Who is to Blame for the Desecration of Kano's Heritage

By anas | 11 May 2019 | 71852 Comments

Back in 2010, I visited India, purely for tourism purposes, perhaps due to the marketing content I consumed ever since I was old enough to watch TV through Bollywood films. After arriving in Delhi, I immediately drove to Agra to see one of the 7 wonders of the world, which was truly magnificent. However, something happened that still stuck with me for almost a decade, it did not occur in Agra where Taj Mahal is, but rather in Delhi, when I went to check out Qutub Minar, a minaret built in 1192 when Muslims were ruling the country. While admiring the Quranic inscriptions on the minaret in a predominantly Hindu nation and the fact that it is still preserved, a little Indian girl about 8 years old approached me along with her father, who appeared to be encouraging her to talk to me. She was holding a notebook and a pencil and was a bit shy. I smiled at her, and she immediately became confident to come and talk to me. She asked me my name, and where I came from, I told her I am from Kano in Nigeria. She said she was doing a project from her school, and they were asked to go to tourist sites in Delhi and interview tourists to find out what made them visit India, and what they find unique about the places they were visiting. We had a chat and then she asked me this question “what monument do you have at home that you feel I should visit when I grow up?”. I was quite, because I don’t really have an answer then, and I said “none”. She said thank you and left. The fact that I didn’t know exciting things about my home Kano to share with this little girl hit me hard.

So, when I came back. I started becoming involved in trying to understand the culture and heritage of my home Kano. Now fast forward to 2018, I went to Brisbane Australia for an MIT Bootcamp. I met amazing people, from over 140 countries, and through networking activities almost everyone I met asked me the same questions: where are you from, what’s interesting about Kano? This time, however, I had a lot to say, I talked about the Great Wall of Kano (Badala), a 24 km fortification about a 1000 years old for which Frederick Lugard, the British General-Governor of Nigeria once remarked that he had “never seen anything like it in Africa”. I showed them pictures of the Great Durbar of Kano, which is the biggest and most colourful annual procession of horses in the world. I also talked about other exciting things like the Dala hill, the markets and occasionally threw in Baturiya of Hadejia, a beautiful place where birds travel to from Europe, annually to escape harsh weather. This time the response was quite surprising as everyone I talked to wanted to visit Kano, except for security reasons only.

So after I came back, we founded Makuba Center for Arts and Culture, where we wanted to revive the heritage of the people of Kano and tell the world why Kano is a great place to visit. We tried to use the defunct building of the British Council to commence activities, and I personally met the Emir asking for a lease of the place which was going into ruins to convert into a place for promotion of the traditional arts and culture, he turned me down. We then approached the government for a lease of the Be Minister House on Sokoto Road, which was built in 1907 and now in ruins to convert into a centre for the promotion of traditional arts and culture. In a typical civil servant style, they saw us as a threat to the money they were making leasing the place for wedding events and turned us down. While we were still working on setting up a centre irrespective of lack of interest from our leaders, the announcement to split Kano into 5 emirates popped up on my Facebook feed on Monday the 6th. Something that seemed like a joke at first became a reality when the bill got passed into law on Wednesday the 8th. Just like that our dreams seem shattered by our leaders that are more interested in the struggles for power and control of resources, than the preservation of our history, heritage, culture, and traditions. Suddenly Kano is no longer Kano but now Kano, Bichi, Karaye, Gaya, and Rano.

While the statement about our leaders only interested in power sounds a bit like a cliché for politicians anywhere around the world, what concerns me is how we as individual citizens, don’t value our culture, history, and heritage. We have now reached a stage where our leaders that are supposed to guard our heritage with all they’ve got are the ones now desecrating it, simply because they can get away with it.

The division of the Kano Emirate is perhaps the highest level of desecration of the heritage of the people of Kano. The worst that has ever happened since the return of democracy in 1999. Today, right in front of our very eyes, a politician has reduced Kano, which was an empire over 1000 years old to less than almost all its contemporaries. All foolishly in the name of political vendetta without any interest in the far-reaching consequences. As for the consequences, now, next time they call for representation from the Kano traditional institution, there will be 5 voices instead of 1. Now, 5 different Emirs would conduct appointments of ward heads, Imams and the likes, creating chaos. Now, the Kano Durbar will perhaps not be visited from all over the world, as it will have just a handful of district heads and a short, less colourful procession. History has consistently shown us that division or secession hardly work. Imagine if Saudi Arabia were to go back to their smaller territories, or UAE into smaller emirates, or the United Kingdom into smaller nations, or even Nigeria into smaller confederates. Also, according to the law of the jungle, the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack”.

