Voice Over Sydney: Hausa Language

Voice Over Sydney:  Hausa also known as Abakwariga, Habe, Haoussa, Hausawa, Kado, and Mgbakpa, belongs to the West Chadic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. It is one of the largest languages on the African continent, spoken as a first language by the original Hausa people and by people of Fula ancestry. Hausa is the majority language of much of northern Nigeria and the neighboring Republic of Niger. In addition, there is a sizable Hausa-speaking community in Sudan, dating from the British takeover of northern Nigeria at the turn of the 20th century.

Voice Over Sydney: Hausa Origins

There are a number of theories about the origin of the Hausa people. mapOne theory holds that all Hausas once lived by Lake Chad, but were forced to move west when the water level in the lake dropped. Another theory identifies the Hausa people as desert nomads who lived in the Sahara. Some scholars believe that there is a link between the Hausa and the people of Ethiopia based on shared worship of the sun, practiced prior to the arrival of Islam and Christianity. Many Hausa themselves believe that their ancestors were Arabs whose descendants founded the Hausa city-states. Hausa folklore includes some popular myths regarding the origins of the Hausa people.

Voice Over Sydney: Hausa Status

Hausa is spoken by 18.5 million people in Nigeria. It is spoken as a first language by an estimated 24 million speakers and as a second or third language by an additional 15 million people across a broad band of countries of West Africa, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Eritrea, Ghana, Niger, Sudan, and Togo (Ethnologue). It is the lingua franca for Muslim populations in much of West Africa. Every city of any size in West Africa has a large Hausa community. Hausa is used in commerce, government and the media. While higher education in northern Nigeria tends to be in English, Hausa serves as the language of instruction in primary schools. There are several Hausa language newspapers and a growing body of literature.