Today we want to share a funny story that happened to Vincent, our project manager for engineering, in Cinzana. But first we want to take you back in history and give you some facts about the region.

Dorf, Wasser
The asphalt road leads directly to Ségou
Dorf, Wasser
Since 2018, the Solartainer has been supplying Cinzana with electricity.

Cinzana is located in the region of Ségou in the southeast of Mali, only about 40 kilometers south of the city with the same name. Ségou was founded by the Bozo people around 1620 and was the capital of the kingdom of Bambara, founded in 1712 by Biton Mamary Coulibaly. The kingdom lasted until 1861, which was the year of its conquest by Muslim troops.

The historic Ségou (“Segou-Koro”) is located about 10 km southwest of the today’scity center. It is  the setting for a big part the novel Segu by Maryse Condé, who was awarded the alternative Nobel Prize for Literature for it in 2018. The region is therefore not only rich in history, but also in culture.

Only a few kilometers south of Cinzana, one can cross the Bani River, a tributary of the Niger River with a length of 430 kilometers. It originates 100 km east of Bamako where the rivers Baoulé and Bagoé merge and flows into the Niger near the city of Mopti. Every year, the river floods a normally arid area where 500,000 people live. There are plans to build the Talo Dam, a five-meter high and 295-meter long dam near the city of San in the Ségou region, to store the river water throughout the year. In case of high water the wall would be flooded and in the dry season water would be drained in a controlled way.

We estimate that arounds 7,000 people live in Cinzana today, including the secondary villages. The village is surrounded by the villages Doura, Kondia, Kordogola, Kouandiabougou, Kouodion, Minankofa, Natia, Serimabougou, Windia.

Dorf, Wasser
Cincana's small kiosks invite to stay
Dorf, Wasser
Cinzana's cuisine has a very wide range of dishes

A feast for breakfast

Cinzana – 10 in the morning – 

As promised, we have a little anecdote about Cinzana, which especially Vincent, our project manager for engineering, will not forget. Right after getting out of bed, Vincent is starting to work with some screws on the solar panels.  Although it is still quite early, the sun is already intense.. First drops of sweat are flowing.

A man comes strolling along leisurely. He waves and tells Vincent that he should come down from the Solartainerbreakfast is ready. With a grumbling stomach Vincent arrives at the man’s house, excited for breakfast. A huge plate with a plastic cover is brought in by a woman. “Merci,” says Vincent and smiles at her. He lifts the lid and lets it drop back onto the plate. A mighty goat’s head lies under the plate. 

Second try. Vincent tries to pull himself together.  Since he wants to decide for himself which part of the head he eats, he quickly grabs the cheeks of the goat’s head. With a few galettes (small corn rounds) and spicy red sauce it doesn’t taste bad at all. But being served goat’s head  forbreakfast takes some getting used to for most Europeans. For Vincent, it’s definitely a breakfast he won’t soon forget.

Later, the goat’s head was cracked open. The brain is considered a specialty in Cinzana. Charlie, our long-time employee, who had a fatal accident in Germany shortly before, loved to eat goat’s brains on his travels. In memory of him, Vincent then overcame himself tried  the brain. Ittasted really delicious. Actually, it was no different than fried minced meat.

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