Arts: The Hausa People
he Hausa are people found mostly in the West African regions of northern Nigeria and southeastern Niger. They are also found in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameron, Sudan, and Chad and smaller communities scattered throughout West Africa and across the Sahara. They speak the Hausa language and they are culturally close to the Fulani, Mande Songhai, and Tuareg as well as other groups in Chad.
Hausa people established a number of strong states in Eastern Niger, Northern and Central Nigeria. They took control of the Central and Northern Nigeria from the Nok and Sokoto, who were previously controlling the area. They gradually became a strong force to reckon with in Africa by the 1100 CE.
The Fulani, an African ethnic group, invaded the Hausa states in 1810. The similarities in Hausa and Fulani culture allowed for significant integration between the two groups, who in modern times are often referred to as “Hausa-Fulani” instead of the individual groups.
The Hausa language has more native speakers than any other language in the Sub-Saharan Africa. The main area where Hausa is been spoken is the northern Nigeria and Republic of Niger. Hausa is also widely spoken in northern Ghana, northern Cameron, and other major West African cities.
In terms of numbers, Hausa is one of the world’s major languages, and its widespread use in many West African countries makes it probably the most useful single language in the region. The study of Hausa provides one of the most informative entrees into the world of Islam in West Africa. The influence of Hausa language on other Islamic languages in West Africa is apparent. Many cultural practices of Hausa such as dressings and food are shared by other Islamic communities due to the dominant position which Hausa language and culture have held for long.
They have a very restricted dressing code due to their religious beliefs. The men are easily recognized for their elaborate dress which is usually a large flowing gown known as Babban Riga and a robe called ‘Jallabiya’. The female mostly wear wrappers made with colourful cloth with a matching blouse, head tie and shawl.
The most common Hausa foods are made of grains such as sorghum, millet, rice, or maize which are grinded into flour for different kinds of food. The flour food is popularly known as ‘Tuwo’ in Hausa language. The Hausa prefer to eat bean cakes known as ‘Kosai’ and a porridge that looks like pap known as ‘Koko’ as breakfast.
Hausa have an ancient culture that had a wide coverage area. They have long ties with the Arabs and other Islamic peoples in West Africa, such as the Mandé, Fulani and the Wolof through extended long distance trade.
The Hausa people have been an important factor for the spread of Islam in West Africa. Then rural regions retained their animist beliefs while their urban leaders welcomed both Islamic and African traditions to make their ruling legitimate. Scholars of Islam in the nineteenth century rejected the hybridized religion practiced in royal courts, which brought up a desire for reform that lead to the formation of the Sokoto Caliphate. After the formation of this state, Islam became firmly entrenched in rural areas.
One of the animist religions practiced extensively by the Hausa before Islam was Maguzawa. The religion has remained fully intact in the rural areas of Hausa land. It often includes the sacrifice of animals for personal ends. It is believed that the practice of Maguzawa magic for harm is illegal.
Friends with Benefits; the Rule Book!
There are relationships and then there are friends with benefits. Once a man or woman is not in a relationship, chances are there’s an FWB lurking somewhere. What is this fad that has gained so much popularity in the last century? For some people, it is a prelude to a commitment, for others it is a way to avoid commitment altogether and yet for some, it is their way of sitting on the fence.
The Urban Dictionary defines friends with benefits in the most simplistic way; ‘Friends by day, sex partners by night’. Day and night may not necessarily be in relation to the sun but more in a social sense. Day meaning when you can be observed and night representing whatever goes on behind closed doors. With the permissive society we live in, it is unsurprising to hear people publicly announce their friends with benefits status.
Now if the parties involved are not careful, this escape route can become a path with treachery and heartbreak along its way. So here are the 10 COMMANDMENTS OF BEING FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS. I like to call them the ‘Rules of engagement’, after all, if you are gonna play ball, you have to abide by the rules!
COMMANDMENT NUMERO UNO: Thou shalt be honest! Do not start a friends with benefits secretly hoping for more. Be honest from the start about what your needs and expectations are. Remember that being dishonest can lead to future disappointments and jeopardize your friendship.
