Africa · Just stories · Kamsar · Me myself and I · Thoughts · Travel

Kamsar, random tales… The black panther

In the early nineties, my father got hired to work in a bauxite mine plant, in Guinea. We moved to a small town, Kamsar, that was built by the company, CBG. Here are a few, randomly picked tales from my 5 years spent there.


(Note the giant poodle pup just above the country’s name… It is a mythical Guinean creature that might get a post of its own one day!)



The black panther…


The main religions in Guinea are Islam (84%) and Christianism (11%). But sorcerers are very present, and people rely on them to deal with all kinds of spirit matters and spell castings of all sorts…

Dad was working on turning shifts, meaning he was at the plant on days, evenings or nights depending on the weeks… He was at the head of a team and was appreciated by his co-workers, as he would soon learn.

One late evening, he was driving on his way to the plant, to attend his midnight shift. Having electricity and water in every house was already quite a luxury compared to several other towns, so lighting the road leading to the plant was something we didn’t even give a thought about…

So dad was on the road, probably listening to some Randy Travis tune, and singing along… A usual ride in total darkness when something caught his eye on the side of the street. He slowed down, and stopped completely, trying to figure out what was standing a couple of feet in front of the vehicule.

The silhouette moved, slowly and slyly. It seemed to be gauging the Jeep, deciding on how dangerous the situation was. When it finally stepped on the asphalt, dad couldn’t believe his eyes…

A black pather was making its way through the Jeep’s headlights beams, rolling its muscular shoulders. It stopped a moment, right in front of the vehicule, turning its head to look in my father’s direction. I bet the sight was breath taking, because even if we were in Africa, we didn’t often have the chance to encounter such large wild animals.

I remember when dad described how the Jeep’s lights had made the panther’s eyes glow in the total darkness, and how impressive it was to be so close to it. After a little staring back and forth, the animal had finished crossing the road, and had disapeared in the tall grass.

As you could have guessed, dad was incredibly excited by the unexpected encounter. And when he got to the plant, he told the other guys right away! To his surprise, instead of sharing the excitment, the other men immediately looked terrified. After a few seconds of silence, one of them spoke up…

  • You didn’t look at it in the eyes, did you?

My father was puzzled, remembering the staring he and the panther had shared. He answered, and provoked a second wave of terror in the men’s eyes…

It so happened that people believed black panthers were the devil sneaking in the darkness of the night…  And looking in its eyes, was almost like losing your soul to the devil’s hands!

Back home, we welcomed the story with the expected enthusiasm. Dad told us about the devil story, but we didn’t give it much thought.

The next day, when he went back to work, his co-workers had been to some sorcerer’s home and had gotten a gris-gris for him. To protect his soul from the devil since dad obviously couldn’t take care of it by himself!

Dad has never seen the black panther again… And the rest of the family never got a glimpse of it either.  So don’t worry, nobody lost their soul to a panther’s gaze!




My tablet doesn’t allow me to draw on my pictures, but as an information complement, we lived in the top of the map, one street away from the sea. Obviously, The plant is at the bottom (Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée), and the encounter took place on the street that goes by the shore, about halfway between our house and work…



Also available;


The hen that wasn’t

6 thoughts on “Kamsar, random tales… The black panther

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! You are right, Guinea isn’t a really well known country, unfortunately. I think it might have something to do with the fact that it used to be extremely difficult to visit it as a tourist… If people seem interested, it will be a pleasure to give it more exposure, I have a bag full of souvenirs from my 5 years spent in this amazing country! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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