Manyan Mata: Kannywood Movie That Promises Enlightenment

Manyan Mata: Kannywood Movie That Promises Enlightenment

Every day, Northern Nigerian literary platforms like Northpad, Poetic Wednesdays, and the Daily Times are brewing literary pieces on issues concerning the northern part of Nigeria with extensions to the country at large.

Their goal remains to enlighten the public about the happenings of the region concerned as well as put out their suggestions on ways of tackling trending or old-age issues. This is not only admirable on their part, but a necessary approach to combating ignorance as a gaslighter of evil.

Despite the effort of these literary platforms, there is a recycling of the same issues being thoroughly penned. Particularly because there seems to be a gap between where the issues are dominant and the road the vehicles carrying the literary baggage are following.

The entertainment industry of Nigeria and the north in particular has been responsible for the theatrical manner in which it portrays social issues. Multiple shows and movies have boldly chewed on issues individually or collectively. This and content from other media has sedimented to form a layer on which ‘Manyan Mata’ forms.

Manyan Mata is a Hausa movie filmed in Kaduna State featuring popular Actress ‘Hadiza Gabon’ who operates in a private partnership with Aisha Tsamiya. Together, they explore the local tyranny happening in the places around them. For the first season which ended at the beginning of May, it has captured problems concerning women, children, and youth.

Perhaps, the most special thing about Manyan Mata is that the authorship and directing crew have found a way of collecting major individuals and issues into one collection as a single movie. The movie in its effort to excel has casted some or all of its most veteran actors and actresses, managing to harmonize tensions existing between some of them off-camera.

The movie which premieres on Tuesdays on YouTube and other times on TV channels has gathered so many fans along all social classes of people online and offline. Currently, on its season one break, followers and fans are still discussing its prolific lessons and looking forward to seeing more. Already, reviews from popular social media personalities and blogs are appearing by the day, viewing and reviewing the show.

This article will explore some of the major issues highlighted in Season One of Manyan Mata according to the trending and old-aged norms identified in Northern Nigeria affecting women, youth, and children. These will be discussed under the following headings:

  • Education
  • Marriage
  • Poverty

1. Education

As mentioned earlier, if ignorance is the gaslight or evil, then education is its extinguisher or at least its oxygen mask. In any society, education is of paramount importance be it for a male, female, or child. Unfortunately, some people do not share this belief.

While some do not place value entirely on education, others do not dim it a priority for the women folk and the youth.

The movie’s first scene opens at an extended family home where the head places no value on women’s education and has neglected even the male sons to acquire Western education.

The character head of the family believes that education should be strictly religious, leaning firm on the old fashion way of sending away young boys to the street begging under the guise of ‘Almajiranci’. This belief has led him to a path of extremism where he is ready to lose his sons in the process.

Although Almajitanci is believed to be a good old-fashioned way of strictly impacting Quranic knowledge to youth, it’s a harsh reality that has been plunging northern Nigeria, with no hope of remedy.

Whatever happens on the streets does not stay on the street and a hungry youth is most definitely an angry youth. The effects of starvation on young boys on the streets draw a long-lasting mark on their morals. They are utilized by cunny politicians in search of idle hands and hardened hearts to execute all sorts of political thuggery and terror.

On the same streets of Almajiranci, children are left to fend for themselves by begging for food, working overtime for their so-called teacher on his farms, and being abandoned to the mercy of the elements. These symptoms are only characteristic of slavery and not enlightenment.

Of course, the movie portrayed all these difficulties faced by these children with the climax revolving around a violent physical abuse faced by one of the children and their masters. Hadiza Gabon and Aisha Tsamiya were soon to learn of the abuse through the media and interfered in the household where the victim came from.

2. Marriage

The biggest problem surrounding women in marriage is the phobia of divorce.

Marriage to the northern lady is of paramount importance religiously. Culturally, it is the datum from which all her achievements are measured. Without marriage, all a lady’s achievements are not deemed worthy of accolades. This phobia of not getting married forces ladies into choosing undeserving suitors, in an attempt to dodge forced marriage, another unpleasant fate. But perhaps even if a lady were to find a groom first, her parents in desperation to wrap up the union with haste, underperform the most crucial aspect of marriage rites which is ‘bincike’ – a method of profiling the prospective groom through information hunting. Once the bride is married off, the only way out for her is divorce, and divorce is culturally prohibited.

Religiously, Islam allows divorce as a permitted but most frowned upon act and this has culturally been up a notch higher. A woman is expected to stay married to an abuser, womanizer, in severe poverty and any harsh reality in the North, simply for the stigma waiting at the door of the society should she decide to step out.

The movie expounds a great deal on the amount of physical and mental abuse suffered in silence by women.

Manyan Mata compounds this issue of fear of divorce to the resolve of drug abuse experienced by a woman. A woman whose fear of her patriarchal father and husband has driven her into depression and near mental breakdown after being divorced.

Another interesting issue raised by Manyam Mata is the ugly tendency for women to be the cause of woe to their fellow women especially as stepmothers and mothers-in-law – an issue that needs an in-depth analysis another day. In the movie, a jealous stepmother has denied her promising stepdaughter the right to attain education simply because of jealousy – the act which pitches her own biological daughter and husband against her.

However, the promising stepdaughter in her academic excellence, catches the eyes of the patriotic women duo. They soon intervene in her issue, stepping in to cushion blows landed by her stepmother and striving to make her life better.

3. Finance

Poverty is a plague and the only cure is funds. People no longer differentiate between the good from the bad ways of obtaining those funds. As such, they follow whatever means possible to acquire money. In an economy where people birth more mouths than they can feed, the children become part of the food hunters. They are forced to hawk on the streets to help their parents cater for them.

Street hawking has penetrated into the morrows of some parents in northern Nigeria. They choose to ignore or are blind to its horrors. Children and young girls are sent into the streets to mingle with all kinds of people with unknown intentions. It is at the hem of this problem that Manyan Mata cleverly stitched the issue of rape. A parent of the victim has all but handed her to the clutches of the monsters.

Before the season ended, a very emotionally crushed young lady was left eternally bruised to the number one ills of girl child hawking in northern Nigeria which, fortunately, can be reformed.


Manyan Maya in general has commanded the attention and respect deserving of the efforts of its overall filming crew.

It has cast a halo around the social problems faced by youth, women, and children including Almajiranci, domestic violence, depression, rape, political thuggery, and divorce are all issues being addressed concurrently

More goodies promise to be on the way and viewers of all social classes are in heightened anticipation. We expect and hope that Manyam Mata is the vehicle that delivers the message home to all neighborhoods falling prey and predator.

Everything You Need to Know About Eidul Kabir in Northern Nigeria

Everything You Need to Know About Eidul Kabir in Northern Nigeria

Eid Kabir, also known as “Eid ul-Adha” or “Eid Qurban”, is the most important festival among the three grand festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide annually, including in northern Nigeria. The other two are “Eid Fitr” and “Eid Maulud.” 