COMMANDMENT NUMBER TWO: Thou shalt not be friends with benefits with a friend who is in a relationship! There are a lot of other names to describe getting involved with a person who has a commitment with someone else and none of them are pretty. If you go ahead in this kinda situation, you risk the feelings of jealousy, insecurity, low self- esteem and guilt that come with most affairs especially when you can clearly see your friend has genuine feelings for his/her lover and you are just a sexy distraction.
COMMANDMENT NUMBER THREE: Thou shalt not spread the word! Being friends with benefits is a mutual agreement and should be embarked upon discreetly. You don’t wanna put your other friends in an awkward position or have people mistake you both for a couple. You are first and foremost, friends!
COMMANDMENT NUMBER FOUR: Thou shalt not expose the other person to risk! Sexually transmitted diseases are real and they no dey show for face. If you cannot abstain, you owe it to your friend to be faithful and if that is not possible, use protection. Remember that regardless of whether you have a commitment with this person or not, it is your duty to protect him/her and yourself! AIDS is real!
COMMANDMENT NUMBER FIVE: Thou shalt not act ‘daddy and mummy’! No playing house, no acting like a boyfriend or a girlfriend. That’s the fastest way to bring on trouble! Don’t expect him to call more or check up on you more. Your emotions and disposition towards each other remain that of friends. If you cannot handle this, you have no business being in an FWB in the first place!
COMMANDMENT NUMBER SIX: Thou shalt not get too attached! Getting all romantic or mushy is a big minus unless it is mutual but statistics show only 1 out of 10 FWBs progress to a relationship so don’t count on it. If spooning, sleep overs and mushiness will get you too attached, desist from it. Try to hangout with other people when you are not getting down and dirty to reduce the ‘us’ time.
COMMANDMENT NUMBER SEVEN: Thou shalt not close the door to real relationships! Don’t get it twisted, friends with benefits can never substitute for a wholesome relationship, neither can you build a future on it. Doing so would be like building castles in the air! Remember it is a temporary arrangement.
COMMANDMENT NUMBER EIGHT: Thou shalt not become territorial! If you are a possessive person by nature, resist the urge. If you don’t really wanna date her/him, you may feel on some level that you don’t want other guys/chicks to date her/him either and this is unfair. If you are a jealous person, it is better to avoid the whole FWB idea because the slogan for this business is NO STRINGS ATTACHED!
COMMANDMENT NUMBER NINE: Thou shalt not be FWBs with close friends only acquaintances! More often than not, FWBs never develop into anything more. The parties slowly drift apart and life continues. Secondly, a future girl/boyfriend who learns that you used to be intimate with one of your close friends will instantly feel threatened and want the friendship over and done with. In the worst case scenarios, FWBs can ruin close friendships because once you’ve seen your friend naked, the easy air you guys once shared may be gone forever. If you wanna keep a friendship, don’t complicate it!
COMMANDMENT NUMBER TEN: Thou shalt cut loose as soon as both parties stop being on the same page! If you notice your friend is falling in love with you or getting too attached or getting involved in a serious relationship, call it quits before someone gets hurt. You are first of all friends and friends look out for each other. Don’t let sex override your loyalty.
A friend with benefit implies that you are actually friends and should not be used for scenarios where strangers decide to be together without any form of commitment. Very rarely, true love blossoms and it becomes a story worth telling. If the love is one-sided, it ain’t true and if you know you haven’t the strength of mind to carry out an FWB, wait patiently and prayerfully till your authentic-genuine article-limited edition-one of a kind-loverwalks into your life and you’ll be glad you still have a friend to gist about your new found happiness!
