BY SHEHU MUBARAK SULAIMAN                        

I run from the far Sahara 

through the Sahelian Kano 

to the fertile lands of Benue 

 

I am North

A spring of wisdom 

I fed the brave Sardauna

And the eloquent Tafawa 

 

I am North

A home to the Hausas

The Fulanis and Kanuris 

Beroms, Tivs and Idomas 


I am North

A generous mother

For I betrothed The Niger

To a beautiful bride–The Benue 

 

In me are a people

From diverse places

Adamawa speaks beauty

In Kaduna, it rains intellect 

 

Sokoto narrates legends

Of Shehu Usmanu Danfodiyo 

And his conquest of Argungu

down to the villages of Ilorin 


In me were blacksmiths

From the ancient town of Bidda

Tell me about the town of Hadejia 

And fishes in its mysterious River


Plateau harbours minerals

And abundance dwell in Kano

Maiduguri was a home for all 

In the days of Ajami scripting 

 

My youths are not Islamists

I am the groudnut pyramids 

I am Yakubu Gowon and Abacha

I am Mamman Shuwa and Murtala


When the sun rises

My markets get saturated

With hardworking merchants

And traders from beyond me 


I am North

The stout Maina

The arid land of Gashua

I am vast farming and Pottery 


I am North

a cave that echoes 

All sounds of Dan Kwairo 

I am the strings of Dan Maraya 


I am North

Arewan Sarki Dikko

I am Mamman Durugu 

I am architectural prowess


I am North 

I am the wealthy Dangote

I am Okene and Ajaokuta

I am Damaturu, Jos and Lafia


There’s more to me

than the stories you hear

I had noble Queens and Kings 

Towns within me, far and near 


I am North

Of various faiths

Muslims and Christians 

Of churches and mosques 

 

Do not try to slander me

False tales don’t define me

My offsprings are not terrorists

For I am North, I am hospitality 


In me are age-long festivals

And some colourful durbars 

My Yankari is a sight to behold 

Come! Do not wait till you are told 


Mambilla touches the skies

“Awara” is sweeter when fried 

I heard Gurara has tasty waters

In me are brothers without borders


Bauchi devours Maasa

Fura is an anthem in Gombe 

There are morsels of Tuwo in Daura

Hadejia is well known for Miyan Kuka


All hail Mamman Shata

who rose from ancient Funtua

Our Queen Amina was a heroine 

She fought wars for old Zazzau


I am North, 

I am Bayajidda, 

I am Atta and Bayero

I am Ladi Kwali and Sawaba


I am North

The seat of The Caliphate

The Birnin Kudu paintings 

I am culture and heritage 


I am North, 

I am milk and meat

I am cows and camels 

I am grains and bounty harvests 


I am North

An abode of the Gwaris

The Jukuns and the Zurus 

The Ebiras and the Igalas 


These rains will go

This blood will wash away

These cries will fade slowly

For I am North, Arewan Ali Makaho

 

I am North, 

A place of love

For myriad centuries

Where peace had found shelter 


They call me North

My children call me Arewa

But then, to me, I am a home 

For men, women, young and old. 


Shehu Mubarak Sulaiman 

27-2-2019

One Response

  1. Very beautiful and inspiring knowledge of Northern Nigeria.

    But how the region is a poetry of wails, tears and cracks of a nation today.

    Just how will this poem be more beautiful of North today and onwards.

    Thank you for a very good poem.

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