Female Voices in Northern Nigeria: An Exploration of Nature, Activism and Identity Politics in the Poetry of Nana Aishatu Ahmad, Angela Miri, and Maria Ajima


Dikko Muhammad

Research Area:


This research project aims to explore the concerns of the female poets in Northern Nigeria. It seeks to explore the literary-critical female voices hitherto unheard as a result of the domination of patriarchal tendencies that extend to the imaginative space.  Female Writers are hardly accorded any space in literary discussions of work produced in northern Nigeria. The problem is more worrisome in case of poetry as women are hardly considered as capable of producing any poetry worth reading by the male-dominated critical institutions, notwithstanding the poetry of Nana Asma'u Danfodio produced as far back as early 1800s.


The present research presents three major issues as projected in the collections of the poets under study. To achieve this, feminism is used as the theoretical framework. The feminist frame is be used to explore the poets' protest against the status quo and their projection of the female identity in a patriarchal society for centuries. The project investigates the feminist engagements; whether radical or subtle in their quest to exert their female identity and how in the process they respond to the "male other' as a source of female silences, anguish, suffering and hopelessness. Their diction is closely studied to see the link between the formal structures of their poems and the ideologies that the language portrays. Thus, the study takes into cognizance the forms and contents of the poems under study. The figurative language embodies in itself the ideological stance of the poets.