Author Topic: Presenting Hajiya Sa’adatu Barmani Choge – Hausa Traditional Female Musician  (Read 16077 times)

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Offline admin

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Presenting
Hajiya Sa’adatu Barmani Choge – Hausa Traditional Female Musician


Abdalla Uba Adamu (auadamu@yahoo.com)
Chairman, Center for Hausa Cultural Studies, Kano, Nigeria

Barmani Choge (b. 1945, Funtuwa, Katsina State, Nigeria) and her Calabash Ensemble popularized the mature Hausa women genre of music called Amada (although she had precedent in the late Hajiya Uwaliya Mai Amada (1934-83) which started as religious performance by women in their inner apartments, before later becoming secularized in public performances. Barmani Choge’s performances appeal typically to mature women in high society due to her daring – and often experimental – exploration of issues that other conventional women musicians avoid. Literally the last of her generation, she popularized the Amada genre of Hausa music which is centered around five upturned calabashes floating on water and played with the hands by rather elderly women.

The thematic focus of her performances is on the sociology of the family as it affects the woman in a typical Muslim Hausa household. She uses her lyrical power to draw attention to issues dealing with inter-personal relationships among women and between women and men. A lot of her repertoire deals with female social and economic empowerment in a traditional setting. For instance, her song, Sakarai Ba Ta Da Wayo (Silly, She’s Not Smart) is a direct attack on women who prefer to live on other women’s economic efforts rather than seek out their own means of living. This song is complemented by A Kama Sana’a Mata (Women, Engage in Profitable Occupations) which urges women to be economically empowered by getting engaged in a whole series of economic activities outlined in the performance. Her other set-pieces include a song that celebrates birth, Gwarne Ikon Allah (The Blessings of Multiple Births), in which she proudly celebrated having a dozen children; as well as occasional forays into a more adult-themed performance such as in Wakar Duwaiwai (The Song of the Derriere) in which she celebrates a woman’s attraction to her matrimonial duties. However, her most successful song is about resistance to polygamous marriages as sung in Dare Allah Magani (Allah, the Curer of Night Darkness). Although not original to her (other Amada musicians such as Uwaliya had earlier recorded the song), Barmani’s rendition carried with it a fresh perspective that appealed to more modern Hausa women who took umbrage at the idea of polygamous relationships.

Sadly, Barmani Choge seems to be the last of her generation. Although she has grand daughters, none wishes to follow in her footsteps as a performing artist. In fact Barmani herself states she does not want any of them to become performing artists. She often goes to the concerts with the grand daughters who act as chorus singers, but in my discussions with them, they insisted they want to continue their education.

Ibrahim Sheme, the editor of LEADERSHIP (Abuja, Nigeria) and who was the lead author in Shata Ikon Allah (the biography of Alhaj Mamman Shata, 2007) is currently working on a definitive biography of Barmani Choge which will surely enrich Hausa ethnomusicology.

For more informatin on the structure of her songs, see Mashi, Musa Barah. 1982. Gudunmawar Hajiya Barmani Choge Mai Amada ga Adabin Hausa. B.A. (Hausa) dissertation, Department of Nigerian Languages, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria.



« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 06:27:21 PM by admin »
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Offline bakangizo

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Is this suppose to be an invitation to the event, a la previous concerts organized by the Council and Prof? If so, do we need IVs?

Offline Muhsin

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Is this suppose to be an invitation to the event, a la previous concerts organized by the Council and Prof? If so, do we need IVs?

If its an invitation then I think we need to have IVs, right. But I fail to see where he mention that.
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Offline waduz

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Prof. please react so that we know the position of things.

Offline Dan-Borno

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Thats the nature of human being, asking too many questions.
If to say you guys have kept mute, I am very sure, the main
purpose of this post by Prof via Admin is to inform and invite
members.  Precedence have shown that mere identification as
kanoonline member will give you access to the venue and the
assumption still remains.

So, na ari bakin Prof naci masa albasa - you guys are invited.

Saura kuma ku fara tambayar irin kayan da za asaka ranan
chasun.

So, we await your reports and observation.  Ni kuma Admin a
taimaka a aiko min da Video Tape din for i cant make it to
Kano.
"My mama always used to tell me: 'If you can't find somethin' to live for, you best find somethin' to die for" - Tupak

Offline Muhsin

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Yauwa Admin, you have made everything clear now. But, do we have to obtain our invitaions as usual? I mean as prof. Abdallah was arranging it for KanoOnliners to collect from secuty men at the entrance during past concerts or how?

And any way, where is Prof. Abdallah don Allah? I tried every possible way to hear from him but...well let me say he kept mute because I even sent him msn via his cellphone but no any response followed. Allah yasa lafiya, amin.

