Ibrahim Sheme wrote of this book, It Can Now Be Told:
There was a woman in northern Nigeria whose name you probably never came across or heard of but whose achievements and contribution to nation-building qualify her for a golden seat in the Nigerian and African women hall of fame. Sadly, her name had hitherto been thrown out and kept in the smelly dustbin of history - hidden, neglected, forgotten.
Alhajiya Maimunatu Abdullahi, a.k.a. Dadasare (or Dada Sare, but I prefer the single word), was a Fulani woman from present-day Adamawa State who lived between 1918 and 1984. She was the first woman in the region to become a journalist, a trained nurse, an author, an educationist, a recorded musical artiste, the founder and president of a women's association, and the recipient of the prestigious Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) which the Gowon administration gave her in 1970 in recognition of her rare and brilliant accomplishments and contribution to the development of the country.
Dadasare was also best known as Mrs. East due to the fascinating relationship she had with Dr. Rupert M. East, the father of contemporary Hausa literature who also founded the region's best-known newspapers, the Nigerian Citizen and the Gaskiya Ta Fi Kwabo where Dadasare worked as a reporter/columnist in the early 1940s.
In 1975 she completed her autobiography in which she recounts the story of her life, from her origin and birth, to a horrible kidnap incident at the age of 11, following which she was raped repeatedly by a white British colonial officer who impregnated her, to her career in the adult education sector of the colonial and postcolonial governments, etc. An interesting aspect is her struggle with spirituality as she searches for the truth in Christianity and Islam.
The title, "It Can Now Be Told", came out of the consideration that her story could be released since Dr. East had died; his demise and the book's completion occurred within the same year - one after the other, of course.
Dadasare had wanted this appropriately titled book to be published 35 years ago, and actually made the effort, but her dream was fulfilled posthumously only a few weeks ago.
The book's blurb says:
"In the late 1920s, an 11-year-old Fulani girl was kidnapped from a village in the north-eastern part of Nigeria and handed over to a British colonial officer, who kept her as a sex slave. His abandonment of her and return to his country turned her into the willing consort of yet another white man, the famous Dr. Rupert M. East, who is regarded as the father of contemporary Hausa literature. Their unusual union was a turning point in her life. This book recounts, in her own words, the incredible story of Maimunatu Dadasare Abdullahi. In it, she narrates those dark days, especially the hurdles she scaled as a pioneer participant in some of the events that shaped the emerging Northern Nigeria – colonial rule, nursing, adult education, journalism and women’s empowerment. The introduction and afterword by Dr. Aliyah Adamu Ahmad, a leading literary historian, are an invaluable addition to the tragic story, especially the agony that capped Dadasare’s sterling accomplishments."
This is a book everyone concerned about the origin of Nigeria and why we are where we are today, as well as humanity in general, would like to read.More info →
Otseme Eneabo, best known as Omega, was a bold, intelligent and cunning old man whose comic deeds greatly affected and still affects his Idoma society situated in Benue State, Nigeria.
In the ancient city-state of Agila, Omega is a historical figure who has across time transformed into a mythical one.
Deptly using the mechanics of fiction writing, M.O. Obande, an engineer, here captures the exploits of the man that affected his society with the deep=rooted meanings of his life.
"Omega is a hilarity all through one tragedy after another, a short insight into the people's culture. Surely, Obande has contributed immensely to knowledge and his book deserves wide circulation."
- Hon. Justice A.P. Anyebe
"Moses Obande has unexpectedly written a great anthropological work."
- Otokpa Enai Unoogwu, Apa-Agila
Moses O. Obande, a building engineer, was born in 1944. He attended the Preston Polytechnic, England, for his professional studies. A seasoned educationist and administrator, he taught for years at the Kaduna Polytechnic, retiring in 1991 as Head, Department of Building and Dean, College of Environmental Design. He has authored a number of engineering textbooks, which were published in the United Kingdom.
In a style uniquely his own, Labo Yari has compiled his best stories into this collection that depicts the life-styles of rural northern Nigeria. In A Day Without Cockcrow & Other Stories, the master story-teller recaptures the powerful ethos that have distinguished his Hausa people across time, reflecting the moods and actions of tyrannical rulers, bewildered commoners and a rustic society coming to grips with new times just as it makes a bid to free itself from the clutches of a backward yet value-studded past.
