FOODELICIOUS – Poetry on Nigerian Traditional Cuisines


… Report by Bilkisu Usman Abubakar

FOODELICIOUS - Poetry on Nigerian Traditional Cuisines
The 2 Profs who presided over the literary event.

The Day: Tuesday 19th December, 2017. The Occasion: BUK Creative Writers Forum. The Venue: Faculty of Communication, BUK New Site. The Time: 4:00pm prompt.

In Attendance were Prof. Abdullahi Sale Kano Chairing the event. By his sides Prof. Badmus, Dr. Bala Muhammad and Dr. Gausu.

Also worthy of mention are Malam Ismail Bala, Malam Dzukogi, Isa Muhammad Inuwa, Ahmad Abubakar Dr., Aliyu A. Wali and Tijjani Muhammad Musa among several others.

The Theme of the monthly literary event was Celebrating Nigerian Traditional Cuisines and in response many entries were received from which nine made it through to the reading stage.

The 9 shortlisted works are:
1. Heavenly Meal – Hauwa El-Yakub
2. The Ingrate – Abusultan
3. Sapid Soup of Biu – Fatima Binta Ali
4. Taushe – Isa Muhammad Inuwa
5. Hot Pounded Yam – Fatima Ibrahim Suleiman
6. Int’l Danwake Festival – Ammar Femoh Sesay
7. Food That Tells A Story -Lawan Ahmed Muhammad
8. Menu – Khadija Yusra Sanusi
9. Fura da Mono – Tijjani Muhammad Musa

The winning entry will take home The Prof. Mustapha Muhammad Award (PMMA) worth a cash prize of N10,000. This will be announced during the session scheduled to hold in the new year on Tuesday 30th January 2018.

Preambles to the take-off of the occasion was the sharing of some well baked, well dressed, bowtie wearing cup cakes from the delicious confectionary house of Aishatu Sanusi – Cele Cakes & Snacks. Just like she did at the November edition, where her suya sticks teased and tantalized salivary buds of literary persons present.

The program started on a lecture note by the Chairman who is an expert in nutritional diet. He highlighted on the nutritional value of many Nigerian foods with special emphasis on Northern traditional cuisines and ingredients.

Advising that one should ask if foods available to a person was once food to his grandparents.

The advantages of going back to using many of our abandon ingredients such as kuka, zogale, dangarfa etc for cooking as well as the danger of using mono-saccharide glutamate (MSG) and consumption of sugar (no food food or man’s worst best friend) were at the center of his discuss. A very enriching and enlightening opening speech it was indeed.

There after the monthly literary reading of poems, prose and drama began with The Ingrate, which read by Bilkisu el-Yakub on behalf of Abusultan, the pen name of Prof. Badmus. The opening stanza of which goes thus:

The Ingrate

The mouth is an ingrate if it were not an ingrate
How can it forget so soon
Assorted meats
Boiled and roasted
Fried and shredded
Grilled and peppered…

This was immediately followed by Sapid Soup of Biu, which essentially talked about the famous Kuka soup of Northern Nigeria. The poet celebrated one particular make of kuka soup over all the others. Listen to her last stanza:

Sapid Soup of Biu

I have assay that of Hadejia
But it was scorched
I have nibble that of Kano
I profess it was yucky
I have savor that of Katsina
I affirm it was distasteful
Try _Kuka_of Biu, and you will come up with the most palatable taste!

Next was the turn of the veteran poet Malam Isa Muhammad Inuwa who took the stage and rendered his Taushe submission. Taushe soup is made with pumpkin and is considered an elite dish, made mostly during festivities by the populace. Here, have a scoopful taste of:


My ace soup of all
Rich in pumpkin, groundnut chips
And chopped vegetable leaves

The aroma of African dish
It goes well with Burabusko, yet
Better with Tuwon Shinkafa…

Up next came Heavenly Meal presented by a lady poet, who was eloquent as well as elegant in her rendition. Hear her captivating second stanza:

Heavenly MealImage may contain: one or more people and people sitting

The famous market of ‘yankaba
Now turned to ‘yan kabewa
Tomatoes and onions troop to the market
All sorts of peppers follow them in
This is where it all begins.
The heavenly Sallah meal.

