A Hausa song from northern Nigeria, popular with women. It is from an anthropological record of the Hausa people, partly compiled from an oral account given by Baba (1877-1951), the daughter of a Hausa farmer and Koranic teacher, and translated by May K. Smith.
The poem refers to a barber who is also a pimp, with a purely businesslike attitude to love. The women, by contrast, look to Allah for wealth and to Bawa’s love for pleasure.
The barber doesn’t want a burning passion:
He doesn’t wish it to break him up.
There is no king but Allah,
It is fortune I am seeking from Allah.
What has brought you to Bawa’s bed?
Love has brought me to Bawa’s bed,
Desire has brought me to Bawa’s house.
from Baba of Karo (1954),
May K. Smith