Eid Kabir is also celebrated to mark the ending of “Hajj”, the pious pilgrimage to the city of Makkah, and observed on the very last day of the religious journey. The festival is celebrated on the tenth day of ‘Dhul Hijjah’, which is the twelfth and last month of the Islamic lunar calendar; the date shifts approximately eleven days earlier each year in the Gregorian calendar. This celebration of Eid Kabir goes on extending up to the thirteenth day of Dhul Hijjah. 

Origin/History and Significance of Eid Kabir to Muslims

Eid Kabir, also known also as Eid Qurban or Eid ul-Adha, both meaning “Festival of the Sacrifice”, traces its origin from the story of Prophet Ibrahim according to the Quran.

Prophet Ibrahim had made prayer and promised to God to sacrifice a child of his own if God blessed him with children. After being granted his wish by God, the oath Prophet Ibrahim made visited him in his dreams where he dreamt he was slaughtering his firstborn son named Ismail. He then informed Ismail about the dream, who insisted that his father fulfill God’s command.

Ibrahim then took Ismail to ‘Mount Moriah’ where he intended to carry out his intentions. The devil (Shaytan) however, did not like the decision Ibrahim had made to obey God. So he tried persuading him not to.

But the prophet did not listen, with the help of ‘Angel Jibreel’, he threw pebbles at Shaytan in order to drive him away from the scene. After he succeeded and Shaytan was gone, Ibrahim proceeded further to carry out his intended act. However, God in his infinite mercy looked upon the dutiful heart of Ibrahim and sent Angel Jibreel a ‘ram’ in order to give to Ibrahim to replace Ismail for the intended sacrifice. Hence, Ismail was saved.

Eid Kabir since then has been celebrated annually by Muslims across the world to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son in obedience to God’s command and fulfillment of his promise. Each year, Muslims on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah sacrificed rams to celebrate this festival. In its absence, sacrificed cows, goats, and camels are used.

Eid Activities in Northern Nigeria

Festivals are a time to play songs people know and are looking forward to hearing.

Here in northern Nigeria, Eid Kabir also known as ‘Babban Sallah’ or ‘Sallan Layya’ is celebrated by Muslims before and during the festival in so many ways. The whole atmosphere turns into a cheerful and festive mood where northerners engage in the following: 

1. Beautification of Self

Starting from a week to Eid Kabir, the complete and thorough beautification of the body is common among northern Nigerian Muslims.

As observed, practices among women include grooming of toes and fingernails, styling and braiding of hair, and “Lalle”. Boys/men similarly engage in grooming of nails and barbing of hair.

Both parties busy themselves purchasing fabrics and handing them to tailors to make beautiful outfits for them to wear throughout the festive period.

Markets become full while orders are made online, and everyone is in feverish excitement to buy clothes and accessories to adorn himself/herself with in order to look their best on the occasion. 

2. Purchasing of Sacrificial Rams/Animals

As earlier said, Eid Kabir is a time when Muslims everywhere are striving to purchase rams or other animals which they are to use for sacrifice, starting mostly from a fortnight to it. Although the sacrifice itself is not made until the marked day, this purchasing; mandated for those who can afford it, is mostly done beforehand as rams then are generally cheaper.

This means that the earlier you buy them, the cheaper they will be. Men can be seen everywhere buying and transporting rams in preparation for the big day. 

3. Attending Communal Prayer (Eid Prayer)

Young and old, male and female, are seen on the morning of Eid Kabir in large and countless congregations making their journey noisily and vibrantly in new attires to attend communal prayer/Eid prayer nearest to them.

This Eid prayer, also known as ‘Salat al-Eid’, is a special morning prayer after sunrise, offered to commemorate two Islamic festivals. The first is offered on Eid Fitr while the second is offered on Eid Kabir. Although this prayer is not exactly mandatory, it is highly recommended for Muslims considering the huge reward associated with it.  

Traditionally, Eid prayers are offered in large congregations in open fields separating the women from the men. Two ‘Raka’ats’ are prayed. Eid Kabir prayer unlike Eid Fitr is offered in an earlier and more hastened manner as the slaughtering of rams at home comes immediately after the prayers.

Common religious practices of Muslims on Eid day in relation to this prayer include:

  • Taking of ritual bath before going to the mosque.
  • Wearing one’s new or best outfit.
  • Going on foot to the prayer ground using different routes for the journey to and fro.
  • Eating only upon returning from Eid prayers.

4. Slaughtering of Rams and Sharing of Meat (Layyah)

Eid Kabir is all about sacrificing an outlined animal and giving out parts of it for charity. Without this, the festival is meaningless. As such, the most important moment everyone is waiting for comes right after the offering of Eid prayers on the first day of Eid Kabir; which is why in Egypt, they refer to it as the ‘Meat Festival’.  

After the sacrificial animal is slaughtered, men can be seen engaging themselves in butchering the animal. Right after, women in the households take over, preparing the meat in various ways through frying and making of ‘Dambu’ and other recipes for eid.

Families will normally engage the services of ‘Mahauta’ to butcher the animal. But before that, the person to offer the sacrifice; who is financially able, sound man, and reached the age of puberty, will slit the animal’s throat after offering some words of prayers.

The skin of the slaughtered animal is then given in charity to mosques. Whereas the meat of the animal is divided into three parts and shared in charity among the needy, neighbors, and the owner’s immediate family.

5. Cooking and Sharing Food and Snacks in Large Quantities

Of course, no festival is complete without the attestation of the stomach. A wedding or naming ceremony, it is grand. But for Eid Kabir, it is even grander.

Northern women are marvelous when it comes to preparing food. During the first and second day of Eid, they can be seen setting up firewood or otherwise under the wide-open sky; where they chat, joke, and laugh while preparing  Rice, ‘Tuwo’, ‘Waina’, ‘Sinasir’, or any other food or snack of their choice.

Food and drinks prepared are served to anyone visiting on the Eid period or sent to family and friends elsewhere. Also, this food is distributed to neighbors, typically by children of the house, who are more than happy to attend this errand in order to receive the customary ‘Goron Sallah’, one of the biggest highlights of Eid for them. 

6. Visiting Family and Friends (Yawon Sallah)

Festivals are happy places and you don’t really want to enjoy them on your own.

If you are not visiting anyone on the day of Eid, be sure to expect visitors streaming in casually at all times. Why? Because Eid is a period where neighbor’s relatives, friends, and colleagues casually drop in to check on one another and share in the celebration and also give or receive “Goron Sallah”.

In northern Nigeria, celebrating Eid Kabir alone is unheard of. These visits happen mostly in the next three days after Eid and can continue up to a week. 

7. Attending Cultural Parade (Hawan Bariki and Hawan Daushe) 

The greatness of a culture can be found in its festivals

Siddarth Katradagga

Among the Hausa people, ‘Hawa’ meaning ‘Mounting’, is what makes Eid special in Northern Nigeria. It also distinguishes it from other Eid celebrations across the country and world. This is a cultural event where colorfully dressed horsemen mounted on colorfully decorated horses, match across streets while being cheered on by a large crowd of Muslims dressed in beautiful attire.

