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8 Things You Suppose To Know About Mamman Shata



Late Mamman Shata Katsina


Mamman Shata, who was born in 1923 in Musawa local government area of Katsina State, died on 18 June 1999. Shata, a famous Hausa poet, has the largest number of recorded songs. His vocals were often accompanied by talking drums, known as kalangu. He performed for the Hausa people of Nigeria and some parts of Africa and even non-Hausas for more than half a century.

Mamman Shata’s mother, Lariya, was of the Fulani ethnic stock known as Fulata-Borno, the Fulani people who migrated from the Borno Empire after the Fulani Jihad of 1804 and settled in parts of Hausa land. She met Shata’s father, Ibrahim Yaro, when she went there to visit a relative. Subsequently, they got married with three children: Yaro, Mamman Shata and his sister Yalwa.

Below are some of the facts you may not have known about Shata:

1- Shata acquired his nickname ‘Shata’ from a man called Baba Salamu, a relative of his.

Shata as a young man was engaged in selling kola nuts and after the sale he would share the profit to people he met on his way home or in the market and came back empty handed. When asked what he did with the money he made, he would answer, “Na yi shata da su,” i.e. he had given it away. As a result, Baba Salamu would be calling him ‘Mai-Shata’, meaning one who fritters away his takings.

2- Shata had been to Hajj once in his life time

Although visited many countries of the world like the United Kingdom, France and the United States of America, Shata had been to Hajj once in his life time. It was reported that one Haru Dan-Kasim, a Kano-based popular merchant sponsored Mr Shata to perform his Hajj in 1954 (?)

3- Shata was a politician, held different political positions

Shata participated actively in partisan politics throughout his life. His politics was largely left-wing even though his benefactors (the royal and the business classes) were mostly on the right.

In the 1970s, he won an election, becoming a councillor under Kankia Local Government Area of the then Kaduna State. In the Second Republic (in the ’80s) he was first in the centre-of-right GNPP and then moved to the conservative ruling party, the NPN.

In the Third Republic he was elected as the chairman of SDP in Funtua Local Government Area, a position from which he was impeached due to his left-wing character and brush with the party’s main benefactor in Katsina State, retired Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua

4- Shata’s singing prowess started manifesting from childhood

Shata began singing with other youth for fun at the village square (“dandali”) after the evening meal. His prowess grew until he outshone the other youngsters. But he was doing that not for any monetary gain. It was merely a vocation for the youngsters.

5- Shata’s father did not want his son to become a musician.

Ibrahim Yaro disliked the idea of his son becoming a musician due to widely held belief that music or praise-singing was a form of ‘roko’ or begging. His father, being a Fulani man, expected the young Shata to become a farmer or a trader, either of which was a more dignified occupation. Shata’s insistence on becoming a musician was therefore seen as a rebellion against the norm.

6- Shata spent 30 years in stardom, became the one of the longest bestselling Hausa artistes in the world

In 1952 his stardom began to manifest in Kano after he performed at a wedding part known as “Bikin ‘Yan Sarki” (Wedding of the Princes) where some 12 notable Kano princes married. He was a highly respected folklorist. He spent about 50 to 60 years in the music industry. Shata could not recall or remember how many songs he produced. Many of his songs, especially those he produced in his teens, were not recorded.

7- Shata was a moralist

Shata was famed to have sung for every topic under the Hausa land’s sun: agriculture, culture, religion, economy, politics, military, morality and etiquettes, animals, trade, etc.

8- Shata received many national and international awards, including a PhD.

Shata received many awards, including those from the Federal Government (which gave him the Member of the Order of the Niger, MON), the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), the Kano State Government, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, University of California, Los Angeles, and an honorary doctorate degree by Ahmadu Bello University in recognition of his contribution to both national development and letter.

Musa Ibrahim Ahmad


Telling Lies and its Upshots-Dembo



Abdurraheem Saad Dembo


By AbdurRaheem Sa’ad Dembo

Telling lies is becoming a normal way of life among young people, especially, because they tell lies with ease and confidence; without minding the consequences. Lie, according to Oxford Advanced English Dictionary, means “a statement made by somebody knowing that it is not true”. This encompasses deception, falsehood, cock and bull story, etc. This piece is not out to arrogate righteousness to the author; rather, essentially, it is aimed at drawing the attention of the public to how telling lies or lying around is reducing humanity to nothingness.

People tell lies for variety of reasons: to gain favour, to woo a woman, to achieve certain aim, to enable them outsmart others, to cover the truth, to destroy others while to some people, it is for fun. What precipitates lie could be inferiority complex, fear, ego, insincerity, wickedness, bad upbringing, bad peer group and ignorance. If a liar can decipher the extent of damage lying would be doing to his or her life, he or she wouldn’t have ventured into it.

Many people, old and young, have engaged in lying to woo a woman up to the point of marriage; only for the woman to get to his house after wedding to discover that the man has deceived her in no small measure. The truth is, some men would study a woman very well, once they discover that she is the type that likes hyping or deception unnecessarily, they will begin lying to her. I have heard many men saying women are sometimes prompting men to tell lies because of unnecessary demands. This is true because I have encountered a woman who told me before I got married that women like to be told lies sometimes but not all the time. The lady asserted that it would be hard for me to get a woman because I was too straight forward. My response to her was that I would never live like others and that my upbringing was not predicated upon, and surrounded with, lying.

