Three Hausa poems from northern Nigeria, praising a professional drummer whose skills, with Allah’s help, have made him a wealthy man.
The drum drums health,
The drum drums wealth…
Two Gonga laments from the Kaffa Highlands of south-west Ethiopia. They use the form of the Praise-Poem to mourn the defeat of the king, Hinnare-tato, and the scattering of his people.
The Hinnare-tato has become a simple man,
Our magnificent gold has become copper…
An extract from a Kanuri Praise-Poem from the ancient kingdom of Bornu in northern Nigeria (see also The Sultan of Bornu). The Gumsu was the chief wife of the king of Bornu, and the Gumsu praised in this poem was the wife of Sultan Arri Umarmi, 1645–85.
owner of Maradi town,
never looks behind her…
This site opens a window on something that will be new to most people, namely, the vast amount of superb poetry hidden away in the 3000 different languages spoken in Africa … More