Have you met ever a girl who like Abraham, left her hometown in search of the land of Canaan; but for questions, she needed a trip back to Terah to hold an encyclopaedia of her Region in order to answer everyone on the her way?
Hello, I am Bwayizak, sojourning from the Northern part of Nigeria. It is the north based on its geographical location and the white man’s mapping. The Northern Nigeria has 19 states and more than 200 tribes, languages and culture. Goodness! Okay, I think I am letting my emotions get a better hold of me, because even I can feel the aggression in this introduction 😂
Well, I just remembered my experiences with people when I first left home in search of the pebbles in life.
It was a cold morning In September 2011, I packed my bags ready to leave home (Taraba State) to Anambra State (Eastern Nigeria) for my University education. I was eager to go somewhere different and to meet people whose lifestyle is different from what I’ve known all my life.
My mother and I boarded a Bus to Onitsha, Anambra State. While on the bus, we talked about a lot of things. Of course, we talked in Hausa language; the most common language in the North. An older man who sat beside us was looking at us keenly as if he was interested in knowing what we were saying. We noticed his interest but ignored since he said nothing to us.
Hours later, he asked softly, “Una be Awusa abi?“
I replied, “No Sir”.
He looked surprised, nodded in disbelieve and said, “My pikin but una dey speak Awusa na, how come una no be Awusa? Abi you dey fear ni? No worry I just dey ask, ‘cause I like am as una dey talk the language.”
My mother smiled and told him, “Baba, we are from the North but not from the Hausa tribe. Our tribe is Bambuka.”
The man looks confused this time around. He gazed as if his eyes were going to fall off its socket.
“Which one be Bam… Bam…” He said.
We laughed; at least it wasn’t an interrogation. I helped him out, “Bambuka Sir, it is a tribe in Taraba State”.
He said “haa, nawa ooo all of una no be Awusa?”
At that point, I felt an urge to educate him about the Northern Nigeria. I told him what I am about telling you. Keep reading… 😜
Well, why the wait? I bet you want to know. Before then, I need to share another experience I had at work seven years later in Lagos State, Nigeria.
I was a Hausa speaking lady from the North in an office dominated by the Yorubas, Igbos, Efiks, etc. I resumed work after a particular Sallah break and almost everyone at my workplace was asking me for Sallah Meat.
Goodness! I was surprised.
“What makes you think I a Muslim?” I asked.
They said, “you are from the north na…”
WOW! So everyone you see from the North is a Muslim? I knew I had to go down the road I walked with the Man from the bus and many others.
Okay, so this is what I tell people when they think I am Hausa or Muslim simply because I am from the Northern Part of Nigeria.
Firstly, the Northern part of Nigeria has 19 states with 200 tribes, languages and culture. Some of these tribes have no relationship with the Hausa tribe. The reason most of us speak the Hausa language is as a result of 1804 Jihad war, inter-marriage, trade/business and migration of the real Hausa people to other parts of the region.
It is believed that civilisation came first to the upper Sahara of Nigeria which most of its people are the Hausa/Fulani. This made the indigenous people of the other part of the Northern Nigeria eager to collaborate and work with the Hausa people.
Imagine working with a French Man who knows nothing about the language you speak and you do not know how to speak French in an era where there is no technology to translate this language to you. Well, I believe the work will be impossible or you will be working towards a great chaos, as communication is the bedrock of any relationship.
That was almost the case for the people who came in contact with the Hausa people at that time. For a good relationship, they learnt how to speak Hausa.
For others, it was imposed on them either directly or indirectly. The natives of these other tribes were not as many or as powerful as the Hausa people. Therefore, knowledge of the language (Hausa) was a thing of pride by most of the speakers and this motivated others to learn how to speak it.
These explain why most of the Northern tribes speak Hausa today.
The old Man from the bus was grateful. He had a better understanding of the Northern Nigeria.
Secondly, to my colleagues a work, I made them understand that though Islam is quite popular in the Northern part of Nigeria, not everyone from there is a Muslim. We have Idol worshippers, Christians and so on.
I hope just like the Old Man on the bus and my colleagues, you have a better understanding of the Northern Nigerian States and its people. So please help this sojourner girl and tell more people the little you now know.
This #RantOnGC was written by Bwayisak Tanko, you can send in your rant(s) about anything to email@example.com for a possible feature on the blog 😘