This paper focuses on teaching history and civilization of sub-Saharan Africa, the biggest francophone region, to undergraduate students of French as a foreign language through the novel L'Etrange Destin de Wangrin by Malian writer Ahmadou Hampate Ba. The methodology relies on three didactic pillars: (1) linguistic, (2) ethnographic and (3) historic. The linguistic component comprises studying phonetic, morphological, lexical and syntactic features of the francais tirailleur and the diglossic situation between standard French and its pidginized variant. The ethnographic aspect pertains to the African myths told by the narrator of the novel. Their in-depth analysis allows to understand the African mentality and decipher local culture codes. The historic aspect focuses on studying the specifics of the French colonial empire through analyzing digressions dealing with the historic events and describing lifestyle typical for the period of the colonial rule. The activities aimed at boosting the students' skills include identification of africanisms through text analysis, group and individual projects.