The excitement was just beginning to build up as more was anticipated, but a break for critiques, questions, comments, observations and so on was called for, indicating the end of the first segment.

Not long thereafter, Hot Pounded Yam was served. This happened to be in a drama script format, the climax of which generated so much laughter from the house. Here is an excerpt from it:

Hot Pounded Yam

Mrs. Oladayo Saheed: Dear, I seriously want to work (she said.)
Mr. Oladayo Saheed: Ehnnnnn… On one condition.
Mrs. Oladayo Saheed: Wow. Thank you love. Tell me, am listening.
Mr. Oladayo Saheed: Every Monday, Thursday and Sunday, my dinner has to be hot freshly prepared pounded yam with eforiro and orisirisi (assorted meat, pomo and fish etc).
Mrs. Oladayo Saheed: (She frowned) What sort of condition is this, darling?
Mr. Oladayo Saheed: (He also frowned back) That’s the only condition you have, if you really want to work.

International Danwake Festival sounds like some event set to happen in the old ancient city of Kano, right? Where Hausawa and Hausa speaking people and traditional Hausa food loving individuals from all over the world would gather to celebrate one of Hausa’s most unacknowledged delicacy of all times, Danwake.

Well not to the Sierra Leonean poet AF Sesay, who in the piece has predicted the global acceptance of this humble, corner stone dish, because of his admiration and love for it. He predicted thus:

International Danwake Festival

Now that we are in 2027, I am delighted to inform you of the maiden edition of International Danwake Festival holding at Trump Tower, New York come July. Didn’t your grandmother tell you that July was the month in which the taste of Danwake grows into full blossom? All scholars and lovers of Danwake around the world will be tasked to bring up a twenty-year strategic plan on how to make Danwake the King of all delicacies in the universe!

The Food That Tells A Story and Menu could not be featured due to the absence of their authors. Subsequently, Fura da Nono was served the curtsey of the Poetic Tee. His brew came up with the beloved Arewa fast food, which delighted the house.

With a rhyming scheme of AA, BB, the captivating rendition was greeted with a thunderous applause. Three couplets from the piece read like this:

Fura da Nono

“Fura da nono!” she’ll loudly, hawkly announce
One of north’s best delicacies, ten kobo to an ounce.

Grounded balls of cooked, pounded millets, made to
Swim in a pool of raw, rich, refine white yoghouto’.

Carried carefully, covered in a colourful calabash
Balancing the thrill precariously, a woman brash.

With that palatable Hausa-Fulani meal, the session’s reading was concluded. And all is now set for the N10,000 Prof. Mustapha Muhammad Prize winner to emerge after the Chairman of the event has taken time to go through all the presented entries and pick his most enthralling piece.


Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoorZaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah’s entry Married To A Genie has emerged tops of all the submissions and renditions made during BUK – CWF November 2017 sitting. With a short story that depicts how a human entered into holy matrimony with a genie. It was an unbeatable piece, and ended up being the winner as announced by Dr. Gausu who chaired that session.

ANA Kano Secretary M. T. Musa who was available at the event collected the winning amount on behalf of ANA Kano chief Mr. Z. I. Kallah in several photo shots before the acknowledging audience.

Then commenced the paparazzi show, where snaps and selfies were instantly uploaded on social media platforms to the delight of those who missed the jam-packed hall used for the literary reading.

Tuesday 30th January, 2018 is scheduled to be the date of the next BUK Creative Writers Forum, which promises to be the monthly literati opener for the new year.

Be part of the literary celebrations as more creativity flows from many to showcase their talents and words craftmanship.

Happy New Year 2018 from all of us.

(c) 2017 DWi/Bilkisu U. A.
All Rights Reserved

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