Marieme Faye Sall, wife of newly-elected President of Senegal, Macky Sall, has been described as a "daughter of the land," and the first woman of Senegalese birth and ancestry at the nation's capital.
All Senegalese first ladies, with the exception of former President Abdou Diouf's wife, who was Senegalese of Lebanese descent, have been European.
A devout Muslim with three children, she is rarely seen at political events for her husband. A close friend described her as "a committed housewife." Media stories predict she will burn thiouraye, the ubiquitous Senegalese incense, in the palace and bring an African flavor to the state residence.
While Mrs. Sall has chosen to stay behind the scenes in her husband's career, the number of women in non-traditional jobs is growing. Two women entered the recent campaign for president against Abdoulaye Wade. Sow Sidibe and Dieng Douma Diakhate later gave their support to Sall.
Madame Sall was at her husband's side at swearing-in ceremonies this week. Some 2,000 people attended the affair in the gardens of a large hotel in the seaside capital, including 11 African heads of state. It was followed by a closed session of leaders on the unfolding crisis in Mali, whose democracy has been upended after a coup.