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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Islamic-Hausa Feminism Meets Northern Nigerian Romance: The Cautious Rebellion of Bilkisu Funtuwa
Author:Whitsitt, Novian
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
popular literature
Onitsha market literature
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
About person:Bilkisu Ahmed Funtuwa
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1514984
Abstract:This study of contemporary Hausa literature analyses a Northern Nigerian body of popular fiction currently referred to as Kano market literature and known to Hausa speakers as 'Littattafan Soyayya' (books of love). The popularity of this genre of romance rests upon its subject matter, one that has proven controversial within the conservative Muslim environment of Hausa society. On the surface, the novels are preoccupied with love and marital relationships, depicting the ordeals faced by courting lovers or married couples. However, on a deeper level, the novels have become an explorative territory for the socially, culturally and religiously loaded issues of polygamy, marriages of coercion, 'purdah', and the accessibility of female education. In effect, Kano market literature reflects the rapid social change confronting Hausa society and positions itself as a voice offering a new perspective on gender relations. This article examines the works of arguably the most celebrated woman writer, Bilkisu Ahmed Funtuwa. Acutely aware of her rigid social and religious milieu, Funtuwa offers suggestions to young women who desire a greater level of control over their familial relationships and educational direction. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]