On a lighter note, my niece, Jummy, sometimes ago shared with me a story of a young man who came to woo her friend with gigantic lie during their days in the college of education. I know that her friend very well because they were close friends. The young man claimed falsely that he was an undergraduate student of medicine at a university. But not quite long that luck ran out of the young man and his lie was punctured seriously. On that fateful day, Jummy and her friend were at the academic office and a young man was being addressed that he could not be given a particular course except music. By the time they looked towards the direction of the school official making the statement they realized that it was Mr Medicine. Subsequent to that encounter the young man began to avoid my niece and her friends. But one day there was no way he could manouver his way, so they unavoidably met and the young man felt extremely dejected. The implication of this is that lying around to people would add no value to one’s life but destruction.

Lying around diminish one’s integrity and dignity as no one would believe him or her on a day he or she will be telling the truth. Like the Yoruba saying “Iro re koje kia mon ooto re” meaning his notoriety for lying already puts in jeopardy his credibility when he makes truthful statements. Indeed, it amounts to a crime against humanity to engage in such a destructive enterprise-the business of lying. Within the family circle, for instance, it is dehumanizing to be a liar because it has the propensity to getting one tagged as a black sheep of the family. When one is in tandem with lying he or she would lose respect.

In the corporate world dishing out lies is usually discouraged because the survival of the business cannot be sustained with lies but effectiveness, productivity and credibility. In Public Relations lying is discouraged because it will backfire in no distance time, thereby crippling the image of the organization. In a community where a leader tells lies effortlessly such a leader would become an object of mockery, it is just a matter of time.

Furthermore, in a family setting where the Head of the family is an expert in telling lies, he would also lose respect. In fact, they will be disparaging him even behind. So lying around has consequences that may hinder one from growing in entirety because it has an expiration like a Hausa saying “Karya fure take Bata ‘ya’ya” meaning lie only flowers but can’t bear fruits. By extension, lying around cannot be productive but destructive.

As parents we must avoid telling lies, because children imitate whatever they see their parents doing. If you are lying always as parents, it is almost automatic that you would raise good liars.

Although there are some acclaimed professions that are synonymous with telling lies, according to some scholars, but that is not the area of interest in this discourse. Hence, by way of conclusion, perfection belongs to the Almighty but as humans we must eschew regular telling of lies, because whatever we are doing our Creator is All-Seeing; besides, our children are also watching us.

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Juicy Ministries and the Geo-Political Zones of their Respective Senior Ministers.



Abubakar Dauda

By Abubakar Sadiq Dauda

The region of the bosses of the Super Ministries i.e. Ministries that have either a large budget size for capital expenditure or juicy parastatals under its supervision are as thus:

Works – South-East
Transportation – North-East
Power – South-West
Petroleum – South-South
Gas Resources – South-South
Finance – South-West
Communications – South-West
F.C.T. – South-South
Interior – South-West
Marine – South-West
Aviation – South-South
Defence – North-West
Police Affairs – North-East
Education – North-East
Health – North-East
Agriculture – North-East
Solid Minerals – South-West
Humanitarian – South-South

Take it or leave it, the North-west and the North-central zones did not get their fair portions, due to the fact that, this administration secured more votes in the Northwest and North-central zones combined, if compared to the total score secured in the remaining four Geo-political zones combined.

Read also: Ministerial Nominee’s: Between Fair Proportions and Political Relevance.

However, delivering his remark after the swearing-in, President Tinubu reminded the Ministers that they are ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not Ministers of a particular region or state.

I want to believe and pray that the Ministers will be fair to all states and regions in terms of project delivery and job allocations.

Sadiq is a political analyst and observer, writes from Kano and can be reached via, sadiqdauda55@gmail.com

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Empowering Girls in STEM: A Journey through the TechGirls Program”



Ruqayya Yushau Yusuf at the White House

Ruqayya Yushau Yusuf

In a world where science and technology offer endless opportunities, the TechGirls program becomes a source of empowerment for young girls and women worldwide. This story shares the meaningful journey from applying to the program to its conclusion.

The journey begins unexpectedly, with a WhatsApp message from my brother, Mujahid, about the TechGirls Program to my sister. It was just two days before the application deadline. We sat down and looked at the criteria, and deep inside me, I believed I was qualified. Fueled by a strong passion for technology and a desire to challenge gender norms, we wholeheartedly embraced the challenge and applied to represent Northern Nigerian Muslim girls in STEM fields.

Sheila Ogle Host mom at Colorado

Sheila Ogle Host mom at Colorado

Crafting the application quickly yet carefully becomes a devoted task. We sat down and began writing the application. I drafted my thoughts, gave it to my brothers and sisters to proofread and offer suggestions, edited and re-edited, and I was able to beat the deadline. Then, boom, an email came from the TechGirls committee that I was shortlisted for an interview. A follow-up call to my brother by Mrs. Carolyn Seaman followed. She was so happy and told my brother I should prepare well and not feel intimidated. We sat down and began doing mock interviews with my siblings. I was excited yet nervous. Advancing to the interview stage brings a mix of excitement and nerves.

