World Hausa Day: An open letter to Malam Dan-Hausa

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 By Nurudeen Dauda                      

“Gyara kayanka bai zama sauke muraba ba”

The twenty -sixth day of August every year is now being celebrated as world Hausa Day. In my view, rather than being a day for celebration to Hausa people it should be a day for “soul searching” to all Hausas in the world. This piece is aimed at reawakening the Hausa people from being “asleep” and “snoring” as we mark this year’s Hausa Day. All well- meaning Hausas in the world should and or must “reflect” in a day like this on our challenges as a people.

For sure, no one chooses to be born as a Hausa or a Yoruba or an Igbo or a Kanuri or a Nupe and or a Tiv man. I am proud to be a Hausa man! The Hausas are blessed in so many ways, but like every ethnic group, it has its challenges ; such as: Too many beggars among its , disunity , jealeousy, lack of vision, and leadership failure among its. Although, every ethnic group has its challenges, but that is not enough reason not to make adjustments on ones shortcomings. The Hausa people in a day like this must reflect on their challenges with a view to make amends.

The Hausas are blessed with many things. For instance, Hausa and Swahili languages are the two most widely spoken languages in Africa. Swahili is widely spoken in the East African countries while the Hausa language is widely spoken in West Africa and beyond. Hausa language is being spoken by many Hausas in about 32 African countries out of the 54 Independent countries where they migrated for various reasons. There are about 10 million Sudanese of Hausa -origin in Sudan.

However, it baffles me to note that, about 90% of beggars in Nigeria are my people. Why? This is to the extent that some people maliciously linked our cherished culture with begging. Far from that! Ours does not accept it. I feel pain for this! After all, all ethnic groups have their various shortcomings! Sadly too, because 99% of Hausas are Muslims, some people have maliciously and or ignorantly thought that begging is encouraged by “Islam”. Never at all!

Our people almost regarded begging as profession. All well- meaning Hausas should and or must make serious effort towards discouraging our people from begging. After all, we are not the only people suffering from poverty in Nigeria. Poverty in Nigeria knows neither tribe nor religion.

The Hausas are equally blessed with their language being taught as a course of study in universities in Germany, England, United States of America, Belgium, Netherland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and many other African Universities. A lot of European researchers study Hausa Language in order to make their research work easier in terms of gathering data, especially in West Africa and other parts of Africa. There are many Europeans who are professors in Hausa Language.

Permit me to say , as people, we have not done enough in terms of helping one another. It seems like , we jealous one another. We enjoy to see our kinsmen as our perpetual servants rather than developing them. Our people are in abject poverty. We have the richmen in our mix, but there is little or no help among ourselves.

We must celebrate the fact that, Hausa Language has an international recognition. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), broadcast news in over 30 different world languages daily and from 1957 to date (63years now ) it has been broadcasting news in Hausa language four (4) times daily (in total 2 hours) You can also watch them on “Capital TV” Ghana. United states of America’s Voice of America (VOA) Hausa service was established in 1979 (41 years now ) and it has been broadcasting news in Hausa language four (4) times daily.

In Germany Deutech welle Radio was established in 1953 (67 years now) it has been broadcasting news in Hausa language three (3) times daily. A French Radio, Radio France International (RFI) has been broadcasting news in Hausa language from 2007 to date three (3) times daily. Radio Moscos World service, Hausa 1961; Radio Sin(China) International, Hausa, 1941; Radio Libya, Hausa; Radio Tehran (Iran)IRIB, Hausa ; Radio TRT Hausa and Radio Muryan Alkahira, Egypt etc.

We have newspapers that published in Hausa language; such as: Leadership Hausa, Aminiya and Rariya, etc. Hausa language can be adopted as a lingua Franca in West Africa with little or no hitches due to its wide coverage .

To address the menace of beggars, In my view, since all our beggars did not fall from the “sky”, they all have families! Let’s encourage every Hausa family to take care of his blind or deaf or dumb or cripple or dwarf and or widow.

One can hardly separate Hausas from the Fulanis. We are often referred to as Hausa-Fulani due to the fact that, you will hardly see a Hausa family without a Fulani blood in him due to Inter-marriages. It is often said that, the Hausas colonized the Fulanis with their language and the Fulanis colonized the Hausas with leadership following the Jihad of Shenu Usthman Ibn Fodio. We have for former presidents, governors, ministers, senators, Reps, commissioners , local government chairmen and permanent secretaries among us. Let’s put our heads together!

Let there be a foundation by all Hausa people world-wide to raise funds for skills acquisitions to our beggars in order to impart skills ;such as: weaving, netting, tailoring, and petty trading etc.,to them in order to address the menace of begging among us.

As a Hausa-Fulani man, l feel very bad when I got to realize that we have no agenda. We have no vision! We have weak leadership . Please let’s change for the better!

May God bless us!

Nurudeen Dauda