Don’t love me with slaps!!!2
I got a shocking blackberry broadcast this morning about some dude killing his wife 5 days ago. Heaven knows why on earth I got the news so many days late since some of the contacts on my BB are self-proclaimed CNN reporters abi na WikiLeaks?!! They somehow manage to be at all places at once. Informing us about police fights in Mushin and Agbero fights in Bauchi at the same time! Anyway this broadcast was very different because it not only carried the news of Titilayo’s demise but a picture of her husband grinning menacingly at her on the wedding day! Also there was a note attached to it about domestic violence and that got me thinking…
When I was younger I used to think stories like that only happened to poor people living in face me, I face you apartments cos every time Frank Olize’s Newsline reported a gruesome story such as this, it was always in that setting but Titilayo (May her soul rest in peace) was a Lagos girl and worked at Skye Bank, I imagine she did the same things we did and gave her man the same dose of shakara that we all have given our significant others so why is she six feet under while we are going about our daily business doing the same old s**t? It hardly seems fair! How does a sane prince charming morph into an unrestrained beast? One who not only stabbed his wife to death but took delight in cutting off parts of her body, parts that probably attracted him to her in the first place. What could she possibly have done to deserve this? Reports say her parents warned her about him but hey, everyone knows someone whose parents warned them about a certain man and they ain’t dead! Heck! My mama warned me about two of the men I dated and though mama turned out to have old people’s foresight, my heart was the only part of me scarred.I look at the cute little boy sitting across from me in his mama’s laps. He has the cutest dimples in the world and he definitely will become a heart-stopper one day but will he be a Kolade? How can one tell? Some people blame it on dysfunctional families but hey, I know lots of men with family drama and they haven’t murdered anyone yet neither have their fathers. Could it be an evil spirit masked as blinding rage or a borderline case of schizophrenia? In those days parents would investigate families before giving out their daughters but nowadays if there’s money and prestige, mental stability and psychiatric history seem to be pushed aside. Could Titilayo have cheated on him and if she did was that enough reason? How many signs did she ignore while they were dating? How many times did she forget a hot slap after a reaffirmation of his undying love?I can relate with domestic violence because I was hit by a guy once. We’ll call him K. He’d been on my case and I’d been giving him the regular UNILAG girl shakara, one day we got into an argument late at night while walking down the street of my house and he flipped and threw me slaps that made me see stars yet undiscovered. He pushed me on the floor kicking and cursing like I was a lifeless sack of garri. I screamed, I begged, I tried to run and I fought back but it was a lonely road, he was high on weed (a later discovery) and I was on my own. An hour later (nose almost broken), he had calmed down sufficiently and with tears in his eyes, threatened to jump into the silent lagoon because he knew he had lost me. The irony of the matter was that while my insides were screaming bloody murder and ordering all the mammy waters not to have mercy on him when he jumped in, I mustered all the energy I had left into an audible plea. I was actually begging him. I reasoned that if his body was found floating in the Lagoon, I would be charged with murder even though I was innocent. He walked me to my house giving me strict orders to put ice packs on my swollen face and not let my family see me till the morning. I barely made it to my house. Now little did he know that my family is close knit and akin to the Italian mafia. By morning my neighbourhood was crawling with police and he was on the run. Some days later, he checked himself voluntarily into Yaba Left. I heard that he had abused every one of his ex-girlfriends yet each of them had dated him for years at a time. I wondered what would make a woman stay in a relationship while a man got his kicks off punching her.Over the years I have heard stories of women who have lived with violent men, some getting maimed, others long dead. They stayed cos of their children, they stayed cos they couldn’t live with the shame of a failed marriage. Who is taking care of the children of the deceased now? Who is paying the hospital bills of the battered wife? My friend W said she stayed in an abusive relationship for years because when he was not abusing her, he was the kindest, sweetest, most generous man alive. It makes me remember Eminem and Rihanna’s song; ‘Love the way you lie’, I love that song but no one should willingly be in a relationship that burns them to the ground. My friend became a bully after a while, taking out her aggression on course mates and room mates and beating them up at the slightest provocation. Some people would have envied her for having such a devoted boyfriend but only her inner caucus knew about the stone in her shoe. Thankfully today she is with a good man who may have faults but would never raise his hand to hit her.When I first started dating, my mum gave me two nuggets of wisdom. First of all, she said; ‘Never manage a boyfriend, because he will do much worse as a husband’ and secondly, ‘Before you commit to a man, make sure you know the limits of his temper’. Yes once in a while, you can find me provoking an otherwise sleeping lion (aka boyfriend) just to see if he bites. Many times it isn’t intentional, PMS ensures it happens often enough! Marriage may hold surprises but we don’t want our jack-in-the-box to be a coffin!So what to look out for in a man….(I know it can be hard to spot an abusive man when love blinds our eyes)-He pushes too far, too fast, planning your future together right away. (The relationship moves forward very fast. Abusive men woo as fast as they can. They know that they can’t sustain consistent good behaviour for very long)-He hates his mother and is nasty to her.-He wants your undivided attention at all times and it is mandatory.