Wish this time around members of KanoOnline would meet, shake and possibly chat at the venue. By Allah's grace I'll be around.

Thanks
Muhsin
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Offline Muhsin

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I yesterday went to British Council to obtain my IV and that of my friends I use to do but am told the date of the event is extened/postponded to next week. So if everything is arranged, pls Admin/Prof let us know. Thanks for the effort. May Allah help us gaba daya.
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Offline Abdalla

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Amada Rap! -- Change in Date!
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2008, 11:52:47 PM »
Jama'a, Sallama

First I would like to apologize for the long silence from me. As many of you know, the last few months of 2007 had been very hectic for me, being an almajiri and all; so I was gallivanting all over the place, trying to keep to deadlines, etc. I am particularly chagrined at not replying young Muhsin's email and prompts. A yi min afuwa.

I am glad Salisu has posted the Amada Rap press release -- although the date has changed, obviously, from 12th January to 19th January (Saturday), same venue, same time. Some of you might be aware that the British Council Kano has undergone radical changes in staff, philosophy and direction. One of the fallouts of this change is the departure of Sue Mace, the energetic former Director who has always been quite actively supportive in these ventures between the British Council and Center for Hausa Cultural Studies (for which I am the Chairman). While the conception of the activities were mine, the funding is from BC. We have tried to get other agencies of the Kano State government to support us in this way, but no one is interested (and would you believe, so little is spent on these activities such as that one or two people can actually shoulder it!). As a matter of fact, the Center for Hausa Cultural Studies started these concerts as part of our activities to engage with traditional musicians and musics. We approached the BC to ask for permission to use the amphitheatre, and the next thing you know, they have indicated their interest as collaborative partners. I personally paid the first artistes from my own pocket (Muhammad Dahiru Daura, the Operatic Blind Beggar Ministrel); the BC however, took over the payments subsequently.

With the new structure at BC, we were not sure for how long we can sustain these collaborations. One of the effects is the fact that the BC closed down completely during the holidays and only re-opened for emails on 7th January 2008. This meant a lot of the preparations that could have been done -- press releases, rehearsals, contacts and contracts, invitations, etc, could not be done in just five days -- so I had to shift the concert by another week to give everyone time to get ready. So insha Allah we are defintely on on 19th January 2008.

But enough of the rambling! What is an Amada Rap? Another one of my avantgarde musical experiments (did I mention I was a failed musician -- I had to chose between playing the guitar or concentrating on becoming a doctor (my father's dream); I guess the academia won over -- not that it was much of a contest; I was a lousy guitarist! Didn't get to become a doctor either -- not good enough, and hated hospitals anyway!). I wanted to use the Amada calabashes as a RAP sound -- because Barmani Choge herself ACTUALLY did a rap section (without perhaphs realizing it was rap) in one of her epics, Dare Alherin Allah (the Bala Waiman segement).

In my Amada Rap map, I would have young modern lyricists jam with Barmani Choge over her calabash ensemble -- thus merging the old with the new. We did it with Kukuma Rap (Mecca2Medina, Arewa) and Gurmi Rap (Aliyu, Babangida, Kano Ryders -- who have since recorded two tracks of Gurmi Rap with Aliyu). We now move into the female domain with Amada Rap!

In this performance we have four young artistes who will be part of the show. There is X-Man (Corruption) who will lead Minor Mistake (Mace Mai Zagin Miji -- their youngest member is 10 years!). Then there is Amal - a female Hausa (Bakanuwa, to boot) rapper, wo will do Barmani Choge's licks alone, and then in the finale of the performance, jam with Choge and possibly Choge's grand daughter.

Choge remains one of the all-time favorite Hausa musicians. I am always fascinated by the power of her lyrical rhythm and forcefulness of her stage performance. I first saw her live on stage in ABU Zaria while I was a student in 1977; then again in 1980/81 in BUK when I had just started working there -- I have been in love with her music since then. I am saddened she seems to be the last of her generation. When I visited her on December 26 2007 to make the arrangements for the concert, we discussed the possibility of a successor -- but she said she has none, and was emphatic that she would not want her children or grandchildren to take over! Thus even Hausa traditional musicians look down on Hausa traditional music -- for like the mainstream Hausa society, they see their craft not as an artform, but as commercial "roko"; a depsicable profession.

However, one of her grandchildren who is still in high school (and insists that she wants to continue her education, which we very much welcomed) and performs backup, promises to sing (after alot of coaxing from me!) If she agrees, we will jam her with Amal to show how the old and new can be integrated in a New Age packaging to sustain a very beautiful musical heritage.

