The Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, has identified lack of preservation as the reason literary work is dying in Nigeria.
The emir, who spoke at the second edition of the Hausa International Book and Arts Festival (HIBAF), lamented that works of literary giants had been left to rot instead of them being preserved.
He said, “I came from a family of literary giants. As far back as 1905, my grandfather, Emir Aliyu Dansidi, published about nine books and some other yet-to-be published ones with the Gaskiya Corporation which used to be the literature bureau.
“His works were used by PhD students in Hausa literature, and many years ago my late father happened to be one of the leaders at Gaskiya Corporation, then Northern Literature Bureau, along with Malam Abubakar Imam, Ms Rima and a host of others, including the late Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki who did a lot of work enlightening our people in Northern Nigeria.”
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He lamented that just two weeks ago he saw a heap of books on the roadside at Unguwan Sarki, and that unfortunately some of the books were written by the literary giants.
He added, “This is the kind of culture we have in our society, we do not preserve institutions, we do not value the works of others but we celebrate people that sing and dance more than those that used their brains to produce things that are useful for communication.”
The Director of HIBAF, Sada Malumfashi, said the innovative approaches being taken at the festival would facilitate cross-cultural conversations around shared experiences and divides from the African continent as a crucial step towards decolonisation by transporting African conversations by Africans from Africa to the world.
Daily Trust reports that Hajiya Hafsat Abdulwaheed was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation for being at the helm of the women writing craft movement for decades.
Similarly, authors of “Kaddarar Rayuwa”, Bilkisu Muhammad Garkuwa; “Danyen Kasko”, Hajara Ahmad Hussain; and “Daukar Jinka”, Muttaka: emerged as first, second and third at the 2022 Aliyu Mohammed Research Library Hausa Book Prize.
The librarian of the institute, Mohammad Suleiman, said 85 entries were received from Hausa writers across the globe from which 14 works were selected and from which the three winners emerged.