A folktale about divorce

Moving away from “Baba of Karo” and Hausaland, last month I read “In the Shadow of the Bush” by P. Amaury Talbot. He was District Commissioner in colonial Nigeria and wrote anthropological texts on people of the South-South region. His work is extensive and covers not just culture and society, but jujus, witchcraft, flora and…

Squad goals: Kawaye

Friends can make or break you and one of the major themes in “Baba of Karo: A Woman of the Muslim Hausa” is just how important bonds between women are. Baba gives us a glimpse into the complex social constructs that went into these bond friendships, there’s jealousy and betrayal, but there’s also support. Kawaye…

What’s in a (bride) price?

Within the first chapters of reading Baba’s life story, it becomes clear just how important the exchange of gifts was (and probably still is) to the institution of marriage among her people. Now, we know that across several communities in the African continent, part of the marriage involves the groom paying a certain amount to…

Who were….all these women?

If there’s one thing that came out from reading about Nana Asma’u, it’s more women who we will probably never know more about outside a few sentences in diverse literature. Let’s share this frustration together. Nana Asma’u wrote in 1837 of “Joda Kawuuri, Quranic scholar who benefited people in many towns…Yar Hindu the Quaranic scholar…

A lasting legacy

A Month in Western Sudan Beginnings: Degel and the Hijra Nana Asma’u was just one among other women who wrote in her time. Five of her sisters, and her cousin were writers and their works remain today but there may be countless others whose works have been lost in time. Nana Asma’u’s name is remembered…