The interview day arrived, and I logged in, waiting for my turn. I waited until it was my time around 12. The preparations I did really assisted, and as the interview progressed, I felt at home. It ended, and the waiting period for successful nominees started. My sisters began to tease me, asking when I was going to the US, and we would laugh over it.

With fellow Tech Girls at Washington Capitol Hill

With fellow Tech Girls at Washington Capitol Hill

On Friday, March 10th, the exciting email arrived, stating that I was selected for the TechGirls program together with 3 other fantastic girls: Ayomide from Kaduna, Amanda from Enugu, and Tofunmi from Lagos. The joy of acceptance was unmatched. We were the Lucky Four Nigerian girls out of 1000 applicants.

Then preparations began, from getting my Passport which nearly delayed our visa process, to going to Abuja for the visa process. The support of Carolyn Seaman, the Local Engagement coordinator, was awesome. She hosted Zoom calls to help us familiarize ourselves with one another. She assisted and made us feel at home at the US Embassy in Abuja. We met physically with Ayomide, and our friendship began.

With fellow Colleagues at Class Virginia Tech,Virginia State United States

With fellow Colleagues at Class Virginia Tech,Virginia State United States

With visas secured, we prepared and began packing our clothes and souvenirs to take along. We traveled to Lagos for our pre-departure orientation session. A day at the consulate provided us with valuable insights about travel logistics, scholarships, and opportunities in the United States. This session expanded our horizons even before departure.

We went exploring the vibrant city of Lagos, which provided a glimpse into Nigeria’s cultural heritage. A visit to the University of Lagos connected participants with dedicated female doctors in STEM, fostering inspiration through shared knowledge.

Amidst preparations, the time came for farewells at the consulate. Emotions ran high as participants embarked on this life-changing journey with the support of their loved ones. The airport beckoned, and the local coordinator, now our flight chaperone, ensured a smooth transition from Nigeria to the United States.

Arriving at Washington’s Dulles Airport, excitement filled the air. With a TechGirls’ residential assistant, participants headed to the Crown Plaza Hotel, our residence upon arrival.

My initial interactions with fellow TechGirls from different countries at the hotel made me feel at home and created instant connections. After settling in and saying goodbye to Carolyn, we started our TechGirls journey.

We began exploring the city, visiting the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and immersing ourselves in the world of aviation and space exploration.

Preparations for our time at Virginia Tech became a priority. An early departure marked the start of the journey to the campus. The four-hour bus ride to Virginia Tech offered breathtaking landscapes.

Living in dorms helped participants make connections and build friendships from the start. The campus dining hall became a hub for meals and social interactions.

Classes began, requiring early mornings. Participants were grouped based on interests, like environmental engineering. Dedicated professors and teaching assistants led engaging sessions and offered support.

Classes evolved into hands-on projects, exploring real-world applications in labs. Trips to places like the New River allowed participants to apply classroom knowledge to practical settings.

Leadership classes and community action projects enriched the experience, fostering responsibility and the application of skills for positive change.

Evenings were marked by bonding through games, discussions, and sharing experiences. These moments created lasting friendships.

Exploring the campus showcased its lively atmosphere, while community action project presentations demonstrated dedication to meaningful impact.

Transitioning to Washington D.C., visits to iconic landmarks and institutions like NASA expanded participants’ horizons and insights into American history and governance.

Challenges, including dietary adjustments, were overcome with help from program staff and Resident Assistants.

Returning home wasn’t the end; the transformative impact of the TechGirls program propelled participants towards further empowerment and community change.

The commitment to supporting potential applicants highlighted the program’s importance. Gratitude was expressed to parents, family, and supporting entities for their roles in this transformative journey. We ended the program after staying with host families to experience US culture, did a shadow job placement and ended with a cultural night and crying session.
We arrived Nigeria on the 2nd of August 2023.

In conclusion, the TechGirls program is a transformative journey, emphasizing empowerment and fostering a commitment to positive change in STEM and beyond for young girls.

As the journey came to an end, we stepped into a new chapter armed with experiences, friendships, and knowledge. My deep gratitude is extended to our families, friends, and my fellow TechGirls. Their unwavering support made this journey possible. To Ayomide, Tofunmi and Amanda I remain grateful for your support and friendship. Together we will change the narrative

Moreover, heartfelt thanks go to the U.S. Consulate, TechGirls coordinators, and Legacy International for this invaluable opportunity, which has had a lasting impact on personal and academic growth. To Carolyn Seaman, I say Thank You for the motherly Support and Role

This journey has been a privilege, recognizing the collective efforts of individuals and organizations.

“The TechGirls program has changed my perspective, aspirations, and belief in STEM’s limitless possibilities. It’s not just a program; it’s a life-changing journey that empowers me to break barriers and embrace a future I once only dreamed of.”

Ruyya Yushau Yusuf is an incoming SS 3 Students at Hasiyanda International Schools Kano ,North Western Nigeria

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