Hawan Bariki and Hawan Daushe are examples of this parade observed on the second and third days of Eid Kabir respectively, each one having its cultural importance. These two types of Hawan Sallah are popular in northern Nigerian states including Kaduna, Kano, and Katsina.

They have been passed on from generation to generation and are held in very high esteem by the northerners that even members of the royal households including the king partake in this parade. The king waves and smiles at the people as he progresses slowly on his richly dressed horse and is escorted by palace members.

This rich tradition has made it annually possible for people to be linked up or reunited on the streets as they witness this parade, Also, it is a chance for the king to have close contact with his residing subjects and share in their celebration. In addition to that, every year, it keeps the tradition of the Hausa people alive. 

8. Going on Family Outings or Organized Events

If you are a restaurant, bakery, ice cream, or any food/confectionary or event center owner, then it is the time of year for you to smile. Be sure to step up your game because family/friends’ outings, funfairs, school reunions, and other social events are all there to patronize you during Eid celebrations.

Here in northern Nigeria, families can be seen swarming in eateries to have good quality time. Because Eid Kabir is a public holiday period, social events such as kid funfairs and adult school reunions among others are a part of activities planned beforehand and enjoyed during Eid.

9. Watching Religious Shows/ Pilgrims’ Activities

Apart from sermons, T.V shows, “The Message” which is displayed annually during Eid Kabir is popular among Muslims in northern Nigeria, it is an epic historical drama chronicling the life and times of the Messenger of God. This is shown every year to serve as a lesson to all and a reminder to those already familiar with it.

In addition, since Eid Kabir also marks the end of the Muslim annual pilgrimage in Makkah, their activities are displayed also on T.V. It has become part of Eid celebrations for Muslims in northern Nigeria to sit down and watch these shows.

10. Taking of Pictures/Internet Saga

Click! Smartphone cameras have replaced the traditional way of visiting photo studios to take photos during Eid. Although some people still maintain this tradition, most people prefer to conveniently take pictures with their phones at every step of their Eid celebration. This they keep for memories or to share with their family and friends.

In this 21st century, the internet, especially social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter Instagram, and Snapchat, has become very busy with people uploading and sharing experiences of themselves and others. Women especially busy themselves with sharing photos of their hennas. All in a jolly mood to keep the spirit of Eid alive days on after the celebration has ended.

This internet saga enables people separated by a large distance and unable to visit one another to continually share in each other’s celebrations.


Looking back at these activities carried out by Muslims in northern Nigeria to celebrate Eid Kabir, one automatically feels like dropping by to personally share in the joyous mood and experiences of this period; which is a time of sharing and caring.

Visit Northern Nigeria, share in the hospitality of the Eid period, and tell us your own experiences of celebrating Eid Kabir in northern Nigeria.

How to Reform Street Hawking in Northern Nigeria

How to Reform Street Hawking in Northern Nigeria

As you move in the streets of northern Nigeria or you stop for a refuel at a filling station, wait for your car to fill up in a motor park, wait to pick up your kids in front of school premises or make your way in the market place, you are bound to encounter street hawkers.

These Street hawkers move around calling out the names of their products for people to buy. Some will even address you personally.

 Hajiya, this ring will look good on you and it’s just N250.

You can buy pretty much anything from ‘Yan talla’ from a pet to food, to toothbrush, snacks, literally anything.

“Talla” is a general term in the Hausa language for ‘advertisement’, which formal and informal businesses in northern Nigeria use to advertise their products. At the same time, it is used to describe the action of hawking.

To hawk is to informally sell goods in public places. By doing that, one is creating more markets for his/her product. It involves selling goods while going from place to place and persuading people to buy them.

Concept of Street Hawking

Hawking can be seen as a persistent and relentless method of selling goods and services. Its nearly aggressive nature is comparable to that of the legendary ‘hawk bird’, a bird with an excellent sight that can travel thousands of miles to prey.

Likewise, hawkers move from place to place, in search of customers to buy their perishable and non-perishable products. In urban areas, hawking is mostly seen on the streets, targeting mobile and non-mobile customers going about their daily activities.

What is Street hawking?

Street hawking is the act of selling goods and services on the streets to the public. It involves going to largely populated places like roadsides, highways, junctions, parks, or places with high traffic.  Street hawking may be static or mobile. That is the sellers may set up temporary kiosks, tabletops, or carry around trays, wheelbarrows, bicycles, and baskets.

Street hawking is popular in developing countries like India and Nigeria. Although street hawking is a general practice in Nigeria, its origin and nature may vary from region to region.

Therefore, we will look at the practice of street hawking in northern Nigeria.

Street Hawking in Northern Nigeria

In northern Nigeria, street hawking is a major means of livelihood for many families. Traditionally, street hawking in northern Nigeria was the offer of goods for sale by going from house to house. For example, the ‘Baban bola’ and ‘Mai kwalabe’ moved from house to house practicing trade by barter.

Later on, ‘Mai Alawa’ and ‘Mai maganin gargajiya’ exchanged candy for money. These hawkers passed by houses while chanting, singing, and playing instruments to attract indoor customers to come out and exchange or buy their wares.

Scavengers commonly called 'Baban bola' can be seen ravaging the streets of major cities
Scavengers commonly called ‘Baban bola’ can be seen ravaging the streets of major cities

With urbanization and growing poverty and illiteracy, street hawking in northern Nigeria evolved to being the most visible form of informal economic activity. Men, women, and children are now out there every day on the streets hawking as a desperate means of survival. This has caused major nuisance and concern to the northern Nigerian government.

However, many have argued that there are several benefits associated with street hawking and even campaigned for its reformation. Countries like Singapore and India have already implemented reformation practices and reported their benefits.

However, reformation comes with an in-depth understanding of a process that can vary from region to region even within the same country.

This article will look at the factors relevant to street hawking in northern Nigeria in order to understand the process and propose ways of reforming it.

What Causes Street Hawking in Northern Nigeria?

Triggers are what prompt something to happen. In this article, they are seen as what causes or prompts street hawking to exist or continue happening without regulation. Understanding triggers to street hawking in northern Nigeria is essential to providing solutions that are in line with northern Nigeria.

According to many analyses, reports, and research, the two major triggers to street hawking in northern Nigeria are economic and socio-cultural which are as follows:

1. Poverty Increases the Need for Street Hawking for Survival

High rates of unemployment, high cost of living, low wages, lack of social services at home, lack of good housing, inadequate food and health care service in cities with large populations like Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Abuja have come together to promote poverty in northern Nigeria.

These have contributed to street hawking as a means for people to survive and support their families.