We are holding rehearsals for the rappers from Tuesday 15th January 2008 for three days at Golden Goose Studios, Gidan Mai Tangaran, Zoo Road, Kano, from 7.00 p.m. Then holding a joint rehearsal with Choge on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning (18th and 19th January 2008) at the BC, before the concert at 7.00 p.m. on 19th.

As usual, members of this forum are warmly invited to the rehearsals, if you can make it, and to the concert. I will make arrangements to put formal IVs at the Security Post at the BC and anyone can pick up theirs (or some for others). Alternatively, I can give young Muhsin a whole bushel of the IVs so that Kanoonliners can get their own from him -- maybe they have easier contact than coming to the BC.

I do urge those wishing to come to ensure they are there at the time stipulated, i.e. from 7.00 p.m. to avoid having to wade through a sea or urchins (whom we welcome too, by the way!). In case of problems, reach me by phone (I am wary of re-publishing my phone number; you need to hear the weird calls I keep getting -- not from members of this forum, I hasten to add!!) through young Muhsin or via my email.

Having put that behind me, I am now racking my brain thinking of the NEXT concert which has to be before April (when the BC financial year ends). Any suggestions? I was thinking of a RAP ATTACK kind of thing (what's with me and rap? Love it, mon!) along the lines of Eminem and 8 MILE - overlayered on a traditional instrument? Crazy enough? Suggestions please, folks!!!!

Dan Barno, we will make video recordings of the concert, and will, insha Allah ensure there is a footage somehwere which you can have access to -- but physically because it is likely to be massive, and can't be uploaded on a server.

I have cleaned up the Gurmi Rap recordings and once I have edited it fully, it might be available to those who may wish to have it. Dunno how we're going to distribute it though, but I will think about it, and if I forget, someone should remind me!

Abdalla

Offline EMTL

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Re: Amada Rap! -- Change in Date!
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2008, 11:23:46 AM »
Assalamu alaikum,
Prof., Sir, may Allah (SWT) give you more energy and wisdom to carry on with your work. I envy your creativity and hardwork.

It is very important to remember our dead heros, etc. It imperative to pray Allah (SWT) to forgive and grant His mercy to all those who have left us for the Hereafter. One of the most important in the agenda of this meeting, therefore, should be prayers for her, our parents, ourselves and other Muslims who died. Allah (SWT) Ya jikanta, Uwayenmu da sauran yan uwa Musulmai gaba daya-amiyn.
In the Affairs of People Fear Allah (SWT). In the Matters Relating to Allah (SWT) Do not be Afraid of Anybody. Ibn Katthab (RA).

Offline bakangizo

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Re: Amada Rap! -- Change in Date!
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2008, 02:58:10 PM »
I have always wondered how Prof gets sponsorship, cos I know how disinterested our people/govt are on issues like this. So it never cease to amaze me at the energy and effort he puts into it. Kudos.

I would try and pop in for the rehearsals. As for suggestions for nest concert, zamu fara wasa kwakwalwar mu muga if we can come with an idea ;D

Offline Muhsin

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Re: Amada Rap! -- Change in Date!
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2008, 11:14:28 AM »
Jama'a, Sallama

First I would like to apologize for the long silence from me. As many of you know, the last few months of 2007 had been very hectic for me, being an almajiri and all; so I was gallivanting all over the place, trying to keep to deadlines, etc. I am particularly chagrined at not replying young Muhsin's email and prompts. A yi min afuwa.

Abdalla

Professor Abdallah,

Its really good to hear from you now. I perfectly know; a very important folk like you is always busy. But I wish now you are getting everything sorted. Wish again you are doing great.

I went there myself last Friday but that guy Nom Habu told me that the time is eventually changed. And the IVs are not yet ready. Whenever everything is ready, please Prof. lets know because I understand that Mal. Salisu too is too engaged doing other things as he couldn't often respond to people's request here.

Thanks
Muhsin
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Offline admin

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Re: Amada Rap! -- Change in Date!
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2008, 07:15:52 PM »
Here is the poster with the new date....




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Offline admin

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Sorry folks, I have also marged the 2 topics...
Kaini Kano ko a buhun barkono!!!

Offline kitkat

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Talking about Uwaliya I wonder if prof. has any of her recordings. I was an avid fan of hers when i was in primary school and in my opinion her musical genius surpasses even that of barmani choge, lthough this may be purely sentimental since i ws too young to discern much at that time.
I would love to lay my hands on some of her old classics like wakar paipa( i think she was reffering to money) and others.

Offline Muhsin

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Sorry folks, I have also marged the 2 topics...

Thats right, Admin. How busy you are nowadays? You very often as I said above respond to people's request. Hope Allah ya kara maka guts to handle this forum more securely and better, amin.
Get to know [and remember] Allah in prosperity & He will know  [and remember] you in adversity.

 


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