Bashir Abdullahi's Blog

Archive for October 2009

The London Street Markets

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London is a home to a variety of big and popular shopping malls, ranging from Tesco, Lidl, and Sainsbury’s etc, where you can go in and buy almost all the stuff you are looking for.

This cuts down the need to go from one shop or another, or even crisscrossing the lanes and pathways of the street markets scouting for products.

However, some people still prefer to do their shopping at London’s street markets.

Statistics indicate that there are around 90 major street markets in London where people visit to buy stuffs they need for the running of their daily affairs.


One feature of this markets that differentiate them from the shopping malls is bargaining.

In the shopping malls products have a fixed price on every item, which are calculated at the end of the shopping and the customer pay a fixed total.

As for the street markets, costumers can bargain for a prize of the product to be reduced even if the product has a fixed tag.

Some ascribed their love for street markets to their interest in doing things the traditional way.

Some however see it as a way to while away time, do ‘window’ shopping or even get to see things they may not likely see in the city’s big shopping malls.

Popular among those markets include Camden, Portobello, Whitechapel etc.

This reminds me of the market days back in rural Nigeria where markets only operates on certain days of the week.

This shows that despite the modernity and advancement in technology, people still like things that remind them of the past.

Did I hear you say ‘Iron Age’?


Written by danmakaranta

October 26, 2009 at 10:58 am

The amature poet in me

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Moving alone in the ‘garden of emotion’

Filled with roses like that of the ‘Eden’

The air was blowing fresh and with comfort

I found a shade to rest my ribs

Without hesitating I saw her approaching

Dressed in style she looks like a jewel

With full confidence she moves and smiles

Beautiful! Indeed she is a ‘damsel’

Hello she said with voice like  music

I answered her with heart so admiring

She offered hand as sign of friendship

Before I do I realized, I am dreaming

Written by danmakaranta

October 23, 2009 at 10:49 pm

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Royal horse display

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The third post in the series about the Hausa people and their culture is about the durbar. Wikipedia defines Durbar as  an annual festival celebrated in several cities of Nigeria.

It is celebrated at the culmination of Muslim festivals Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. It begins with prayers, followed by a parade of the Emir and his entourage on horses, accompanied by music players, and ending at the Emir’s palace.

Durbar festivals are organised in cities such as Kano, Katsina and Bida all in northern Nigeria.

The festivals are considered to be magnet to tourists who troops to these areas especially Kano to witness the celebration which includes display of horses and traditional colourful regalia.

Below are 2 clips from yotube about a part of the festival in Kano, northern Nigeria.

Written by danmakaranta

October 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm

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Hausa traditional boxing

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My last post was about the name of this blog ‘Danmakaranta’ and where it was derived from, i.e Hausa language. In the next couple of posts, I intend to tell you more about the ‘traditional’ Hausa ‘man/woman’. I said traditional, because some of the cultures you may see in the up coming posts might not still be in existence in the Hausa land or they may have been modernized.

I will start with the Hausa traditional boxing called ‘Dambe‘.

Dambe, also known as Kokawa according to Wikipedia is a form of boxing associated with the Hausa people of West Africa.

Historically, Dambe included a wrestling component, known as Kokawa, but today it is essentially a striking art.

The tradition is dominated by Hausa butcher caste groups, and over the last century evolved from clans of butchers traveling to farm villages at harvest time, integrating a fighting challenge by the outsiders into local harvest festival entertainment.

It was also traditionally practised as a way for men to get ready for war, and many of the techniques and terminology allude to warfare. Today, companies of boxers travel, performing outdoor matches accompanied by ceremony and drumming, throughout the traditional Hausa homelands of northern Nigeria, southern Niger and southwestern Chad.

CNN’s Christian Purefoy witnessed a Dambe competiton in the northern city of Sokoto and here is a report he filled sourced from Youtube.

Written by danmakaranta

October 19, 2009 at 7:10 pm

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Why Danmakaranta?

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Since setting up this blog and naming it Danmakaranta, i have been inundated with so many question about the meaning of the word ‘Danmakaranta’. I have explained it in th about me page, that the name Dan makaranta is a Hausa word meaning ‘A Student”.

I named the blog Danmakaranta because it was inspired by my studies at University of Westminster, London.

I will now take sometimes to bring you more details about the language called Hausa.

According to Wikipedia Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 24 million people, and as a second language by about 15 million more.

Native speakers of Hausa, the Hausa people are mostly to be found in the African country of Niger and in the north of Nigeria, but the language is widely used as a lingua franca (similar to Swahili in East Africa) in a much larger swathe of West Africa (Accra, Abidjan, Dakar, Lomé, Cotonou, Bamako, Conakry, Ouagadougou, etc.) and Central Africa (Douala, Yaoundé, Maroua, Garoua, N’djaména, Bangui, Libreville, etc.), particularly amongst Muslims. Radio stations like BBC, Radio France Internationale, China Radio International, Voice of Russia, Voice of America, Deutsche Welle, and IRIB broadcast in Hausa. It is taught at universities in Africa and around the world.

I will leave you with the youtube clip below to know more about the Hausa people.

Note: Statistics in this clip may have changes, but it contained basic information about the Hausas.

You are welcome to visit the Hausa land to witness the rich and diverse culture of the community and their hospitality.

Written by danmakaranta

October 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm

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Entertaining the ‘Workaholics’

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A picture of the performers.

A picture of the performers.

I came across some performers  along Oxford Street, in London.

I think London needs more of them to help ease the stress its residents undergo every day.

Individuals and groups who normally performs at different tube stations deserve a thumb up as they are keeping people entertained while they undergo the hasles of catching trains and criss crossing between diferent tube stations.

Although they are doing that to gather few pounds, but not all those that enjoy their music ‘drop change’. Don’t ask me wether I droped something too!

Written by danmakaranta

October 15, 2009 at 6:58 pm


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The new word that is reverberating in the media industry is the word convergence.

The Wikipedia defined convergence as  “The rise of digital communication in the late 20th century made it possible for media organizations (or individuals) to deliver text, audio and video material over the same wired, wireless or fiber-optic connections. At the same time, it inspired some media organizations to explore multimedia delivery of information.”

Convergence to me is a departure from the way things are being done in the media industry before, where individual media stick to one form or platform of disseminating information to its audience be it Radio, Television or Newspaper.

In Nigeria where I come from, almost every newspaper has its own website, where it publishes the news going out in its daily publication.

You can now read newspapers like Thisday, Daily Trust, Vanguard, Guardian, Leadership, Nigerian Tribune etc free online.

Charging for content

One of the Newspapers called the Punch, is however charging for its content and has therefore made subscription a must for anybody who want to read its content online.

But of recent, I’ve realised that they’ve rescind the decision and their contents are free again.

Television stations are not left out in using the web to reach its audience or gain more audience.

You can even watch live newscast on Channels Television online.

It is however limited to its most popular News item  i.e News at Ten in the night.

Many radio stations are also live on the web.

You can stream stations like Capital FM Abuja live without much hassle.

The national broadcaster NTA is also live online.

News on Demand

You can also watch items on demand meaning recorded dispatches from live telecasts.

Radio and Television stations are also in the habit of clipping some of their programmes and place them online for their listeners who missed it or may want to listen to it again.

With this now, Nigerians especially those living abroad can now follow events going on in the country and share their comment online which sometimes get published in the hard copy of the newspapers or get their views read on air in case of Radio and Televisions.

Convergence is indeed a positive development in the media industry in Nigeria.

But, of what benefit could that be for the common man in Nigeria?

Written by danmakaranta

October 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm