Monday, 24 February 2014


The clouds of dust rise
Towards the gate of Kano
Thousands of armies in masks of turbans
Sung and chanted war songs
They chanted their titles in the battlefield
Fires sparked as they raise their eyelids

The Kuge[i] was blown
Men’s hearts burnt and beat
Cowards trembled before the flame
Women dragged children home

The giant gate was opened
As quick as lightening
Dakarun[ii] Kano raced out
To float in the river of blood

It was Damagarawa[iii] against Kanawa[iv]
Who fought in the rays of scorching sun
Suddenly, a star appeared in the day light
That dressed and masked in their style
And showered death on to them
To feed the thirsty earth
In the rain of dust

His strong arms raised the spirits of Kanawa
As deaths danced on his sword
The sword that never paints red

The rival king shouted
“Why Buzu[v] beheaded Buzu?” He inquired
His mistress responded:
Ai uban tafiya ne,[vi] Alu Mai Sango[vii]” She praised
Alas! Her king beheaded her in anger

When the wind of victory was blown
The crowds talked of no more than Alu
As the rain of the dust ceased
The leopard of desert vanished
From eyes and ears
Only his turban was found

18th May, 2013

©Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah

[i] Beagle
[ii] Warriors
[iii] Citizens of Damagaran
[iv] Citizens of Kano
[v] A tribe in Niger Republic
[vi] Praise to a leader
[vii]Former Emir of Kano

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


The monthly Creative Writers’ Forum organized by the Kano state branch of the Association of Nigerian Authors had its first forum for the New Year on 25th January, 2014, held at the American Corner, Kano. Presentations of creative works were conducted in three rounds with poetry dominating the whole session.
The first round had four entries, starting with, “The Kings Heir” by Hussaini Musa. The story was written by a twelve-year child that joined the forum. It was a story of a king who was about to die without an heir. He then asked his senior counselor to announce for a competition through which the next king will emerge. Children of twelve to thirteen years will look for a missing goblet in the forest, and the person that finds it will be crowned the king. At the end of the day, Muhammad, the son of a shepherd found it against the stubborn son of the senior counselor.
“Loving Mama” is a poem presented by Badamasi Aliyu Abdullahi. The first four lines of his poem read thus:
I see the dazzling dress of my dearest damsel
I see the breath-taking beauty of a beautiful baby
I rang the wrangling bell of my romantic ring
I got the glowing gaze of my gorgeous girl

The next poem entitled, “You Are Too Precious” was presented by Ali Abdullahi Muhammad. In exultation, Abdullahi wrote:
You are a flower vase of beauty
I smell you gently with amity
To wrestle with you is futility
To reverse you is my duty

The last poem in the round was entitled: “To Sodoms and Gomorrans” presented by Yaseer Kallah. The poem was a critique of same sex marriage as advocated by the western world. The writer was emphatic and expressed his mind as follows in the second stanza:

Let a buck betroth a doe
And beget a Rack
Let a fox betroth a vixen
And beget a cub
Let a stag betroth a hind
And beget a fawn
We take great pride
In our natality.

The poet ended his poem by taking a definite stand on the issue. The last stanza read as:

“To hell with the sodamites
And their vanity
To hell with the lezzies
And their rascality
Re-await for that sulphur
And its fatality.

The second round began with a poem entitled, “For My Soul Owner” written by Tijjani Muhammad Musa. The poem which was dedicated to Allah (S.W.T) dwelled on the mercies of Allah to mankind. Tijjani opened his poem with praises to Allah (S.W.T) and resolve to obey His commands. In the third stanza of the poem, the poet said:

Only You secured the twain terrified spirits
Only You saved him from her irresistible invite
Only You deserves her devoted true worship
Only You brought it this far thus far by far

By this stanza the poet was referring to God’s power in saving and guiding his creatures. For instance, by twain terrified spirits the writer meant Prophet Muhammad and Caliphate Abubakar Sadiq who were secured from their haunters. So also, it’s Allah with his divine intervention who saved Prophet Yusuf from a lewd invitation that ordinarily cannot be turned down.

Isa Muhammad Inuwa presented another poem entitled, “This Cold” which was written to welcome the harmattan season. In the poem he described the bitter cold and described it a nuisance which requires a bulky sweater to keep him warm. In the six stanza poem, the writer tried to express the need to have all the kind of cloths, ointment, foods and shelter to make him comfortable, which indeed show his sensitivity to the weather. He concluded the poem with a stanza as below:

This cold is a nuisance, windy
Coming via the Sahara Desert,
Bringing all the dust and fog
But cold, stay soft and be friendly
When your time is off, go away!

