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Photo by Elke Schmidt, Senegal Bridge Year Program.

The Old Man and the Ugly Man

One of the ways in which ethnic groups and families maintain peaceful relationships is through the “joking cousin relationship.” Certain families and ethnic group can tease each other immediately after meeting because they’re joking cousins. A prime example of joking cousins are Samba Sow and Mbouille Diallo. Respectively, the old man and the ugly man, (pictured below) these two are joking cousins and also the very best of friends.

The Old Man and the Ugly Man

Said the old man to the ugly man

One cheerful sunny morn

My attaya is much better

With a chuckle full of scorn


My naana is so much fresher

And my warga much less bitter

Just ask the bridge year cohort

My attaya is the winner


The ugly man replied

With a condescending smile

Your warga may be sweeter

But you just can’t beat my style


I can hold my teapot higher

And have you ever seen such foam

Everyone loves my attaya

They’ll drive for miles to my home


And so they bickered all that day

The ugly and the old

Though each preferred the other’s drink

If the truth be told!