Abubakar Ladan

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Abubakar Ladan
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Birth nameAbubakar Ladan
Born1935 (age 87–88)
Zaria, Nigeria
Died(2014-12-23)December 23, 2014
Zaria, Nigeria
GenresMusic of Nigeria, Hausa music
  • Poet
  • Singer

Abubakar Ladan (1935 - 23 December 2014) was a Hausa poet/singer from Northern Region, Nigeria.[1][2] He is best known for Wakar Hada Kan Al'ummar Afirka, a collection of poems published in 1976.[3] The poems are famous for promoting African unity and integration, and for championing African independence and progress. Since their publication, several of his poems have been sampled in the metrical analysis of Hausa prosodic poetry.[4][5][6]


Alhaji Abubakar Ladan was born in Kwarbai, Zaria city, Kaduna State, in colonial Northern Nigeria. He attended Islamic school, and Elementary Town School from 1945 to 1949.[3] He later enrolled in Middle School Zaria (now Alhudahuda College) from 1950 until 1954. After graduating, he worked briefly as a veterinary officer and as a quality inspector for leatherworks. Abubakar Ladan was later involved in politics in Northern Nigeria and was at one point a member of Northern People's Congress.[3] He used his poetry to mobilize popular support for People's Redemption Party Alhaji Aminu Kano.

Alhaji Abubakar Ladan's interest in poetry had been sparked by the songs of his fellow countrymen, Sa'adu Zungur, and Mu'azu Hadeja, and the Sudanese Arab singer, Abdel Karim al Kabli.[1] Around 1970, Abubakar Ladan recorded a rendition of Mu'azu Hadeja's famous poem Tutocin Shaihu da Waninsu ("The Banners of the Sheikh and others").[7]


Alhaji Abubakar Ladan was well travelled inside and outside of Nigeria. From 1956 to 1973, he started a series of journeys that would have him visiting over 37 countries covering over 17000 miles and sometimes travelling by foot.[3] He first visited Niger after which he visited Sierra Leone in 1960. He returned to assist Nigerian business owners in Sudan in 1962. He worked for Radio Ghana from 1963 to 1964. He visited the following African states: Dahomey, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Morocco, Spanish Sahara, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda-Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Cameroun, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Zaire, Madagascar, Equatorial Guinea, Fernando Po.[3]

Abubakar Ladan also visited 7 countries in Europe, 15 in the Middle East, and 5 countries in Far East.[3]

Wakar Hadan Kan Al'ummar Afirka

The formation in 1963 of Organisation of African Unity, OAU, prompted Malam Abubakar Ladan to compose his famous poems in Hausa which he performed without accompaniment. They characterize his vision of a united and prosperous Africa that secures liberty for all its people. His poems examined the common experience of the countries he visited, the emergence of African nation states from colonialism, and the heroes driving the independence movements in the 1960s. The poems are grouped into sections that cover the arrival of European colonialists (Zuwan Turawa Afirka), the attainment of liberty in Africa (Samun 'Yanci A Afirka), the champions of African unity (Baraden Hada Kan Afirka), and the wonders of Egypt (Al'ajuban Masar).

A common refrain scattered around his poems is the prayer, Allah ya Allah ya Allah, Hada kammu Afirka mu so juna ("Allah o Allah o Allah, Unite us Africans to love each other").



  • He was awarded MON during the administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari.[8]
  • In September 2014, he was was awarded OON by the administration of Goodluck Jonathan.[9][10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Tarihin mawaƙi Abubakar Ladan Zariya | DW | 02.08.2010". DW.COM (in Hausa). Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  2. "Allah Yayima Mal. Abubakar Ladan Zariya Rasuwa". VOA (in Hausa). Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Ladan, Abubakar (1976). Wak̳ar had̳a kan alʼummar Afirka. Zaria. pp. ix–x. ISBN 0-19-575287-2. OCLC 41882569.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  4. Studies in Hausa : language and linguistics, in honour of F.W. Parsons. Graham Furniss, Philip J. Jaggar. New York, NY. 2015. ISBN 978-1-317-40615-0. OCLC 910847711.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. Current approaches to African linguistics / 6. Ivan R. Dihoff. Dordrecht: Foris. 1989. ISBN 978-3-11-013045-4. OCLC 643311688.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. Hayes, Bruce; Schuh, Russell G. (2019). "Metrical structure and sung rhythm of the Hausa rajaz". Language. 95 (2): e253–e299. doi:10.1353/lan.2019.0043. ISSN 1535-0665.
  7. Newman, Paul (2017). Syllable weight in African languages. Amsterdam. p. 109. ISBN 978-90-272-6582-1. OCLC 982452148.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  8. "Why I'm getting rotten at 74 – Abubakar Ladan Zaria, a famous Hausa poet". Daily Trust. 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  9. "Jonathan honours under-performing military chiefs, Omisore, others - P.M. News". Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  10. "FG releases list of National Award recipients 2013/2014 - Vanguard". Retrieved 2021-10-11.

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