacar, a vendor who sells soccer balls and snack foods from a stand.

His family reflected

Another vendor who sells phone cards by the side of the road notices them talking. He walks over to join the conversation and the man shakes the vendor’s hand and greets him by name, Bilou, even though they’ve only met once before.

Walking past a small restaurant, the woman cooking in large pots waves hello as the man goes by. She says to her friend, “That man eats my rice and fish each week.”

His nephew

A group of young talibe boys wave and call his name to get the man’s attention. He waves back and jokingly asks how their wives are doing, then pretends to be shocked when they tell him they are too young to be married.

When the man stops to buy vegetables at a stand, he finds he doesn’t have the correct change. The woman knows he’ll be back, so she hands him the large bag of vegetables worth more than she’ll earn in a day’s work. She tells him he can pay her for them another day.

His courtyard

The man arrives at his destination, where a friend jokes with the man that he’s been away too long, so they assumed his wife had locked him up in the house. After all, it’s been three whole days since the man has been by to visit.

This man is known for taking the time to talk with people, prioritizing the relationship over his timetable. He’s known for being kind and charitable, giving money and sharing food.

There’s a man in our neighborhood that seemingly everyone knows.

And I’m known as his wife.

His toubab (and only!) wife
Cheikh with his Senegalese brother and nephew
His Senegalese mother
Walking with little Ahmed