The stanza vividly shows that the writer is living in a Savannah region brushed by the north-east wind of the Sahara. The last two lines showed how the poet’s appeal to the cold to be soft and friendly, so also to leave when it’s due.

The third presentation is a short story entitled, “Revisiting the Footprints of Yesteryears” by Sheldon Peterside, a pen name of Gwa Dominic Doohemba. The story is about life in a rented house and how members welcome new comers. The story narrated the culture of generating crowd in such houses whenever something happened.

A poem entitled, “Glittering Star” was presented by a young poet of the 21st Century, Ahmad Salisu Ahmad.  One part of “Glittering Star”  read:

the elongated night the inevitable signifiers are exchanged
the moon, the stars gradually vanish
and the whole world turns doom hostile desert!
That camels can’t resist! Survives it with all agonies!
To cherish the return of the Glittering Star and the devoted umma

The poem has emotional signals directed to someone special whom the poet believed it’s time to react, simply because the world is habitable for them.

The last round was concluded with two presentations from Tijjani Muhammad Musa and Isa Muhammad Inuwa with poems entitled, “Yet, I Ain’t a Poet” and “Bege” respectively. In Tijjani’s poem he was trying to protest against what makes one a good poet. One can understood his feeling based on what is happening in the literary world. No matter how good one’s works are, he may not be regarded as a poet or his works will simply be ignored for critical appraisal. The poet accepted that whatever he was regarded as, he has his opinions and believes on his crafts. The first stanza of the poem “Yet, I Ain’t a Poet” read:

I ain’t a poet
Nor do I know the rules of poemry
All I know is
Am endowed with an ability to write
A line or two that I desire read
Caring less if
A Recon praises it, a Decon “kills” me or

The poem “Bege” by Isa is a eulogy to renowned Islamic poet and performer, Abdulaziz Fadar Bege who passed away in Kano. The poet narrated how the sudden death shocked and surprised people. He went on to say his wishes to him. The first stanza of his poem said:

Bege, your sneaky exit surprises us all…
How soon you forsake us in this dicey life?
But in death, we come to know you better-

Isa Muhammad Inuwa went on to describe the large number of crowds in the state who attended the funeral of late Abdulaziz. The stanza said:

Thousands of mourners jostled for your corpse,
Elated and matched to your resting place
For you loved the Prophet and chanted his eulogy

It was the poet prayer that Abdulaziz was welcomed by the virgin girls of Heaven and saluted by angels of bliss, because he was a man who praised the Prophet with heart and mind deep in ecstasy.

Before the end of the programme, ANA Kano and the American Corner reiterated their plan to collaborate to organize a workshop on techniques of good presentation for emerging writers. Later, the programme was ended with a vote of thanks by the branch Secretary, Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah.

Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah

Monday, 17 February 2014


A teacher is not angry
He takes all the childish,
And stupid questions

A teacher is always happy
He plays as a child
He dances in style
He mimics stories
With his smiles to all

A teacher is very intelligent
He traces and uncovers potentialities
He guides and counsels
He visits when necessary

To be a teacher is a gift
Given by God in heaven
His rewards is in heaven
Teacher, cry no more
You are near to the fruit of your labour
Here or hereafter

13th March, 2012

Thursday, 13 February 2014

A General with a Difference

…With a strong personal charm
Who emerged during a crisis
And constituted a powerful authority
Which accept no nonsense
11th January is a lesson
Red Monkeys were shocked
“Africa has come of age”
He said without hesitation

What about the present leaders?
They are bra wearers
Exploiting our resources
While many people are sinking in poverty

Oh! What is the essence of the military?
Is it to serve the interest of the West?
What about the abundant natural resources
Nigerians dying with hunger, imagine!

The General unlike others was
Quite an ideal planner
Who knew the dignity of his subjects
Fought for their freedom
And died for his people
No doubt he was a charismatic leader.

My Hero

(In memory of Gen. Murtala R. Muhammad)

It’s February again
The month of assassination
The month of special prayers
After thirty six years of your departure
To the domain of rest and peace

You may have heard from good Nigerians
That joined your company
The foundation you laid
Was blown-up by the people you left
And the people you know well

My hero, the country you know
The country you sacrificed your life for
Is now a death zone
From corruption and poverty
Illiteracy and joblessness
Robbery and explosions
Crimes of all sorts

My hero
The flag: green-white-green you fixed
In the centre you love
Is now the incubator of
Saboteurs of humanity
Hatching eggs of puppet leaders
Who rigged elections

My leader
The Africa you know
Which has come of age
Has lost its focus
In the new style of globalisation
It imitated directly
And lost the virginity of its creativity
Now it has neither the bird nor the trap
Even African’s giant, Nigeria
Has no priority agenda
Oh God! Help Africa and Nigeria

29th February, 2012