SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Muhammad, D. (1977) Individual talent in the Hausa poetic tradition : A study of Akilu Aliyu and his art. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
Download (15MB)


The thesis examines a representative collection of works by the contemporary Hausa poet Akilu Aliyu in the context of Hausa verse generally and in particular the literate tradition. Chapter I outlines the relationship between the two traditions of Hausa verse (Waka) - the oral genre, Waka I, and the literate, Waka II, a biographical sketch of Akilu; and a thematic classification of the poems in the corpus. Chapter II describes the corpus in detail with regard to "segmental", syllabic rhyme (a traditional feature in the literate genre) and considers the extent to which Akilu conforms to or departs from this rhyme tradition. Chapter III demonstrates tonal or "suprasegmental" rhyme, a phenomenon conspicuous in the corpus but not hitherto observed for Hausa verse although it seems to be significant in both genres. Chapter IV, on prosodic rhythm, investigates how far Classical Arabic prosody on the one hand and Hausa Waka I on the other provide the rhythmic inspiration for Akilu as compared with other Waka II authors. Chapter V surveys Akilu's style in language, examining first various forms of poetic licence (dialect, register, loans, linguistic deviation, enjambment and run-on); then rhetorical patterning in parallelism of various types (phonological, morphological, syntactic, thematic, semantic, linking); and lastly figurative language (in the use of simile, metaphor, symbol and allegory). This final chapter concludes with a brief co-ordinating critical commentary to illustrate the convergence of features of thematic content, form and style in one poem, KALUBALE, considered as a unique artistic entity. Finally, it is concluded that while to some extent he follows the inherited tradition, Akilu has also developed and enriched it with his individual artistic talent. Appendix A lists alphabetically all the poems in the corpus with a note of some of their features, and Appendix B contains the text and translation of KALUBALE.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:58

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item