Friday, 20 December 2013


The Creative Writers’ Forum for the month of November was held at the American Corner, Murtala Muhammad Library, Kano on 30th November, 2013. The event had in attendance the former branch Secretary of the Association, Abdulkadir Badsha Mukhtar, the current branch Secretary, Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah, ANA Kano Ex-officio; Almustapha Musa Ilyas, A.T Tahir, and Bakano A. Murtala.
After opening prayers by Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Chairman of the occasion, Bello Sagir Imam introduced the entries for the first session. The session started with a presentation entitled, “Queen I” by Bello Sagir Imam. It was a poem written for his fiancée and his feelings toward her. The writer believed that he eats in order to work and also work to earn for his queen. One of the stanzas of his poem read as:
I’m Majnun
That of Layla
I can’t survive you
Like Romeo, Juliet
No! I’m not
Titanic’s Jack
But Jamilu
You, Jamila

The next presentation was a poem entitled, “The Born-Teacher…” presented by Bakano A. Murtala. The writer appreciated the gift of being a teacher which eludes many people. The poem will definitely motivate other teachers to be proud of the profession. Some lines of his poem read as:
I teach
Coz teaching follows me
I teach,
Coz I’m made and meant to
I teach,
Coz I owe a debt to humanity
I teach,
Coz I’m a Humanist

The last poem in the first session was also a poem entitled, “Freedom” by Muttaka Idris Abasha. As the title indicated, the theme is freedom and its value to humankind. Abasha expressed his opinion on freedom and its restrictions in a nation like Nigeria. The second stanza of his poem read as:

Hefty muddy looters
Haughty naughty pushers
Heavy brainless cavities
Halted freedom to reign.

The second session began with a short story entitled, “The 24hour President…part iv” by Bakano Murtala. The writer presented his story in an adopted style of James Hardly chases, with reference to Nigeria. Similar to chase collection, the short story was also a crime genre that portrayed the bomb blast that took place in Nigeria during Independence Day celebration. In Bakano’s story, the scenario happened when the President was making his speech. Some lines of the speech delivered by the President before bullets were fired toward his direction read as:

“The making of Bakano remains indebted to you! But you must toil to its success! I therefore ask for your cooperation to support your new President only if I am right. Impeach and imprison me if you think it right!”

Salim Ibrahim Kallah presented a poem, “You are not what you think you are”. Like Bello Sagir, the poem was written for his fiancée to be. It was another good poem, but members of the forum suggested that the title should be reviewed, looking at the content of the poem. The last stanza of his poem read as:

Do you still want to know who you are?
You are the full meaning of beauty
You are the meaning of love
That is actually who you are.

The next presentation was a poem entitled, “Take to your heels” by Yaseer Kallah. The first two stanzas of this poem read as:
Take to your heels
Oh, you little fowl
I have seen a hawk
Above your head

Take to your heels
Oh, you strutting fowl
Before your scintillating feathers
Drench with blood

Nazeer I. Kallah made the last presentation in the second session with a poem entitled, “The Wailing Mother”. A very interesting poem that portrayed Nigeria as a mother with her children. In one of his stanzas, the writer condemned the present children of Nigeria who are not after their mother. He said:
Now, I know my real children have gone
Living me with cantankerous ones
Ungrateful they are to me myself
For the wealth I have all goes in vain

The third session began with a short story entitled, “Let Her Know” from Nazeer I. Kallah. Like other presentations from young people, the story is about a young man who was in love with a girl, but lacked confidence to meet her and express his feelings. But when his sister realized the problem, she encouraged him to do so.

The second presentation was a poem, “Paying the Price for Betrayal” by Almustapha Musa Ilyas. The poem generated argument on whether a writer is dead or alive after publishing his work. The second to the last stanza of this poem read as:

Slowly, you taste the bitter truth
Slowly, you see the ugly face of lies
Slowly the wind will unmask the cloak-and-dagger
Keenly I watch with indifference

The same write presented a short poem entitled “Untitled” which read as:
I feel what you feel
One in one

The last presentation for the day was also a poem entitled, “The Classic Dance of Love” by Yaseer Kallah. The first two stanzas of the poems were read as:

Oh, sweet drum!
Give us a sound
Give us a tone
Of love and delight
The shackles of love
Are so much strong

Dadap dadap dapad
Lala lala lala
Tadap tadap tadap
Lala lala lala
The music of love
Always gives delight.