2. Urbanization Invites more Street Hawkers

One of the easiest jobs for a rural person to do is hawking. Lack of adequate structural facilities and low standard of living in rural or local government areas causes distressed families in rural areas to migrate to the cities. There, they meet a high cost of living and are forced to find work after a few days. Conveniently, they are immediately employed by business owners like sachet water companies to sell and at the end of the day get paid in stipends. They also find roadside food sellers who give them ”Alale’, ‘Danwake’, ‘Gyada’ and ‘Awara’ to hawk.

In addition, low barriers to entry, low start-up costs, and flexible hours make street hawking a one-size-fits-all for all classes of people to go into.

All you need to set up a street Hawking business is your wares, a medium of carrying them, a good market and you are good to go. For example, setting up a corn roasting business involves a handful of corns, a grill, an umbrella for shade, a sit, and fuel to ignite the fire.

People into street hawking can easily engage in other forms of street hawking as a means of survival. A street hawker can sell “Koko” in the morning and “Suya’ at night”.

3. Street Hawking is a Good Marketing Strategy for Large and Small Businesses

Small and large businesses have since identified passing their products through the hawking process as a viable means of selling to more consumers. Formal and non-formal organizations are now strategically incorporating hawking into their selling operations as an effective way of direct seller-buyer relationship. There, they have better consumer feedback, consumer goods accessibility. and increase their product design innovation.

Examples are telecommunication companies like M.T.N, Glo, or Airtel who use music and entertainment to advertise sim cards and at the same time hawk them to passersby. Rather than sit at a shop, a traditional herbalist would rather find a speaker connected to a moving car and call customers to his product.

4. Uncoordinated Marriage and Birth Practices Increases the Need for Street Hawking

People use hawking as a means for girls to gain social exposure and find suitable suitors for early marriages. While doing that, they are at the same time using the profit gained from hawking to finance the wedding expenses and maintain their aesthetic looks. It is common to see a young street hawker in northern Nigeria in her teenage years painting her face all over with makeup and flirting with whoever cares to give her attention while hawking.

Also, most people in northern Nigeria are in the practice of polygamy. However, planning may not be as popular. As a result, people give birth to more than they can cater for and end up having to force some of them to hawk in order to support the family.

5. Lack of Parental Care/Stability Increases the Need for Street Hawking

Orphans, Almajirai, and other children in northern Nigeria who don’t have financially stable households or who have households where they are severely maltreated or neglected tend to be forced to take care and raise themselves by taking up any jobs available.

Generally, the inability of the family to perform its function in this regard has led to children scattered on the streets or fleeing homes to fend for themselves on the streets where they end up hawking.

6. Ignorance and Illiteracy Increases the Need for Street Hawking

Hawkers or their guardians still living in the past and ignorant of the dangers of the 21st century might be ignorant of some of the realities or dangers associated with hawking and do not prep or caution them against those realities. 

On the other hand, people who grew up in an environment where education is not prioritized would rather drop out of school than face their studies. To them, they see education as a waste of time and resources. When that happens, their guardians will happily accept them back and conveniently send them out on the streets to hawk.

7. Family Job History Recycles Street Hawking

Just like some street beggars or wanzamai in northern Nigeria who have idolized and sanctified their hustle, people who grew up in a household where hawking has been passed on many generations are likely to fall into hawking as an occupation even from childhood in order to assist their family. To them, hawking is like an inheritance which they must honour when they grow up also pass to the next generation. Meanwhile, abandoning It becomes like a taboo.

Interestingly, children whose mothers engage in making rice, groundnut, and other food or snacks at home automatically hawk products for her to support her since the average northern Nigerian woman is not as free to move about in the streets as men or children.

8. Environmental and Peer Pressure Advises and Compels Street Hawking

People who live in the ghetto or slum areas of the city are more likely to engage in acts of street hawking than their counterparts who live in highbrow areas. The influence of the environment and friends can stimulate a person into hawking in order to feel part of society.

Nosy neighbours, family, or other well-wishers who are tired of seeing their friends suffer will advise them to go hawking or send their children which they might reluctantly do.

9. Societal Acceptance of Child Labour Normalizes Street Hawking of Children

Most people do not see hawking, especially towards children as against the law. This is because children in northern Nigeria are already used to contributing financially to the wellbeing of the family right from a young age. Boys are sent out to learn crafts and trade with their fathers while girls support their mothers through hawking for products they make at home.

The cultural belief in northern Nigeria encourages treating the child as mere properties of their parents without right of their own including their right to education, right to protection against abduction, right to protection against child labour with the exception of domestic work, and protection against buying, selling, begging and prostitution all of which hawking may affect.

Implications of Street Hawking in Northern Nigeria

We have looked at what triggers people to engage in street hawking in northern Nigeria. The next question is in what ways do these triggers and the street hawking process affect the northern Nigerian citizens and government? The implications of street hawking in northern Nigeria may be positive and negative.

After a thorough analysis of the triggers to street hawking and its process in northern Nigeria, this article outlines the following implications of street hawking in northern Nigeria.

1. Street Hawking Provides Essential Services to Consumers to Meet their Demand

We mentioned earlier that street hawking is a good marketing strategy. Here is why.

Street hawking in its informal and haphazard nature ensures it meets the basic daily needs of people. They make available goods and services at the right place and time at affordable rates.

Imagine being hungry in a park or garage and you can’t afford the distance or money for the nearest eatery. Or you are hurrying for a class after dropping from public transport and your shoe cuts.

Your survival and punctuality depend on these street hawkers. Street hawkers make available cold drinks to you wherever you are during hot weather and sell dates or sesame seeds while you are traveling to ease your journey. Street hawkers generally operate in a way that they meet the exact demands of consumers at the right place and time.

2. Street Hawking also Contributes to The Economy

A bad economy that leads to poverty is the biggest trigger to street hawking in northern Nigeria. A large portion of efforts made towards street hawking is to manage and alleviate poverty.

But you will not believe the millions of naira formal and informal businesses make from street hawking yearly. Formal businesses in particular help keep the economy moving by ensuring money is continuously in circulation, paying taxes, and making room for employment.

An example is an ice-cream company that dispatches to street hawker’s ice-cream to sell to children after school hours or a cosmetic company having their products taken to the most remote places to be sold.

3. Street Hawking Goes Against the law

Hawking triggered by lack of parental care/stability, ignorance and illiteracy, and societal acceptance of child labor all point towards child street hawking and of course breaking the law.

Child street hawking opposes the 1989 UN Convention on child rights which Nigeria is a signatory to. It states that involving children in an activity that impacts negatively on their health and well-being is wrong and that the need for the government needs to protect children from exploitation.

4.  Street Hawking Promotes Unethical Economic Activities

The practice of black marketing, smuggling, price undercutting, and other bad business practices continue to rise as a result of street hawking.

The circumstances and lack of formality surrounding its formation make it very hard for these practices to be controlled or their proprietors caught.

