African Proverb

Amadou Hampâté Bâ

“When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.”

« Quand un vieillard meurt, c’est une bibliothèque qui brûle ».


amadouhampatebaAmadou Hampâté Bâ (1900-1991) was a well-known Malian diplomat and author of the last half of the twentieth century. His fiction and non-fiction books in French are widely respected as sources of information and insight on West African history, religion, literature and culture, and life.

From the time of his youth, Mr. Bâ was a student and disciple of an extraordinary Malian Sufi master, Tierno Bokar. Shaykh Bokar has become known as “the sage of Bandiagara,” the town in Mali where he lived for most of his life.



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