Tuesday, August 4, 2015

University of Cologne – Department of African Studies

Seminar: Hausa Literature – “Magana Jari Ce“ (WS 10/11)
Lecturer: Hannelore Vögele
Speaker: Rebecca Roemer
Year: 2011
“The Soul of My Heart” by Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino
Classical Hausa-Literature
Central Topics:
• Reputation
• Relationships
◦ Friendship
◦ Family
• Love
• Marriage (in those days, before 1990 and nowadays, after 1990)
Summaya who comes from a good family falls in love with Muhammed, who is as much good educated as she is, but from a less rich family. She takes the initiative and writes him a loveletter. At first he rejects her, because he sees no chance for love between two people coming from a different status. She asks for a personal appointment to get the chance to convice him to become a couple.
And she succeeds.
At a wedding Sumayya gets to know the exceedingly rich young Abdulkadir. He as well had an excellent education, but he dropped to get involved into his father's business. She chats with him, but lets him know that she is already espoused to somebody else.
After romancing her unsuccessfully, Abdulkadir contacts Sumayya's Grandmother. Because the grandmother regards Abdulkadir as the perfect husband for her niece, she involves a witchdoctor.
However Muhammed is thinking of finishing the relationship.
Meanwhile Sumayya's Grandmother and Abdulkadir are fixing an appointment for the wedding, Sumayya and Muhammed are suffering more and more because of this situation.
Then Muhammed decides to go to Kaduna. Hereon Sumayya is on the verge of commiting suicide.
In Kaduna Muhammad gets to know Najahatu. At the same time Sumayya is writing her suicide note to her beloved one. He is also on her mind while she jumps into the river to kill herself.
But Sumayya is rescued by some passengers and brought into hospital immediately.
Because she lost a lot of blood both Muhammed and Abdulkadir donate blood to her.
By now Muhammed's mother supports and affirms their love. Even Sumayya's parents believe in the love of the couple and consult with friends. Only Sumayya's grandmother is not assuring herself and involves a witchdoctor again. At the hospital, Sumayya tells everything to her nurse Saratu, who falls in love with him expeditiously.
Shortly after Sumayya are officially engaged, Najahatu from Kaduna visits him surprisingly. It finally comes to a confrontation: While Najahatu tries to seduce him, Sumayya comes home and moreover Saratu, the nurse appears.
But the whole situation is claryfied and Sumayya forgives Muhammed. So they marry. Their wedding is considered as a historical moment. Allah and Islam play a very important role.
The witchdoctor is a permanet guest of the grandmother. Sumayya records the grandmothers' evilness secretly and plays it to her father. Thereupon the grandmother leaves the family and everybody feels relieved.
The story has a tragic end for Abdulkadir. On his way back with his father from a businesstrip, his father is shot down. Abdulkadir himself is hit so strong that his arm is rotten. At the same time he is robbed so that he is bankrupt.
The story ends in a monologue which includes so to say a morale.
• Morale of the story:
“Slow and steady they say, wins the race. […] One should not harbour illwill against
anybody. It might easily rebound back”.
• An interesting point is the author's choice of names for the characters:
◦ Muhammad, Mohammed - Praised, praiseworthy; the name of the Prophet
◦ Sumaiyah, Sumayyah - Name of a lady companion of the Prophet; the first martyr in Islam
◦ Abdul, Abdel, 'Abd al - Servant (of Allah)
◦ Kadir - Powerful
◦ Najah, Najaah - Success
◦ Sarah - Name of the wife of the Prophet Ibrahim
The Author
• Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino *1964 in Kano
• Attended Bayero University Kano
• His work:
14 books (11 novels in Hausa, 1 biography and 2 have been translated into English)
In Da So Da Kauna 1 & 2 = The Soul of My Heart
Masoyan Zamani 1 & 2 = Nemesis
Hattara Dai Masoya 1 & 2
Wani Hanin Ga Allah… 1 & 2
Duniya Sai Sannu!
Zalimu (hausa theatre)
Sarkin Ban Kano Alhaji Dr. Muktar Adnan (biography)
• One of the founders and vice president of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA)
Kano State Branch
• Chief of Gidan Dabino International Migration Limited
• Won Noma Award for Publishing in African (UK)
• Writes for daily newspapers and magazines and all over in Nigeria he gave seminars
and workshops
• He writes when he's in the mood for it. There are no specific, fixed times for writing.
Writing can happen any where, any time.
• He was the main actor of his in 1996 pictureized book „In Da So Da Kauna“ (The Soul of My Heart). Moreover, since 1996 he has been the Producer/Director of several Hausa Movies
• Hobbies: Travelling, research, writing
• Presently, he's working on a new book
◦ Content: „Rabuwa (Separation) [his] love true life story. It's about his travelling to
Europe – Germany, Italy, France and GB
◦ Title: “Gani Da Ido… (Seeing is Believing)“
• Ado Ahmad about African Literature:
“To me, African literature is a reliable tool for educating the world about the beauty of African culture, history and tradition as well as its people. Equally important to add is the fact that no society would developed without a striving literature, hence I see African literature as a vehicle for African future transformation and prosperity”.
• Ado Ahmad about the Nigerian Press:
“On Nigerian press, I always have mixed feelings about the role they have been playing. True, the Nigerian press could be said to be one of the most vibrant Press in the world especially going by the historical role they played in the fighting colonialism, ending military dictatorship and institutionalization of democracy in my country, etc. But sadly, in spite the aforesaid important role the Nigerian press, yet I am fully convinced that any critical mind cannot completely exonerate our press from sharing the blame of Nigeria’s misfortune, especially in terms of watering the seed of polarity in Nigeria. It is disturbing to note that Nigerian press do polirazed Nigerians along ethnic, religious and sectional lines”.
• Ado Ahmad about his first book:
“My first novel is called In Da So Da Kauna (The Soul of my Heart). It is not for me to say whether the subject of my book (The Soul of my Heart) has radically changed its readers’ behaviors, but what I cannot deny is the fact that the book was well received among the reading public as well as influenced some of the readers to pick their pens too. And with all humility, I could say in terms of promoting reading culture among the Hausas my books and that of other Hausa writers have succeeded in keeping the light of reading culture alive”.
• http://gidandabino.blogspot.com/ (08.01.11-17:55, 16.01.11-19:32, 30.01.11-12:00)
• www.facebook.com
• Interview January 2011
• „The Soul of My Heart“, Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino, Gidan Dabino Publishers, 1991
• Informations about the names:
Muhammad, Mohammed (http://www.sudairy.com/arabic/masc.html#M(30.01.11 –
Sumaiyah, Sumayyah (http://www.sudairy.com/arabic/fem.html#S (30.01.11 – 15:18))
Abdul, Abdel, 'Abd al (http://www.sudairy.com/arabic/masc.html (30.01.11 – 15:28))
Kadir (http://www.mybaby.net.au/index1.php (30.01.11 – 15:33))
Najah, Najaah (http://www.sudairy.com/arabic/fem.html#N (31.01.11 – 22:55))

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