5. Street Hawking Contributes to Environmental Pollution and Disease Spread

There is no limit to what is sold on the streets.  Anybody can sell anything disregarding sanitary measures with nobody to check them. Noise and land pollution can occur as a result of verbal advertisement and constant littering of the streets and public spaces. This can cause discomfort to passersby or attract disease vectors to act on the litter and cause diseases.

The absence of proper sanitary procedures by some of these hawkers contaminates edible products which may harm consumers and cause diarrhoea and food poisoning. Furthermore, various STDs like HIV are easily transmittable by these hawkers who practice unprotected sex and then transfer the virus through their wares.

6. Street Hawking Encourages Child Exploitation and Labor

As we said earlier, child street hawking is against the law. The reason is that many children are taken advantage of by adults through the process of street hawking. Cases of child sexual abuse, child trafficking, child labor, and robbery of goods all happen as a result of children being sent out to the street to hawk.

They encounter people who use misuse their authority as adults to physically and mentally abuse children who are out there on the streets hawking.

7. Street Hawking Poses Physical Dangers and Hazards to Hawkers

No one is more desperate than someone looking for a penny to eat. People knee-deep in poverty that hawk on the streets are occasionally subjected to accidents while hawking their wares on the roads. Sometimes they chase moving vehicles at the expense of their own safety.

Street hawkers are also subjected to weather hazards, robbery, sexual abuse, and other kinds of physical violence from their customers and criminals.

8. It Promotes Illiteracy Among Children Especially the Girl Child

It is hard to break the cycle of illiteracy when people are constantly dropping out of school to hawk. This poses more danger to the female children as they are more subjected to hawking than their male counterparts. The reason is most times; they have to assist their mothers by hawking her products for her.

Also, these children are married off as soon as possible without being given proper education. There they give birth and continue the cycle.

9. Street Hawking Recycles Poverty

While people may depend on street hawking to survive, it is hardly a way of living that will support the next generation to come.

Since hawking can be inherited and does not have any potentials for career development and social mobility, neglecting education and other means of survival will only recycle poverty by passing on the business to generations to come.

10. Street Hawking Depreciates Moral Values and Elevates Criminal Behaviours

We have talked about Lack of parental care/stability, Ignorance and Illiteracy, and Environmental and peer pressure as triggers to street hawking in northern Nigeria, all these may combine to cause unhealthy mingling of people of different moral backgrounds. There on the streets, different kinds of people both children and adults mix with other people of terrible upbringing that end up contaminating any moral training they might have received from their guardians.

The males fall into activities like drinking, smoking, drugs, and thievery which cause them to fall into physical and sexual violence, dishonest dealings. robbery and dummies in the hands of politicians.

As for the females, they may also pick up similar traits or serve as accomplices to crimes of their male counterparts Worse, young girls who are whipped by their caregivers whenever the profit Brought home is not much or they don’t sell all their wares, get desperate and are easily lured into prostitution.

How to Reform Street Hawking

In the past, street hawkers who have been threatened with eviction in the southern part of Nigeria became transient, resilient, and adaptive. They changed strategies, mode of operation, and some of them even resorted to crime.

At this stage in Nigeria’s economy, the government cannot continue to ignore the growing importance of street selling in creating a stronger economy. businesses and the government need to be prompt and innovative in order to consolidate the benefits of hawking and move Nigeria closer to the achievement of some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Looking at the triggers and implications of street hawking discussed in this article, it is clear that although street hawking has its very fair share of negative triggers and implications in northern Nigeria, one thing clear is that the positive triggers and implications all point towards making the Nigerian economy better. This will help in alleviating poverty and naturally reduce the need for hawking itself.

The reformation of street hawking in northern Nigeria shall work towards strengthening the positive and eliminating or managing the negative triggers and implications. Some of the proposed ways of reforming street hawking in northern Nigeria include;

1. Reduce the Need for Hawking for Survival by Addressing Economic Triggers

First and foremost, economic issues which intensify the need for hawking for survival should be addressed. Improving the standard of living in rural areas through the provision of adequate and working infrastructural facilities will create more employment and reduce the migration of people from rural to urban areas.

The parents of children who street hawk should be empowered economically in order for them to be able to take care of them. The creation of more job opportunities and better pay for those already employed increase family income and give parents the opportunity to take care of their children without sending them out to hawk.

2. Strengthen the Child Education System by Providing More Free Education and Vocational Studies to Children

Since illiteracy is one of the root triggers and implications of street hawking, the government should provide more tuition-free compulsory basic education for all children in northern Nigeria, that is declare education especially at primary levels free and compulsory for all children.

In addition, the northern Nigerian government should ban child street hawking during school hours to reduce the practice during school hours. 

Also, since some children would still like to acquire vocational skills, it should be made part of the free education so that children that wish to learn vocational skills can be assisted. Doing this will help curb Ignorance, Illiteracy, and law violation against child acts and labour.

3. Propose Better Ways of Supporting Children’s Participation in Economic Activities

Because of the high degree of societal acceptance of child labour in northern Nigeria and the presence of poverty, it is almost impossible to stop parents from engaging their children in labour for profit.

So currently, rather than eliminating children’s participation in economic activities, there is a need to support the children’s working lives, that is, looking into their working conditions and seek ways to find better solutions.

This could happen either by providing a platform attached to the school where children can acquire vocational studies in schools while participating in economic activities like sowing, tie and dye, shoemaking, and so on based on what they have learned right in school.

This way, they will get an education and still be able to make a profit to assist their parents.

4. Strengthen the Child Right act to Protect Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Labour

The 2003 legal framework for the implementation of the child right act for the protection of the girl child, child labour, and abuse should be revisited and strengthened.

This act prohibits child marriage and betrothal and gives the new legal age of marriage of girls as 18, thus hindering its acceptance by northerners because of the northern practice where girls get married off once they reach puberty. This should be sorted out and the child rights act should be urgently adopted and enforced in northern Nigeria.

5.  Support NGO’s Advocating for Child Rights

Both the government at all levels and citizens should strive to show more support to child rights NGO’s operating in northern Nigeria by giving them financial aid, political aid, and by volunteering.

6. Put up Formal Regulations and Structures to Modernize Street Hawking

As a viable part of the economy, street hawking lacks formal recognition by the government. Policies need to be put in place to formally recognize informal sector businesses including hawkers. Taking into consideration that making the policies relatively easy and cheap to sign into will make them more attractive which will attract more employment.

Also, providing codes of conduct and penalties will provide stability within the structure and make it easy to curb ethical and criminal violations.

Formalizing street selling also involves not only putting up policies but formal structures as well. Market places or hawker centres for street vendors should be put up with little taxation. This has been tried in Singapore and has proved successful.

Doing the above will modernize street selling and make it a legally recognized distribution channel that will boost the Nigerian economy and address pollution as well as unethical, immoral, and illegal activities.

7. Create More Awareness on Realities/dangers of Hawking, Family Planning and Importance of Education to Children, Parents, and Guardians

Parents and guardians need to be properly enlightened on the realities/dangers of street hawking to help regulate or improve moral values, criminal behaviours, disease spread, child exploitation, and physical hazards.

