Rufaida Umar Ibrahim has emerged as the winner of the maiden Aminiya Hausa short story writing competition, with a price of N250,000.
The competition, which was organised by Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust and other titles, is in partnership with Gandun Kalmomi and Open Arts.
Rufaida, who hails from Kano State and a student of the College of Education, Kano, won the competition with her short story titled, Dimokuradiyya Talakawa (The Democracy of the Poor).
Mubarak Idris Abubakar emerged the runner-up with his short story, “Tufka da Warwara” (The Contradiction) and got N150,000 while Ubaida Usman’s “Ranar Kin Dillanci” came third with N100,000.
The competition saw 285 entries, among which 235 were selected on eligibility; 100 were later listed but only 20 were finally shortlisted.
However, Rufaida, a mother of two, said her story was selected as the best because it dwelled on politics and the need for youths to be self-dependent in their endeavours.
“Our youth put their trust in politicians, thinking that they would be the ones to lift them from poverty. Even if there is no death, life can change for anyone when we are focused and foresighted in what we do,” she said.
The programme was supported by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Senator Shehu Sani, Alba-Bello, Northern Cables Processing and Manufacturing Company (NOCACO), the Federal Mortgage Bank and the Northern Nigeria Development Commission (NNDC)
Earlier in his remarks, the Editor-in-Chief, Media Trust Ltd, Malam Naziru Mika’ilu, said the competition was organised to stir the culture of reading and writing in the Hausa language. He noted that all over the world, languages were becoming extinct due to the adoption and encroachment of western languages among the population.
He, however, said the Hausa language was not among those classified as extinct. “Most parents now train their children in the English language, thus making it difficult for them to preserve their language.”
He emphasized that writing Hausa should be encouraged by parents as speaking alone would not help to document the originality of the language.
“Hausa is one of the most spoken languages in Africa, but in many homes, the English language is used to communicate. In the next 100 years, those who speak Hausa fluently will be no more and the children may not understand the language again since they were trained in a foreign language.
“The programme was organised by Media Trust Ltd and its partners to look into how we can rekindle interest in the Hausa language by native speakers. The maiden edition, we believe, would spur other young writers to showcase their writing skills,” he said.
Speaking, the former senator representing Kaduna Central, Sani Shehu, expressed satisfaction that Hausa writers are vocal on social media platforms like Facebook but urged them not to limit their writing to short stories.
While praising Media Trust Ltd for organising the programme, he said attention should also be shifted to reading Hausa books.
“Our youths can look for books written for 50 years by respected writers, they can read one in a day to hone their writing skills,” he added.
He further pledged to support subsequent Hausa competitions.
On his part, the chairman of the NCC, Umar Garba Danbata, harped on local language as an important instrument in the development of a country.
He challenged local writers to tell stories that tell the challenges facing their communities.