The forum was rounded up with vote of thanks from the branch Secretary, Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah. He commended the teachers who brought their students to the event, according to him this would serve as eyes opener to them to learn about creative writing which in return would promote their studies. The session was ended with closing prayers offered by Abdulkadir Badsha Mukhtar.
Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah

Thursday, 5 September 2013


The Association of Nigerian Authors, Kano Branch held its Creative Writers’ Forum for the month of August at the Murtala Muhammad Library, Kano. The event which took place on Saturday, 31st August, 2013 had in attendance ANA Kano Branch Secretary, Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah, Dr Faruk Sarkin Fada, Isa Muhammad Inuwa, ANA Kano Ex-officio; Almustapha Musa Ilyas, Bakano A. Murtala and other distinguished writers.
After an opening prayer by Dr Sarkin Fada, the Chairman of the occasion, Isa Muhammad Inuwa introduced the submitted entries for the first session. The first presentation titled “How I lost My Word” which is a short story presented by Nura H. Adam. A well narrated story of a young guy who lost his relationship with Marka and later was introduced to Tasalla. But unfortunately for him, he made another mistake of investing his whole love to her when she was not even reciprocating.
Bakano A. Murtala who was a short story writer joined poets of the day by presenting a poem titled “Eternal Gratitude!” The poem, with six stanzas was crafted with very beautiful rhymes. The writer opened his poem with a stanza that read:
Long live, my pals!
You’re the oil
For the gadgets I use to toil!
You’re the pack that work to foil
Efforts against my vals!
The next poem in the session “Poems Eaters” was presented by Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah. The writer described how poets composed poems which is later enjoyed and criticized by readers. Zaharaddeen’s poem was presented in only seven lines and it read thus:
They sowed it in rhymes
With the rain of complexity
And juicy words upon it roots
When it cross-breeds and ripens
Your saliva will make it naked,
Then take it to a dining table,
It is time to eat.

The third poem titled “Friend” was presented by Badamasi Garba Muhammad. The poem was about a friend that he loved, but fear at the same time. Badamasi appreciated nature for likening his friend with a snake. In one of his stanzas, he described his friend when he said:
He coils up and hisses as he sees me
Like a pair compasses at the end
His treacherous tongue

The last paper of the first session was a poem titled “Disowned” which was presented by Dr Faruk Sarkinfada. It was another poem that described daily human activities in a typical poetic disguise. The poem was particularly talking about someone disowned by his family, generated argument on the actual theme of the write-up. The first stanza of his poem read as follows:
What a shame
To be disowned in my home
By those to whom I belong
Who refined me from an iron ore
So refined, that I glitter like gold
But I couldn’t pay back what I owe

The second session began with a four-stanza poem by Bakano A. Murtala titled “Smile thru life”. The poem encouraged people to bear with every situation they found themselves as part of life successes and challenges. In the third stanza of the poem, the writer said:
Well, set the stage!
To hell with the worries!
So also the said sorries
Turn the next page!
Look! Worries are encoded glories
Meant to tale alories
See? Stop then seething with rage!

Yaseer Kallah presented a poem titled “Let Me Cry” which was an elegy to the departed ones. The poem had five stanzas, and in the fourth stanza the writer said:
Let me cry please
Perhaps the final one
For your departure
Has seared my heart
I whisper your name
You always answer
But I shouted today
You never answer
As wave of departure
Has strode you asunder

The next presentation was delivered by Isa Muhammad Inuwa with his poem titled “The August Rains II”. Similar poem was presented by the same writer last year during the month of August. The poem employed strong descriptive terms and imageries, he painted a poetic picture.
One of his stanzas read as:
Chunky rain-drops, drum hard on the roof-top of
My corrugated iron-roof sheets, evoking fears in me-
A powerful waltz of lightening snaps and yanks my sight away!

“Plight of the Orphans” was another poem presented by Badamasi Garba Muhammad, a beautiful poem that was composed in eight stanzas. The writer opened his poem with a stanza that reads as:
Like an Atlantic Ocean
Tears flood thy golden eyes, which eyes
Never see in olden days
Why? Tell me why great mother!

Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah came with another poem titled “Read Today” which was an advocacy poem that encourages people to read. In the second stanza of the poem he mentioned what one can expect when he opens and reads a book. The stanza read as follows:
When you open a book
You will see the history of ancient people
You will see them struggling to leave
You will see their science and science of astronomy
You will see their engineering and medicines
You will see their arts and literatures
All for you to learn and predict yours

Another poem titled “…could be my fault”, by Dr. Faruk Sarkinfada was another interesting poem that was confessed by the writer as one of the reasons why Nura H. Adam’s story ended with betrayal twice.  The short story “How I lost My Word” portrayed the character as blind not because he was blind, but for not being able to see reasons in his relationship. Sarkinfada’s poem justified that in a situation where a person ignores truth because of selfish reasons. Two stanzas of the poem are as follow:
Many excuses
Granted for you.
Failing still?
…could be my fault.