The importance of family responsibility and planning should be emphasized especially towards the household’s heads, guardians, and any other party concerned with the well-being of children. They should be prepared to play their roles in the households Unless they do, women and children will continue to be forced to look for other means of sustainment and survival.

Furthermore, doing so will reduce the number of uncoordinated marriages, uncoordinated birth practices, lack of parental care, child exploitation, and instability in homes. Children should also be enlightened at a very young age in school about the importance of education before they drop out.

Likewise, P.T.A. meetings should be encouraged regularly in public schools where issues relevant to education are discussed between guardians and school authorities. This will help in addressing issues concerning Ignorance, Illiteracy, violation of the child rights law, and poverty recycling.

Enlightenment should be done through community meetings with local traditional and community leaders. Television and radio will also serve as mediums to pass across messages to people in northern Nigeria.


Adopting and implementing these reformation processes will be a major step towards reforming street hawking in northern Nigeria. Drop your suggestions on more ways we can reform street hawking in northern Nigeria.


Talla: Hausa term for ‘advertisement’ or ‘street hawking’.

Baban bola: Local trader who moves around collecting recyclable items like electronic and machine parts, plastics, rubbers, and exchanges them with other items or money.

Mai kwalabe: Local trader who moves around collecting empty bottles in exchange for other items or money.

Mai maganin gargajiya: Traditional herbalist

Alele: Hausa term for moimoi

Danwake: Hausa term for 

Gyada: Hausa term for groundnut

Awara: Hausa term for soya beans cake

Koko: Hausa term for pap

Suya: Hausa term for kebab

Almajirai: Plural term for Almajiri in Hausa language meaning street beggar.

10 Important First Date Tips with Someone You Met Online

10 Important First Date Tips with Someone You Met Online

Are you anxious about going on a date with someone you met online? Perhaps a million things are going through your mind and you are afraid that the person would dislike your off-the-keyboard personality. You can even be thinking the whole thing might just end up in a complete wreck. Well, quit getting worked up. This article will provide you shortly with tips to prep and guide you through your first date in one piece and with minimal casualties.

We all know that the internet today has become a popular platform for people to socialize and if all goes well, even lead to a serious relationship and marriage.

People are getting more accustomed to this method than the good old-fashioned “Ji mana” when trying to flag a girl’s attention, which is typical of Arewa men.

As that has not always yielded a positive result, men and even women of today have resorted to the safer approach of wooing someone online first before asking to meet them. At least if rejected, they can nurse their wounds and move on quickly with less stress.

However, if two people meet online and click, the next step is meeting up, which is where the tension comes in, as most people have proven shy and more confident with their keyboard than in person. For first-timers, they might completely be at a loss at what to and what not to say or do.

There is absolutely no cause for much worry though. These ten tips will guide you through a first date with someone you met online

First Date Tips with Someone You Met Online

1. Make and Understand Intentions of The Date Clearly

Do you simply want to get to know the person better or are you meeting up to ask for their hand in marriage?
Is the perspective and expectation of the date clearly understood?

Most people go on a first date after meeting online without even knowing why. This can be dangerous as It is easy to get or give off mixed signals when relating with a person online.

So before embarking on a first date, be sure your intentions are clear and try to understand your partner’s own such that both of you are on the same page or at least not on conflicting ones.

You can say or watch out for things like

“I would really love to meet you so I can see the reaction on your face when you talk about politics”. Or

“Why do you want us to meet?”

Doing this will prevent unnecessary surprises, discomfort, drama, and even embarrassment for both parties during the date even if either of you feels there is a spark going on.

2. Prep Yourself on What to Say

Not trying to turn your date into a boring affair or an interview, but you don’t want to come off as slow or uninteresting.
Consider taking mental notes of things you wish to talk about before the date is over so you don’t go through the trouble of going on a date and end up having nothing to say.

Asking relevant questions while on a date is a good way to keep the conversation going smoothly.

“So we were chatting that day and you said…”

Then you can proceed to ask for more explanation or even disagree with what they said. This will build up your confidence and reduce the number of awkward moments you may have.

Do not overstress it though, you can also talk about totally new and interesting stuff.

There are a lot of interesting topics to talk about on a first date.

3. Ensure your Safety First

This is advice, particularly to women. Don’t be a fool. Never agree to meet a person you met online for the first time at a secluded or private place no matter how trustworthy they may have seemed or how long you have known them online. There are too many psychos out there to not prioritize your safety.

Meet at a public or semi-public place and tell a friend where you are going and details of whom you are meeting up with. Prepare a coded phone call in case you need emergency rescue and leave your location on if necessary.

Some people are not really interested in you and may have hidden intentions. Be security conscious and it will save you from getting mugged, kidnapped, raped, or even killed,

4. Keep Things Simple

Don’t be a show-off. This goes particularly for men. We know you are eager to impress but save the cruise boat dates and five-star restaurants for future dates.

You don’t want to outdo yourself and end up having the other person feeling indebted, insulted or appearing like a fool when the date doesn’t end well.

There are many ways to show a person they are special without acting as if you want to buy them off. Have an idea about the kind of person you are meeting and a simple casual gift may just as well deliver your message effectively.

“I remembered you said you loved headphones the other day and I saw a vendor passing by with this and thought it will be a nice first gift to you”.

She may appreciate your gesture of remembering her statement more than the gift itself.

5. Be Punctual

Whether you are a lady or a man, show up for your first date on time. Show up at least five minutes before the agreed time. Nothing speaks more rudeness than showing up late on a first date without any emergency caused.

For people that are extremely time conscious, there is no quicker way of discomforting them than coming late to a date.

Therefore, even if you are not usually a punctual person, honor your first date by showing up on time.

6. Look and Smell Good

Be sure to take a shower and dress up nicely when going out. As a man, wear something that shows you made an effort but doesn’t end up making the person find humor in your choice of clothing.

Avoid over or underdressing and make sure to take good extra care of your personal hygiene.

A clean and nicely ironed white kaftan with a cologne is okay. As for women, wear something decent and perhaps neutral like an Abaya, preferably black, as it speaks of confidence. Avoid putting too much makeup on and drawing attention to yourself.
Finish your look with a soft perfume and wear light accessories.

Lastly, appear with and maintain a smile throughout the date.

7. Listen and Be In Your Best Manners

Listening and paying attention to your date is one of the most important etiquettes to observe on a first date with someone after meeting online.

Unlike your chats online where you are distracted most time, try to unburden your mind before the date and come with a full attention span.

Keep away from unnecessary distractions, avoid looking too much at other people, do not interrupt unnecessarily when the other person is talking, and keep away from your phone as much as possible unless you wish to explore something that concerns what you two are talking about, which could by the way spice up the discussion.

In addition to that, observe good table manners and be courteous to everyone you may encounter including your date.

