Meet Barmani mai Choge, one of Hausa’s best female singers

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Hajiya Sa’adatu Ahmad known as Barmani Choge was born in 1945 in the village of Gwaigwayi, in Katsina State in northern Nigeria. Born into a household of Islamic scholars, she received Islamic education from her father. She also took part in dandali, open-air playing and singing with other children. At the age of fifteen, she married Alhaji Aliya, a local young businessman, with whom she would have twelve children. Her husband had himself sung and played the garaya lute with his father, and encouraged her singing.

In 1973 she started performing at marriage and naming ceremonies. She gained “a reputation as a boisterous and uninhibited performer who ‘said it like it was’ since she addressed issues intimate to women, about life, wealth, husbands and survival.”

Choge also popularised the mature Hausa women genre of music called Amada, and one of the best female Hausa singers from Northern Nigeria

The Amada is centred around five upturned calabashes floating on water and played with the hands by elderly women.

Without fear of tradition or religion, Choge’s songs talked about serious social issues like women’s education and importance of small-scale trading by women, to vulgar topics like co-wives as idle snobs, voluptuous women’s backsides, etc.

The core message of her songs is that women should get up and shine in a male-dominated world, She was a strong believer of women empowerment.

Barmani Choge’s music didn’t only make women dance, it also made them think about their statuses in society. Her last public performance was in Kaduna on 15 December 2012.

Choge died in 2013 after a long battle with diabetes and paralysis. She was 70. She was survived by six children and 60 grandchildren.

May Her soul rest in peace.
Mata sun hwaɗi 😥

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