Mauritanian presidential candidate Biram Dah Abeid had been giving a speech in the sandy playground of a school-turned-voting station minutes after casting his vote in Saturday's presidential election, when he was suddenly interrupted.
"Malcolm X! Nelson Mandela! Thomas Sankara!" a turbaned man shouted, likening him to a number of political figures revered as black freedom fighters.
Biram has become an inspiration for Mauritania's blacks, which at some 60-70 percent make up the majority of the country's population.
His campaign speeches promising liberation for thousands of black slaves, and in favour of providing jobs and better schools, have struck a chord with black communities who are often poor and face discrimination.