The Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, has highlighted how literary works can play key roles in preserving the Hausa cultural heritage.
Speaking at the 2021 Aliyu Mohammed Research Library Hausa Book Prize for unpublished manuscript award ceremony organised by the Gusau Institute, Kaduna, the emir said in Hausa land and elsewhere there were lots of concerted efforts towards producing literary works which include books, novels, poems and plays.
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He said, “Literary works were on stages, first, some were in Ajami and Arabic forms of writing. Later, after the arrival of Western colonialists and missionaries the art of writing expanded to incorporate what is referred to as ‘rubutun boko’ referring to the western type of writing.
He added that books like Magana Jari Ce and Ruwan Bagaja by the late Abubakar Imam clearly portrayed the cultures of Hausa, especially the traditional institution, ‘Sarauta’, the marriage life and economic drives.
“Shaihu Umar by late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first Prime Minister is a cultural treasure that portrays marriage life, widowhood, traditional courts, warfare, trading activities, educational and religious pursuit.
“Bala da Babiya is a fiction, authored by my late father, Mal. Nuhu Bamalli, Magajin Garin Zazzau. It mirrors how the style of cleanliness and health measures was adopted among the Hausa society,” he added.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of awards to the winners. 28-year-old Hassan Suleiman Isma’il clinched the first position for his story, ‘FITSARIN FAO’ followed by 25-year-old Ibrahim Yahaya Shehu in second place for his story, ‘ADDABAMI’ and then 25-year-old Mubarak Idris Abubakar in the third position for his story, ‘Rumfar Kara’.
Chief Librarian, Aliyu Mohammed Research Library, Mr Mohammed Suleiman, said the winners were chosen by a professional team of judges, who after strict consultations, selected the best three manuscripts.