Sokoto Fulani in Nigeria

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Sokoto Fulani are a sub-group of the much larger Fulani people, a tribe that is spread across much of West Africa. The Fulani live in northern Nigeria alongside the Hausa people. The Sokoto region, which lies in the far northern part of the country, houses some of the ruling class of the Fulani, known as the Toroobe. The Toroobe exercise authority and political power over the Hausa.

Many of the Sokoto Fulani have also spread into southern Niger. While some of the Fulani living in this area are educated aristocrats, others are Bororo, or semi-nomadic herdsmen (part shepherds and part farmers).

The Sokoto Fulani, then, are composed of the ruling class (Toroobe) and the semi-nomadic shepherds (Bororo). The area they occupy is an open grassland with narrow forested zones. Camels, hyenas, lions, and giraffes inhabit this region. Though the temperatures are extremely hot during the day, they are much cooler at night.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The semi-nomadic Sokoto Fulani engage in some supplementary farming, along with livestock production. Millet and other grains are their main crops. Milk, drunk fresh and as buttermilk, is their staple food, and meat is consumed only during ceremonial occasions. The cattle are herded by the men, although the women help with milking the cows. The women also make butter and cheese and do the trading at the markets. Among the Fulani, wealth is measured by the size of a family's herds.

The semi-nomadic Sokoto Fulani live in temporary settlements. During the harvest, the families live together in small huts that make up village compounds. Each compound is surrounded by the family's garden. During the dry season, the men leave their wives, children, the sick, and the elderly at home while they take their herds to better grazing grounds. Each village has a chief or headman to handle village affairs.

Like the Toroobe (ruling class), the semi-nomadic Sokoto Fulani are divided into age groups of three or four year intervals. The youth in these age groups work together and help each other during their early years. A man usually selects a bride from his age group.

The settled Sokoto Fulani (the Toroobe, or ruling class) are an influential people who live in towns and cities. They are usually government workers, tax collectors, and municipal rulers. These Sokoto Fulani are educated and dominate the leadership of Islam in the area. Although they may own some cattle, their real interests lie in administration, law, religion, and education. Their children are encouraged to go to school and do well.

The settled Sokoto Fulani are very intelligent people. In fact, the Sultan of Nigeria belongs to this ruling class. Because the Fulani were a moral, pious group who had an interest in learning, the duties of the Muslim mosque were passed to them, eventually making them the leaders of the Muslim faith. Mallams ("men of learning") are revered and treated with respect in their culture.

Since the Fulani converted to Islam, their women have had more restrictions placed upon them than in previous times. Their former free lifestyles are now confined by the rules of Islam. Today, men are considered socially and morally superior to women, thus dominating them.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The ruling class of Sokoto (Toroobe), like other Fulani groups, believe they are descendants of Abraham and believe in a supernatural God who created everything. They follow the strict moral code of the devout Muslim. The genuinely godly among them strive to attain sanctity and, in turn, supernatural powers. Those that are not so religious engage in fortune-telling. They may also make charms and medicines for those who believe in their powers.

What Are Their Needs?

The Sokoto Fulani are virtually all Muslim. Much prayer is needed to loosen the hold that Islam has on their lives.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Fulani, Sokoto in Nigeria.

* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into Nigeria to minister to the Sokoto Fulani.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies focusing on the Sokoto Fulani.
* Pray that God will give Sokoto Fulani believers in Nigeria boldness to share Christ with their own people.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth vigorous Sokoto Fulani Christian fellowships for the glory of His name!

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

Additional Info
Fulani profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-01-07
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-02-05
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-02-20
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-02-09
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-02-08
Global Prayer Digest: 2018-02-06
Global Prayer Digest: 2019-10-19
Link Up Africa
People Name General Fulani, Sokoto
People Name in Country Fulani, Sokoto
Natural Name Sokoto Fulani
Pronunciation SOH-koh-toh foo-LAH-nee
Population this Country 427,000
Population all Countries 1,211,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 2  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 9
Alternate Names Wodaabe
People ID 19093
ROP3 Code 109381
Country Nigeria
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 9  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Nigeria
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 9  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Map of Fulani, Sokoto in Nigeria Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Fulfulde, Nigerian (427,000 speakers)
Language Code fuv   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Sokoto
Dialect Code 4582   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Fulfulde, Nigerian (427,000 speakers)
Language Code fuv   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Sokoto
Dialect Code 4582   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Fulfulde, Nigerian

Primary Language:  Fulfulde, Nigerian

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1998-2013)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Caka (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Fulfulde, Nigerian
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Fulfulde, Nigerian
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
General Got Questions Ministry
General Resources in Fulfulde, Nigerian
General Videos, recordings, print resources
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file from FCBH
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Fulfulde Nigeria New Testament
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible Text (Scripture Earth)
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.04 %)
0.10 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.90 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
80.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
Photo Source Dan Lundberg  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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