-He must always be in charge. (Overly controlling and always wants things to go the way he wants them to go).-He always has to win.
-He breaks promises all the time.
-He can’t take criticism and always justifies his actions. (He makes excuses to justify his behavior or actions instead of feeling sorry).
-He blames someone else for anything that goes wrong. (Denies every single mistake and refuses to claim responsibility for his actions).
-He’s jealous of your close friends, family members, and all other men. (He can always find reasons for not spending time with your friends and family and he may try to discourage you from spending time with them also.)
-He always asks you where you went and whom you saw. (Uncontrollably jealous and extremely possessive).
-He has extreme highs and lows that are unpredictable. (Mood swings and Bi-polar behaviour)
-He has a mean temper. He starts fights and always wants to bicker and start conflict with others.
-He often says you don’t know what you’re talking about. (Invades your personal space and treats you without respect).
-He makes you feel like you’re not good enough. (He’s not happy to accept you the way you are and reminds you regularly what a wonderful guy he is and how lucky you are to have him)
-He withdraws his love or approval as punishment and destroys objects around you, especially those that are dear to you when angry.
-He pushes you to do things that make you feel uneasy, like taking the day off from work or even breaking the law.
– His vulnerability may appeal to you. (You might find yourself saying: “he just needs someone to really, really love him (and heal his pain.) Why does it need to be you? Feeling sorry for someone is no basis for a loving, equal relationship.)
– He expects a big return on his investments. (He may seem happy to put your needs and wishes first for a little while, but it won’t be long before he starts saying: “Look at everything I do for you. You should be doing X, Y and Z for me.”)
– All the women who he’s had relationships with in the past didn’t understand him and let him down or behaved badly and he admits to hurting and attacking a woman in the past but blames that person for making him do it.
– There are areas of his life he refuses to talk about.
– He’s got a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse, and possibly violence.
– When you first meet him, there’s something about him that you don’t like. If you choose not to trust your intuition, you’ll probably pay for it. Big time.
– He’s all sweet with you, but he acts differently with other people. (Rest assured that, with time, you’ll become ‘other people’.)
– There are times when his behaviour leaves you feeling like you’re dealing with someone you don’t even know.
– He exhibits low self-esteem.
– He is unable to identify and express emotions in the right way and shows it by being angry with you when he is angry with somebody else.
– He lies to you constantly and plays with your emotions in any way possible such as calling you names, degrading your being, ignoring your emotions, depreciating your achievements, insults you in front of others and poisons your mind with constant bad-mouthing and threats.
– He is cruel to animals and weaker people.
– He forces you to have sex even when you are ill.
– He has an over bearing, aggressive personality which you have mistaken for confidence and he is a control freak.
If you have any doubts that your partner may be, or may become, abusive, take the relationship slowly and listen to the advice of friends and family whose judgement you can trust. If you don’t like what they say and find yourself replying: “But you don’t understand. He’s not like that…”, the chances are, you’re wrong and they’re right.
For one woman (Titilayo), it is too late. She will never hear the birds sing or the wind in the trees or more appropriately the horns blaring in Lagos traffic! She loved a man, she gave her all and he repaid her with death! May she find rest for her soul. I sympathize with her family and friends.
Dear reader, it is not too late to get out of that abusive relationship!
Men please take note, women can be abusive too! I guess the reports are less because it’s far more embarrassing. Pele dear but if you are in that situation run for dear life oh cos women have been known to murder their better halves!Please treat your wife like the delicate flower that she is…whether she’s a rose or a wall flower!