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

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