"Just as in A House in the Dark, his other collection of stories, Labo Yari's A Day Without Cockcrow is an arching statement of a man determined to retain his post as one of the leading voices on the African literary scene."
- New Nigerian Weekly
Born in Katsina in 1942, Labo Yari was educated at the London School of Journalism and the University of Oslo, Norway. He worked in the former Katsina Native Authority, the Federal Ministry of Information, Lagos, and then became the Press Attache in the Nigerian Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. Subsequently, he held executive positions in publishing, including chairman/chief executive officer of the Northern Nigerian Publishing Company (NNPC), Zaria. In 1989 he became the Government Printer, Katsina, before moving to the Katsina State Ministry of Information and Culture as Director, from where he retired. For over three decades, Yari has been one of the four National Trustees of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).
In this first collection, Halima Sekula has declared a confident entry to the broad terrace of new Nigerian poetry. The poet's sensitivity to the human condition is only equalled by her deep concern for the familiar tribulations of the African woman. She explores such issues as surrogate marriage, polygamy, child labour, poverty, hypocrisy, betrayal, divorce, and wife inheritance with such assurance of metaphors and images; by giving voice to these precarious narratives of lives in society, the poet joins a handful of new writers who have dared to speak on behalf of others.
Tongues of Flame reads in part like Okot p'Bitek's Song of Lawino without its fatal lamentation. Mature, frontal and clearheaded, Sekula's brilliant imagination shines through.
By Remi Raji
Halimat Sekula currently lectures at the Department of English, Nasarawa State University, Keffi. Her poems and short stories have been published in various national and international journals, anthologies and newspapers like Nigerian Newsday, Leadership, Poetry from A.B.U., and Penwomanship.More info →
Are all men the same - trustworthy at first but deceitful, conceited and wicked later? Are they worth any woman's sacrifice? These questions occupied the mind of Amina Bashir, a beautiful career woman in the thick of what her friends called 'midlife crisis'.
Finding no acceptable answers, Amina decided to face life alone, away from a husband to whom she had given total devotion and faith even on the point of death. But just when it appeared as if she was succeeding, she was challenged by social pressures which she had never reckoned with. It was up to her to take the final decision which would make or mar not only her future but also the happiness and cohesion of her family.
The Twist portrays the dilemma of many a woman in Africa, who must contend with the demands of building a career while grappling with the tasks of maintaining a happy family.
At the time of the publication of this novel, Nana Aishatu Ahmad was the Dean of Languages at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) College of Education, Zuba, Abuja. She has authored several other books, including Vision of the Jewel and Voice from the Kitchen, both of which are collections of poems published by Informart.
Born in Gombe, northern Nigeria, she graduated from University of Maiduguri with a degree in Enlish Literature and obtained a M.Ed. (English) from University of Jos. She has taught at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, and Federal College of Education, Gombe.
Nana Aishatu Ahmad has also served twice as the Commissioner for Education in Gombe State and made a brief foray into politics.
More info →
With this book, Nana Aishatu Ahmad makes her debut as one of the first female poets from northern Nigeria to be published in the English language. This collection of poems encapsulates the dawn of a new era for her people in Gombe State, a moment of sudden fulfillment pregnant with promises of a greater future. Her dreams, hopes and fears are conceptualised in straight-shooting, enjoyable style devoid of obtuse abstractions.
"...'Vision' marks her out as a poet of immense potential."
- New Nigerian
Nana Aishatu Ahmad is the author of several books, including Voice from the Kitchen, a collection of poems, as well as The Twist, her first published novel. Born in Gombe, she graduated from University of Maiduguri with a degree in English Literature and obtained a M.Ed. (English) from University of Jos. She has taught at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, and Federal College of Education, Gombe. She was the Dean of Faculty of Languages at FCT College of Education, Zuba, Abuja, prior to her appointment as the Honourable Commissioner of Education in Gombe State. Vision of the Jewel is her first book published.More info →