Barmani Choge: Amada a religious or Hausa mature music?

Initially, whenever Hausa women were engaged in any celebration, they accompany such celebration with praises, in chorus to Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Originally, kidan Amada wasn’t a “Hausa women mature music” as I read some people erroneously attributing it to be. Amada is the shortened form of Waken Amadu. Initially, whenever Hausa women were engaged in any celebration, they accompany such celebration with praises, in chorus to Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Gradually, as time went by, there came many a Zabiya that would be invited to sing such songs of praises to the Prophet in any event, be it naming ceremony, wedding ceremony or even celebration of local plastering (Dabe) of a new home. The lines of those praise songs were all about extolling the virtues of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Some of the popular lines of such praise were:

‘Kara bamu ye ya Allah, kara bamu Allah madogara.

‘Arrahamanu Allah, mai girma. Gafuru Rahimun, madogara. Ba kamar ka Allah, mai girma.

‘Ga bakin ku ye, ga bakin gidan Muhammadu mai girma…’

Subsequently, as time went by and with cultural transmutation, the Amada music began to move away from praises and began incorporating secular lines. Then came late Barmani Choge of the Gidan Kashe Ahu fame. Barmani Choge completely tuned Amada music into dance music. She introduced mature or even adult-themed lines into the music and introduced twerking into it. Of course, since she was using Amada music for commercial purposes, she had to pep her music with luring lines and dance steps that’ll make people pay her.

What’s more, Barmani Choge not only secularized Amada music but also subliminally and latently introduced feminists’ thoughts and narratives into the music. For instance, in one of her popular songs, “Ku kama sana’a mata” Barmani Choge killed the man of the family. Throughout the song, though it was shown to be about a polygamous family, the man was never socially shown to be relevant in the family. While the two women were shown to be engaged in various businesses to take care of their daily needs, the third one, who was shown to be “Sakarai bata da wayau” was also shown to be engaged in sourcing and selling of firewood to survive. Of course, there was no single line where their husband was shown to be a worthy human….

Furthermore, in yet another of her popular songs, (Wakar duwaiwai) Barmani Choge sexually objectified the female buttocks as something women should strive to have as it enhanced their sexual appeal. Some of the lines of the song include:

‘Naga malamalan duwaiwai.

‘Naga ciko marokon dake duwaiwai…’

The song is so repellant to the ultra conservative North then that it didn’t enjoy air play over Radio Kaduna and other radio stations across the North.

Also, As a cultural industrialist, Barmani Choge utilised her gift of sonorous voice and body built to fully maximize her profit margin. All over the North, the wives of the rich and mighty always invited her to perform during their celebrations. Whenever she visited the elites, they lavished her with gifts of money, cloth and even Hajj and Umra. To tell of how she was welcomed by the rich, Barmani Choge once sang “Na sha biredi da shayi, cha nake ruwan famfo ne.”

Whatever the case, society develops and transmutes. That’s why Barmani Choge was able to pick a religious artefact, polish it into secular cultural music and enjoyed the fruits of her labour.

Courtesy: Muhammad Hashim Suleiman, PhD

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