Finding a language mentor can be tricky.
Keep in mind that Manding is a collection of language varieties, some of which are more mutually intelligible than others. Your language mentor may speak Bambara, Dyula, Maninka, or another form of Manding. They may come from Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, or even the Gambia. Keep in mind that while Bambara, Dyula, and Maninka are considered close varieties, Mandinka (spoken in the Gambia) is not considered to be as mutually intelligible with the other three.