Djibo Issaka represented his country as a swimmer before being sent to Egypt last November to attend a camp for African nations who had an interest in taking up an Olympic wildcard entry.
At the end of that fortnight in Alexandria, Djibo Issaka finished sixth in his first ever race before returning to Niger to continue his Rowing education in the fishing boat.
'Before this week, I hadn't been in an Olympic boat before because there aren't these kind of boats in Africa,' he said.
From May, Djibo Issaka went to training camps in Tunisia and then Belgium before arriving at the Olympic Games as part of a 33-competitor Single Sculling field.
I don't have any technique. I've been learning only three months. It is all about courage.Hamadou Djibo Issaka
Djibo Issaka has been taken to the hearts of the Eton Dorney crowd after finishing a distant last in his heat, his repechage and again in today's E semi-final.
He was roared every stroke of the way down the 2km course, finishing in 9:7.29 - 1:10 seconds behind his nearest rival.
The 35-year-old's exploits in London will kick-start a rowing programme in Niger, whose Olympic officials now plan to take the sport more seriously.
On Friday, Djibo Issaka will compete in an all-African F final against Cameroon's Paul Etia Ndoumbe and Aymen Mejri that will decide who finishes 31st, 32nd and 33rd in the regatta.
He said: 'I really enjoyed the Opening Ceremony because I saw things I had never seen before, like the fireworks.
'I am very happy [with all the support I have received] because they encourage me and that helps me finish the race.
'I don't have any technique. I've been learning only three months. It is all about courage.
'I'm getting ready for 2016 and I hope to train for it in Niger. Maybe the new boats will be there so I will be able to do it.'