Indeed as a passionate Mandingo, i took it upon myself to satisfy a non-Mandingo's curiosity into this fascinating event. There i knew he may have heard a version that i am not privy to. At that point, i did what Bob Marley said, "bend down low let me tell you what i know". Intellectualism demands humility and research. I ask that he brief me of what he knows about the Mali Sarjo epic.
He narrated this version i am now sharing with you. His pen name is Drew. Thank you for narrations
Bafula is a town in the west of Mali, were the Senegal river forms two tributaries. Bafula is said to be in the Kayes region, the heartland of both the mandinke and Khasonke people.
Once upon a time, in the bafula, a pregnant woman went to the river to do the laundry. All the women were doing as is the custom to draw water, to bath and do the laundry. This woman was carrying a child. A hippo befriended the woman and called; hey you woman! that child you are carrying if it is a girl, i will make her my friend and if he became a boy i make him my friend.
The woman drew water and return home. Soon she gave birth to a girl, the child began to crawl and walk.
Eventually the child came to the river to wash dishes. The hippo launched a jet of water and called out to the girl. Hey child! its you that your mother carried inside her. I vowed to her: I will make you a friend.
Tiatio the girl became a beautiful young woman that many great suitors start eyeing she turn them all down. In addition, her parents and contenders cannot understand the friendship between a girl and a male hippo. Her parents wonder how to marry a girl with such a strange and notorious friendship.
They consult with the elders, one of whom was a Sinbo, a great hunter, who himself was interested in the girl. After a while, it was decided they would kill the hippo. When this was announced, the girl threaten she would kill herself. But no one one took the threat seriously. The men went out to seek the hippo and they shot it. That day, Tiatio also died.
The song was composed: Hali koro te kani mila, bemow ye koro sila kanina (friendship between two men or two women is accepted, but when a woman and man become friends, this is badly interpreted).
The hippo is describe to be having white legs, and was well loved. Some other narrated that the hippo use to warn the villagers of impending dangers. Every one of Maniba cries were interpreted by the wise elders of the village. some say a french commander by the name Cauchon shot the hippo because he was constantly disturb by its loud cries.
Others say, the village head hunter Minangouron Diallo killed it but cunningly convince the people that Cauchon had done the killing.
In this version three, the village name became known and the time line seems to fall in the period of western advancement in Africa. The name of the girl is also mention. Those are revealing parts of the story.This is the end of the version three.