“From Guinea, passing through Bamako in Mali, Ségou, Mopti, then Timbuktu, Bourem, Gao and Ansongo, up to Niamey in Niger, life is organized around the river. The river is life.
Oddly, the Niger has given its name to the country that it runs through the least.
(…) The ocean is far away, but here, everyone has already seen, or thinks that they’ve already seen the sea: in Songhay as in Tamasheq, the same word is used for ‘sea’ and ‘river.’”
Extracts from Retour à Tombouctou, Éditions Gallimard 2015