Sadly, however, the response to the whole crisis that I have monitored on social media is mostly based on sentiments. Those against the move felt the Emir was wronged and hence they seek to support him, not the institution. They forget the fact that he had a role in bringing down the institution to this level by continually engaging in politics, he went against several established norms of the emirate such as for example having his daughter represent him at an event, which was completely unprecedented. Someone told me that he was also involved in the allocation of land in the Eid ground for the construction of shops (not verified), not to talk of several construction adjustments he made to the Palace (Fada) which were never attempted by his predecessors. It is one thing to be a modern Emir and bring useful innovations to a traditional system, but should that be at the expense of the destruction of a well-established tradition and culture over 1000 years old. The British who occupy some of the peaks of civilization today still practice basic traditions such as for example, naming a baby. As far as I am concerned and also as a descendant of the Dabo dynasty, the Emir paved the way for the Governor even to have the guts to undertake this unfortunate action. On the other hand, you have people that are happy with the decision and believe that these places were emirates before, and therefore should have Emirs. For them, I have nothing to say, but they should learn to see beyond their noses.

As for the Governor, the only thing that comes to mind is the story of Aerys II Targaryen in the fictional story of Game of Thrones, who after discovering his unpopularity and impending fall from the throne decided to have the entire city burnt along with all its inhabitants. So simply because the people of Kano showed they no longer want you as their Governor, you now seek to destroy it. Well, that really depends on the legacy you wish to leave behind for your descendants that will bear your name.

Whatever I say here represents my personal opinion and not the opinion of the organizations and institutions I represent or work with.

Anas Yazid
PhD Student
Imperial College London


First of all I want to say excellent blog! I had a <br> <br> quick question which I'd like to ask if you do not mind.<br> <br> I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head <br> <br> prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out.<br> <br> I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted simply just trying <br> <br> to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thanks!<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Here is my web blog ... <a href="http://Classes.nellruby.agnesscott.org/uncategorized/ruby-slots-casino-review-software-and-games-variety-promotions-and-bonuses-4/">สล็อตออนไลน์</a>

I every time emailed this weblog post page to all my associates, for the reason that if like to read it after that my links will too.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> my web-site https://www.5g777.co/slot - http://Mayiling.cn/home.php?mod=space&uid=98622&do=profile&from=space

Hello colleagues, how is the whole thing, and what you want to say regarding this <br> <br> piece of writing, in my view its actually remarkable in support of me.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Review my website สล็อต - https://Fbbcrew.com/forum/profile/marylincumpston/

Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I'd figured I'd ask.<br> <br> Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a <br> <br> blog post or vice-versa? My blog goes over a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly <br> <br> benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel <br> <br> free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing <br> <br> from you! Awesome blog by the way!<br> <br> <br> <br> My web blog: ____________ - http://Laliguedestuners.fr/entry.php?22253-Rainbow-Riches-Slot-Machine-Review

Hi there Dear, are you in fact visiting this web site <br> <br> daily, if so then you will without doubt obtain pleasant <br> <br> know-how.<br> <br> <br> <br> Feel free to surf to my blog: <a href="http://Forum.Sebastianseltmann.de/index.php?action=profile;u=10049">วิเคราะห์บอลวันนี้</a>

Thanks for every other magnificent post. The place else could anybody get that type of information in such a perfect method <br> <br> of writing? I've a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the search for such information.<br> <br> <br> <br> Feel free to visit my web-site :: วิเคราะห์บอลวันนี้ - <br> <br> http://charleskingsley200.org/index.php/community/profile/jeffereykerr873/

Hi to every body, it's my first go to see of this web site;<br> <br> this website consists of remarkable and truly fine data <br> <br> for visitors.<br> <br> <br> <br> Look into my site slot - https://ko-burda.com/index.php?action=profile;u=184324

Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I'd figured I'd ask.<br> <br> Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?<br> <br> My blog goes over a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.<br> <br> If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an email.<br> <br> I look forward to hearing from you! Awesome blog by the way!<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Also visit my blog :: ____________ - http://Laliguedestuners.fr/entry.php?22253-Rainbow-Riches-Slot-Machine-Review

I like what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work and reporting!<br> <br> Keep up the terrific works guys I've incorporated you guys to <br> <br> blogroll.<br> <br> <br> <br> My website; https://www.5g777.co/slot - http://www.xhprof.org/home.php?mod=space&uid=56913&do=profile&from=space

I'm really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog.<br> <br> <br> <br> Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up <br> <br> the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a <br> <br> great blog like this one these days.<br> <br> <br> <br> Feel free to visit my website - <a href="https://Psicura.it/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=17905">วิเคราะห์บอลวันนี้</a>

Add new comment