Discover Hausa

Hausa is a Chadic language from the Afro-Asiatic language family.  It is one of the largest indigenous languages in West and Central Africa. Hausa is spoken as a first or second language by about 40–50 million people in Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ghana, Benin, Cameroon and Chad.

Main Communities

  • Jigawa (Nigeria)
  • Tahoua (Niger)
  • Fada N'gourma (Burkina Faso)
  • Alibori (Benin)

Common Hausa names:

  • Dangali: The only son in a family
  • Gimbiya - A princess
  • Bara: A male child born after females
  • Nafisah: A precious and delicate gem

Staple Food

Dan Wake - a type of bean dumpling.  The dish made with beans flour, baobab powder (kuka) and potash. Dan Wake can be served with various spices like suya, and is usually garnished with dry pepper, groundnut oil, tomatoes, egg, cucumber, carrots and cabbages.

Culture and Traditions

Goje - The Goje is a one-stringed musical instrument made from a wooden gourd bow and covered by reptile skin (snake or lizard). It is played with a bowstring. The Goje can be played as a solo instrument or in an ensemble.

Durbar Festival - The Durbar festival features the largest horse parade in the world. It takes place every year in Kano, Nigeria and marks the Islamic holidays of Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha. The festival is held over 4 days and includes many activities starting with the festival riding (Hawan Sallah), and ending with Hawan Doriya where the ruler (Emir) rides on horseback to greet his subjects.

Notable figures:

Queen Amina - ruler. Queen Amina of Zazzau, also known as Amina Sarauniya Zazzau, was a legendary Hausa warrior queen who ruled in the 16th century. She is best known for her military prowess and strategic leadership in expanding the territory of the Hausa city-state of Zazzau (present-day Zaria, Nigeria). Amina is celebrated for her exceptional military achievements, often leading her troops into battle personally, and is revered as an icon of female empowerment in African history

Ali Nuhu - actor. He has acted in over 500 Nollywood and Kanywood films and is considered one of the most influential Hausa actors of all time. Nuhu has won numerous awards for best actor including the Arewa Films Award, Kannywood Awards, and Best of Nollywood Awards. In 2024, he was appointed as managing director of the Nigerian Film Corporation by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

Aliko Dangote-  businessman. He is the founder and CEO of the Dangote Group an international industrial conglomerate. The company owns and operates over 18 subsidiaries in 10 African countries and specilzes in cement, sugar, rice, and other consumer goods. The Dangote Group is the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa. With an estimated net worth of over #16 billion, Dangote has been listed on Bloomberg Billionaires Index as the richest person in Africa. He is also listed as the world's richest black person.