Talks of my tongue
Dodge others’ faults
For I’m fault
Others have tongues.
Al-Mustapha Musa Ilyas presented his poem titled “Letter to Feminists”. The poem generated a heated argument during the comments and questions session. Al-Mustapha put these in some of his stanzas:
And when we wrestle in the ring
For ephemeral packages
In the ring of material emptiness
You may beat me the hell
Out of my weary self

I can bleed through the nose
And my mouth can ooze fresh blood
But not from my underpants
Please don’t envy
I don’t conceive a baby

“Poem II” was another poem from Tahir Mahmood Saleh, a short one that looked at the way the writer perceives poems to be. His poem equally generated argument among the poets when he read some lines of his work. The lines read as follow:
To poem one plus one equals to three
Poem must not mean but be as this
Mute, wordless, motionless and empty

The same writer Tahir Mahmood Saleh presented another poem titled “Poetic Coffee” which was composed in the shape of a steaming coffee cup. The reading session was closed with a poem “Broken Valentine” by Dr Aminu Shehu Ibrahim, presented on his behalf by Isa Muhammad Inuwa.
Save those tears
For tumultuous morrow
A damsel in distress
Awaits a chivalrous
Knight with shining armor
Nay! No shoulders to lean
For thy tribulations
Are sky high.

The whole session was ended with a closing prayer offered by A.T Tahir.
Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Old Kano

I listened to the story of grandma
The woman with grey hairs
And experienced tongue
So as to learn
Her story painted to me
The old Kano of yesteryears
When the holy [1]Tsunburbura palace
Was erected on the grey [2]Dala hill
With [3]Barbusse as a go-between
The warrior and the hunter
Who conveyed Tsunburbura orders

The story painted
The annual spiritual festival
Of the naked [4]Maguzawa
Who paid homage and prayed to Tsunburbura
They believed in her protection
As she bestowed luck to their wars

I painted the story
As the Emir Aliyu Yaji
Brought the mortal Tsunburbura down
New blood was infused
Into the vein of the ancient city
Kano is no longer evil
The [5]Habe put Kano in order
[6]Rumfa stood as Jupiter
In the universe of development
With his twin spears in his hands
To raise Kano to its peak
Like a glistering river
Kano invites visitors
Its name has adorned the savannah

As time passed
I painted the story
The elephant was too strong
Destroying its source of plants
Danger upon danger arose
Like the burning of Troy
The great [7]Alwali was wrecked
The new [8]sarewa was heard
Fulani sing the songs
Against the Habe
Who had a murderous look
Malam Sulaiman received
And fixed the [9]Fodio flag
In the Kano of hope

Kano cried again
Arrows fell as August rain
Men upon trembling horses ran
Swords crossed in rivalry
With the blood of hatred
It was Kano civil war
The war with no refuge holds 
[10]Yusufawa against [11]Tukurawa
They fought to the death
My painting was red and red

A new lion emerged
With a roar of strength
His star outshined the master
It’s [12]Alu mai Sango
The Asoka of Fodio Empire
His roar echoed in the savannah
With a terrifying sound
That felled mahogany trees
With his pointed sword
The story painted suppression
Kano arose at dawn
Kneeled and bowed
To the white-eared one
Indirect rule was imposed on her
The new economic role was diffused
With the stench of colonialism
Rail lines were connected to the ocean
To move what was good for them
I painted and painted in style

I painted the new Kano of colours
With [13]Sarki Alhaji renowned for his talent
To synchronize tradition and modernity
Kano balanced in its development
All the gates of Kano are opened
For the good visitors
Those who make Kano proud
To boast the spirit of its commerce

The star of Kano
Metamorphosed to a new shining star
As Dr Ado Bayero arrived
Kano outshined its contemporaries
It captivating monarchy 
Always goes with modernity
Kano is always
A land of milk and honey
With a calabash of nuts for all
May Allah protect Kano and the [14]Kanawa
12th March, 2012

[1]Tsunburbura,         Deity in pre-Islamic Kano

[2] Dala,                     A historical hill in Kano city

[3] Barbushe,              Leader in pre-Islamic Kano

[4] Maguzawa,           Hausa pagans

[5] Habe,                   Indigenses of Kano
[6] Rumfa,                  Former Emir of Kano

[7] Alwali,                   Former Emir of Kano

[8] Sarewa, Beagle

[9] Fodio,                                   Usman Fodio         
[10] Yusufawa,                          The followers of Emir Yusuf

[11] Tukurawa,                           The followers of Emir Tukur

[12] Alu mai Sango,                   Former Emir of Kano

[13] Sarki Alhaji,        Former Emir of Kano (Abdullahi Bayero)
[14] Kanawa,            Citizens of Kano