Also, respect your date’s personal boundaries and do not sexually harass your date through inappropriate looks, comments, and touches.

8. Talk About Your Present

You are allowed to share very little of your past on a first date. Chances are you have probably talked about it already.

When someone agrees to go on a date with you after meeting online, there is a high possibility the person has picked an interest in what they already know about you and wish to know more.

This is your chance to extend their interest.

Most relationships online have changed after the first date because one or both parties were bored or felt mismatched with the other person without actually getting to know them. They hear your past and end up being too judgemental without even getting to know you.

You want to give the person a reason for a second date as well. So keep conversations as light as possible by talking about your present and future aspirations and dreams.

Focus on who you are and want to be rather than who you were unless of course if asked. Don’t give too much away too soon and don’t bore your partner to the point of losing interest in you altogether.

9. Be Open and Be Yourself

There is nothing more attractive than an honest date who is not afraid to communicate actively their feelings and experiences while the date is on. Even if you feel tensed and anxious, be at ease with who you are and what you are feeling.

“Wow, I feel a bit nervous talking with you in person” or “To be honest, I am not usually this confident talking to girls/guys but you make me feel at ease”.

Things like these will add a bit of humour and honesty to the conversation even in your nervousness. This will help in easing tension and also let your date know there is no pressure on them to act stiff and perfect as well.

10. Have Fun and End The Date on A Note

Towards the end of the date, add some more fun by visiting interesting and less formal places that will broaden your scope of discussion.

Take leisure strolls, go stand by interesting happenings and let your date know how you feel about those things.

When about leaving, let the person know you had a good time and look forward to when you can go on another date.


Going on a first date with someone you met online can be very enjoyable since you two are acquainted already. You get to see the person’s facial expressions, read their body language, and match the personality behind those words onscreen. You also get to answer questions that have been gnawing at your mind.

But first, be aware of the aim of the date before proceeding so you cut your coat according to your cloth.

Have fun and be safe. Feel free to share your experiences hereafter applying these tips.

Skeletons in the Closet? Unraveling the Roles of Men in MNorthern Nigeria

Skeletons in the Closet? Unraveling the Roles of Men in MNorthern Nigeria

What makes a man is The title of a song released by an Irish pop vocal group/boyband popularly known as “West Life” in the album “Coast to Coast”. Also, a question that ought to be no longer rhetorical in the mind of every single member of the Northern Nigeria society. Why? I will paint you a very short but interesting picture.

Imagine two Northern Nigeria stereotypes; Mr. A and Mr. B. Both above thirty. Mr. A is a forty-five-year-old accomplished civil servant; living a luxurious life in a well-furnished apartment but with no family of his own. Mr. B is a thirty-six-year-old moderately-to-do businessman; living a middle-class life with one wife or more and children.

Who is going to be labeled more “Man” in the Northern Nigeria society? Let us hold on to that thought for a while.

Notice closely, that three simple criteria including age, wealth, and responsibility/family were considered in the formation of these stereotypes. And although there could be more, these three for most readers of Northern Nigeria or anywhere, were more than ample to make an immediate mental judgment as to who is more man than the other. Perhaps, if there was more, then it was left to those lacking in any of the three fields to find stitches to patch up their masculine wears and tears.

A man is not who he thinks he is; he is what he hides.

Andre Malraux, Author of Man’s Fate

Meaning that the secrets we hide are what defines us. So could there be more to the question of ‘who is more man than who in the Northern Nigeria society’, rather than the simple societal stereotypes? Perhaps, we ought to open closets and ask about forgotten skeletons. Thus, we will start with the basic question of who a man is. 

Who Is A Man?

A man as defined by dictionary sources is “An adult male person”; that is someone who biologically is of the male sex and passed the age of boyhood. 

Societally, to be one’s own man is to be free and independent. Meanwhile, those traits, habits behaviors, or roles that society considers appropriate for a man are referred to as masculinity, manliness, or manhood.

Some even argue that just like wealth, race, or social class, masculinity has a social status and higher social status is achieved with higher masculinity. Therefore, having understood who a man is, the next step for us is to begin to ponder on our initial question; that is to find out “what makes a man”.

What Makes a Man?

Good question. An even more interesting one comes from the opinions of different individuals, in different societies, and with different cultural backgrounds and beliefs. Since there is no objective out-of-the-textbook explanation of what makes a man, it was left to assume a better way of understanding this question.

As such, conducting a survey of answers from Quora; an international Q & A online platform, where questions are asked and answered for the purpose of sharing and growing knowledge, answers to this particular question were found and a review of them gave me the following points of what makes a man:

  1. A boy becomes a man through the process of struggle.
  2. A man is someone charged with the responsibility of caring not only for himself but for others around him. He also doesn’t blame others for his mistakes but apologizes and corrects them.
  3. A man has a strong moral code by which he lives and is defined. He constantly recognizes his weakness and strives to be better.
  4. A man discovers his true inner self and doesn’t change his personality as change takes place in the outside world. In other words, he is not easily influenced.
  5. A man is conscious of himself and controls his instincts, urges, and emotions.
  6. A man is steadfast in his decisions. He knows when to be flexible and when to say no.
  7. A man is free to define himself.

The aforementioned points have tried to define what makes a man based on a general perception of people from different societies.  A man’s Life experience, Responsibility, Moral code, Strength of character, Self-awareness, Steadfastness, and Choice are what I found to be the most popular opinions.

However, how can I use these points to discover which is most relevant in our Northern Nigeria society?

What Makes a Man in Northern Nigeria Society?

You will recall the image we digested earlier of two Northern Nigeria stereotypes using age, wealth, and responsibility to decide who was more man than whom. Recall how ‘you’ were also accused of making an on-spot decision. From there, we went on to explain the concept of who a man was and what was his masculinity.  Our goal now is to decide what makes a man in Northern Nigerian society.

Traits, habits, behaviors, or roles that society considers to be appropriate for a man have been found to be considered his masculinity/manhood. Seven areas including; his Life experience, Responsibilities, Moral code, Strength of character, Self-awareness, Steadfastness, and Choice were considered generally to be vital.

Therefore, comparing the criteria used earlier in stereotyping the Northern Nigerian man to these seven points leads us closer to finding out what makes a man in Northern Nigerian society. The confluence point was found at the responsibility valley. Clearly, age and wealth when compared to responsibility, could not have been the major catalysts that influenced your hastened decision of who or what a man is. Rather the roles/responsibility attached to a man is what drives Northern Nigeria society to assess his masculinity.

These roles/responsibilities of a man in Northern Nigeria society will be the master key that will unlock the closet door and allow us a peek at its skeletons if any. 

What Is The Role of a Man in Northern Nigerian Society?

This takes origin from the concept of “Gender role”; which is a set of behaviors and attitudes considered desirable or appropriate based on that person’s gender.

