According to a 2003 study made by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), traditional means of information and communication still used in Niger include tales, riddles, proverbs, the use of idioms, and historical figures such as the griot and the emissary. Theatre also deserves to be mentioned among the traditional forms of communication active in the country. Regarding Nigerian theatre, Inoussa Abdou writes "Nigerian theatre is sociological, so the theme will be about history and tradition, social criticism, political propaganda and intervention as sources of inspiration." The themes therefore relate to the reconversion of mentalities deemed obsolete in order to establish a harmonious society through education and criticism and to achieve a moral and social evolution.
Tales: As Thomas Melone points out, "in Africa, the oral tradition is primarily a theatrical performance. The tale is a metaphor for the human condition. Beyond a simple story of animals, plants, genies and humans is the daily drama of the life of man.” The tale as an imaginary account of facts intended to amuse or instruct while having fun is still used as a means of communication in Niger. There are several kinds of tales: humorous ones, charades; tales with animals as main heroes.
In the field of storytelling, writers like Boubou Hama, Mariko Kélétigui, Claude Coppe, Adamou Garba, Jacques Pucheu and Tersis Nicole, along with institutions such as the Center for Linguistic and Historical Studies by Oral Tradition (CELHTO), the Research Institute in Human Sciences (IRSH) and the chancelleries like that of the German Embassy, contributed to fix the canons of this literary genre.
Riddles: One of the oral traditions which is at risk of survival in Niger is that of making riddles. By questioning children in the form of riddles, adults encourage reflection, force a personal effort to access knowledge and stimulate intelligence. Apart from publications by INDRAP, there is almost no written documentation in this area. Everything remains oral and this tradition is being neglected or even abandoned in the villages, which, unless countermeasures are taken, may be prejudicial to this means of communication. There is also a peculiar technique of getting young people into the art of talking fast, using lots of words which rhyme. This exercise aims to train children to play with words, engage in mental calculation, good pronunciation and improvement of language. In the Hausa society, for example, this method is a means of educating and controlling young men and women who are coming of age. The purpose of this art is to bring children, from the age of seven, to develop their speaker instinct by speaking quickly, with dexterity and good diction, contributing to the development of their mental faculties.
Proverbs: They can be defined as an experiential truth or advice of practical and popular wisdom, and are common to a whole social group, expressed in a generally imagined elliptical formula. Their main function is still to warn about possible problems by summarising the lessons given through them.
Idioms: In each ethnolinguistic group, some people have gone as far as inventing a code that allows them to talk to each other without the majority of people grasping the meaning of the sentences. In all or almost all the ethnolinguistic groups of Niger, there are practices of coded words, or idiomatic language, or inverted language.
The griot: An important historical figure is the griot, member of a class of travelling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa. Like the reporter, the court griot is a witness or investigator. He attends planned events, strives to restore the sequence of events and is accountable only to his customary chief and not to any administration. With the arrival of colonisation, this customary authority was deprived of all its prerogatives and the griot turned into a simple leader of crowds. Modernity has followed the evolution of technology and media techniques which have largely contributed to the devaluation of the role of the griot in the communication system. Some politicians have used griots for hypocritical purposes, and in turn some griots preferred to sell their art instead of preserving their own dignity, as the FAO study outlines. The process of democratisation, meanwhile, served as a new path for the exploitation of griots in the political campaigns of the presidential and legislative elections. Some griots take part in political campaigns by motivating political party leaders, or by trying to convince voters to choose this political leader instead of others.
The emissary: A common communication practice was to send an emissary: His manner of dressing, of styling himself identified him and conveyed the message. Whatever the means of communication used, the informant was actively involved in the life of the city or village. In some areas this figure is called Dan Ayke or Labari Noka. This traditional form of communication is no longer occurring.