Hausa writers are organising Ranar Marubutan Hausa ta Duniya (the International Hausa Writers’ Day) with the aim of boosting their literary works across the globe. To many people, there is no better time for the programme than now, because of the way the Hausa literature is recognised and appreciated globally. Apart from having a large readership, it is now a focus of research in universities and other tertiary institutions of learning even outside the African continent. In addition, it is a source of revenue for local radio stations that choose to read Hausa novels, which is now enjoying patronage. This development has facilitated the promotion and preservation of Hausa cultural heritage and traditions.
Much is expected from the proposed event which is to hold in the month of October, 2015. The Hausa writers are expect to see remarkable development after the event. By bringing together various stakeholders in writing and literature, I am we shall witness tremendous improvements and progress. Arising therefrom, we may aspire to produce the likes of Abubakar Imam, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Bello Kagara, M. Mohammadu Gwarzo, M. Tafida, Aminu Kano, Sa’adu Zungur, Akilu Aliyu, Aliyu Na-Mangi, Mu’azu Hadeja, and Hafsat Abdulwaheed.
During the inaugural meeting of the organising committee, its Chairman Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino, stated that the programme would serve as a platform on which renowned and emerging writers would meet to share ideas and skills that would boost their creativity. According to him, Hausa writers from different parts of the world are expected to participate, especially the Hausa speaking nations, (Benin Republic, Cameroon, Central Africa, Chad, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Niger Republic, Nigeria, Sudan) and Hausa people in the diaspora. Kano state was unanimously chosen to be the host state for the event because of its key relevance in Hausa literature.
The programme has the theme as: “Hausa Literature in the 21st Century.” Those that chose the theme did a very good job by choosing a theme that will assess the role of writers in the 21st Century. It is a well-known fact that many people in the Hausa speaking nations learnt how to read and write simply because of the availability of Hausa literary works. Similarly, the issue of poor reading culture has always been the worry of contemporary writers and school teachers. The culture is one of the factors that has led to a decline in academic performance of students in both O-level and higher institutions.
The theme meant a lot to the literary industry, books sellers and schools. The writers will hope to experience an increase on books production that will match the large population of the Hausa speaking nations. And when there is an increase on production of good and marketable books, it is to the advantage of publishers, printers and bookshops.
At this event, I am expecting an avenue that will critically assess Hausa writers and their literary works in relation to the development of Hausa language. Hausa literary works are in circulation in the whole West African region because of its popularity and ease of comprehension. I also expect to see how we are going to brainstorm and decide on the best way to tackle poor reading culture and falling standard of education in this region. The Association of Nigerian Authors in collaboration with Mr. Yusuf Ali (SAN) annually organises schools’ literary awareness campaign, a programme initiated to train students on literary skills and also boost reading culture. These are the kind of Programmes that can help in reviving and addressing poor reading culture.
The significance of the International Hausa Writers’ Day to the contemporary writers is, apart from being a platform on which renowned and emerging writers would share ideas and skills; it also allows literary exhibitions, workshop and writing competition for the upcoming writers and students; and special reading sessions among others. The program has the following cardinal objectives.
- To encourage students and general public to become avid readers;
- To build the capacity of emerging writers in order to acquire better skills in writing.
- To create a common standard.
- To promote publications that would impact on the readers.
- To serve as a platform for writers to exhibit their work.
- To promote reading culture among youth.
- To create an avenue for sponsors to display their goods and services.
Achieving the above objectives is very crucial to both writers and their stakeholders. I am sure even the Federal and state governments of Nigeria would be proud to have these objectives accomplished. By promoting reading culture among youth, who are largely students, is like reviving an important aspect of our educational system.
Exhibition of books is also important to both writers and other stakeholders. It will definitely bring out the kind of artefact the Hausa literary industry is endowed with, which is another source of revenue, if properly harnessed.
Organising a workshop to empower writers with new methods of writing will improve their skills and at the same time create a common standard, for which many stakeholders are calling. Building capacity of members is the right component to enhancing the productivity of every organisation. So, workshop is of paramount importance needed by contemporary writers.
Literature plays a significant role in the preservation of culture and traditions of a particular society. It serves as a medium through which a society conveys its legacy to the next generation. It is high time we took a lead role in reviving and rejuvenating literary industry, which is related to educational system.
Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah
Twitter @ Zaharaddeenik