The term role could be defined as a duty that someone or something is expected to have. At the same time, it is the way someone or something is involved in an activity. Going for a more elaborate definition, a role is a socially-expected behavioral pattern usually determined by an individual’s status in a particular society. Similarly, it is a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by a society.

All these combine to interrogate the role of a man in Northern Nigeria society as follows:

What are the rights duties and obligations of a Northern Nigerian man?

How is the Northern Nigeria man involved in activities of Northern Nigeria society?

Roles carried out by Northern Nigerian men are undeniably vast but nonetheless, they can be classified based on their positions/status or their general functions. The positional roles of a Northern Nigerian man can be dynamic, that is, they can evolve or be interchangeable based on his current position in the family and society. The Northern Nigeria man therefore can discharge his roles based on his position as follows:

  • As a father
  • As a husband
  • As a son
  • As a brother
  • As an uncle
  • As a neighbor

Whatever position a man may occupy in the family or society, there are certain roles he is bound to come across. These roles unlike his positions are not dynamic. Careful analysis of both leads us to categorize the roles of a Northern Nigeria man in society in four unique ways namely:

  • Domestic roles
  • Religious roles
  • Socio-cultural roles
  • National roles.

These will be carefully elaborated and looked at. 

Domestic Roles of A Man

Domestic roles are duties and obligations assigned to members of a household to ensure efficient meeting of its basic needs. Either as a son, husband, or father, men in Northern Nigeria society are expected to carry out assigned responsibilities in the family.

These mostly include:

1. Household Labour (Chores)

Due to the physical strength of men, a man is expected to do hard and labor-intensive activities in the household. For example, he will wash the car, do the gardening, and perform animal slaughter. 

2. Technical Work

A man is expected to learn simple household technical work in order to take care of problems that may arise without employing the services of a technician. He may take care of:

  • Electrical tasks like changing sockets, bulbs, turning on or servicing generator, and simple vehicle checks.
  • Plumbing tasks in the kitchen and in the bathroom. 

3. HouseHold Representation/Leadership

A man in the Northern Nigeria society serves as the link between the women of the house and the outside world. Religion and culture do not encourage Northern Nigerian women to have unlimited freedom with no control. Therefore, a man in the household is faced with certain responsibilities like:

Being a natural leader to women below and above him. He may do so by providing them with emotional strength and guidance.  

Going on errands outside the home as much as he can, especially at night and also, sometimes accompanied the women of the house.

Answering the door and ushering male guests.

4. Discipline and Security

A man is expected at all times to ensure peace and orderliness within his household and arrest conflict when it arises. He is also charged with the responsibility of keeping members of the household safe from internal and external harm. Therefore, he is:

Active alert and checks all locks and appliances for safety before retiring to bed at night.

Passive alert at all times and watches out for suspicious sounds and movement within and around the boundary of his home.

5. Financial responsibility

A husband, father, and sometimes even son are responsible for the financial well-being of every member of the household. Not only that, he is at other times, expected to contribute to the financial well-being of other members of the extended family. As such, he must work hard and earn a living in order to:

Provide good food, clothing, shelter, and education to those he is responsible for.   

Give allowances where expected.

Regularly, chips in and contributes to the well-being of his extended family.

Religious Roles of Man

The predominant religion in Northern Nigeria, Northern Nigeria is Islam. This has provided the Northern Nigerian society with certain beliefs, behaviours, and obligations to follow. In addition to the completion of personal obligation to God, he is also tasked by religion with several roles.

Some of these roles that religion has mandated for the Northern Nigeria man include: 

1. Religious Leadership Roles

A well-learned and societally accepted man with good moral and social conduct is charged with leadership roles like:

  • He leads prayers as the Imam in mosques and leads prayers for the deceased.
  • He assumes political roles in society.
  • Also, he as a man can become a scholar who delivers preaching like “Tafseer” in religious gatherings
  • A man is charged with carrying on the name of his father and passing it down to his own children.

2. Religious Rites Roles

Execution of certain religious rites has been assigned solely to men by religion. These rites are prohibited for a woman to perform. They include:

  • Acting as “Waliyyi” and “Wakili” in marriage.
  • Taking part in prayers of the deceased and escorting the dead to the grave.
  • Giving out “Zakkatul fitr” (alms) on behalf of his family
  • He is the one to seek permission from a woman’s father to court her when looking for marriage. He also pays a token for the woman before he can take her as his wife. This token is referred to as “Sadaki” or bride price.

3. Matrimonial Roles

The roles of a man in marriage have been clearly outlined by religion in Northern Nigerian society. These include:

  • Financial responsibility: He becomes financially responsible for his wife’s food, shelter, clothing, education, and discipline according to the teachings of Islam.
  • Emotional responsibility: He protects and safeguards his wife’s emotional state of mind.
  • Moral & Spiritual responsibility: He guides and educates his wife on her moral and spiritual conduct. For example, he should constantly monitor/permit her interactions with people outside her home or make sure she discharges her prayers on time.

4. Moral Role

Personal code of conduct of behaviours and interactions with people have been clearly outlined by religion for the man to follow. He is expected to:

  • Offer a handshake in greeting and say the “Salam” when passing a fellow Muslim or group of Muslims.
  • He is expected to imitate qualities like honesty, patience, and humility among others.
  • He is expected to obey and honor his parents and especially his mother as she is the key to his paradise. 

Socio-Cultural Roles

These are roles spelled out by the society based on their culture and tradition. They are socially accepted beliefs, norms, and behaviours allowed of a Northern Nigerian man. In addition, they are rules handed down from generation to generation which may or may not be dynamic. They include the following; 

1. Occupational Roles

Certain occupations in Northern Nigeria society until today are believed to be suitable for men and unheard of for women. Even though the Northern Nigerian man has a white-collar job, he is encouraged by society to be involved in technical/manual jobs or trading.

Examples of such occupations Northern Nigeria society has outlined for men include; wanzam, carpentry, building, animal rearing, etc.

2. Courtship Roles

Before a man in Northern Nigeria society marries, he undergoes a period of courtship in which after taking permission from the lady’s father, they get to know each other before marriage. Society has socially constructed roles the Northern Nigerian man must play in this period. They are as follows:

  • He initiates the courtship process.
  • He offers gifts occasionally to the lady whom he wants to marry.
  • Before he marries her, he is expected to complete the cultural rites of marriage like gifting her clothes or otherwise “Lefe” and other necessary cultural rites. 

National Roles

Northern Nigerian people are naturally proud of genetic traits handed to them like wisdom in speech, strong moral/social code, and ambition.

Wherever a Northern Nigeria man is, it is his responsibility to: 

1. Political Role 

  • Use his natural skills and talents to govern the nation politically.
  • Become a recognized trade or craftsman. 

2. Citizenship Role

  • Be a law-abiding member of the nation and dispatch his duties accordingly
  • Abstain from criminal, social or moral misconduct that will bring him and other people shame.
  • Be a man the nation is proud of.


From the above, it is clear that men in Northern Nigeria society have clearly spelled roles.