We have been told over and over again that Bayajida, the Founder of Hausa, was from Bagadaza which is a term variously used to refer to either the city of Baghdad in present day Iraq or to the Middle East in general.
It is claimed that Bayajida was an Arab prince from the Middle East who came to West Africa to found the Hausa Bakwai and the Banza Bakwai kingdoms of today’s Northern Nigeria and Middle Belt Nigeria respectively.
With this supremacist Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai theory the Hausa historians, and later the White colonial administrators, were able to propagate the racist claim that the Arabs and Fulanis, who are deemed to be Caucasians, are superior to the Hausa people. It is then claimed that the Hausa-Fulani people, who are then deemed to be half-caste Caucasians, are racially superior to the Nupe, the Gbagyi, the Jukun, the Igala, the Igbira and other Negroid peoples of Middle Belt Nigeria. The Middle Belt Nigerians are then deemed to be racially superior to the pure Negro peoples of Southern Nigeria.
This racist Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai theory promoted Hausa supremacist and hegemonistic tendencies while at the same time giving the White colonialist the moral basis to colonise and exploit our forefathers.
This is not the place to waste time proving the Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai theory wrong; suffice it to point out parenthetically here that world renowned authorities, including Professor Abdullahi Smith, Professor A.H.M. Kirk-Greene, Professor S.J. Hogben, Professor M.G. Smith, Professor J.S. Trimingham, Professor W.K.R. Hallam, Professor Robert Smith and Professor J.E.G. Sutton have proved long ago that the Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai theory is a racist propaganda that has no basis in reality.
The Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai supremacist theorists were initially spreading this lie that Bayajida came from Baghdad. And the Hamitic theory colonial historians were supporting the racist claim that Bayajida came from the Middle East because it best served Frederick Lugard’s infamous Indirect Rule form of British imperialism. But that was just at the beginning, when almost all the pioneer colonial historians were on the payroll of the Colonial Secretary back in London and Frederick Lugard’s administrative machinery headquartered in Lokoja, Zungeru or Kaduna.
Albeit, this racist theory of Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai was dealt a death-blow when independent research workers begun to join the fold of the quest for the true identity of Bayajida. It was discovered that there are many inconsistencies and fallacies associated with the Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai theory.
First it was discovered that over a century before the birth of Frederick Lugard the Sokoto Prince Sultan Bello, who was the first Sultan of the Sokoto Caliphate, had written that Bayajida came from the south, that is KinNupe, and not from Baghdad.
The problem for the Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai theorists then was that Sultan Bello is not an ordinary authority. Sultan Bello’s insisting that Bayajida came from the south could not be brushed aside – it is a fact that the Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai theorists could not refute.
On the authority of Sultan Bello, Bayajida the Founder of the Hausa race was not an Arab from Baghdad, Mecca or anywhere from the Middle East – Bayajida was a Black African Negro from KinNupe.
Independent academic researchers, including Professor Abdullahi Smith, Professor W.K.R. Hallam, Professor Michael Crowder, Professor J.E.G. Sutton, and Nagendra Kr. Singh, have also demonstrated the fact that Bayajida did not come from the Middle East or Asia Minor.
And there is further trouble in store for the Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai theorist even if we restricted ourselves to their claim that Bayajida came from Borno.
The problem here is that there are two Bornos in the past of Nigeria – the prehistoric Borno and the historic Borno. In other words there was a Borno that once existed in the prehistory of Nigeria and there was another, different, Borno that existed in the history of Nigeria. It was the prehistoric Borno that became the historic Borno which in turn became the modern Borno.
The difference between Prehistoric Borno and Historic Borno is geographical – while Prehistoric Borno was located right here on the banks of the River Niger in Central KinNupe, Historic Borno was located on the banks of the Lake Chad in far away north-eastern Nigeria.
Earlier sources have indubitably documented the existence of a powerful Borno kingdom that, once upon a time, flourished on the banks of the River Niger right here in Central KinNupe; in the very places that we have the Katcha-Bida-Patigi axis today. This was the ‘Old Borno’ or ‘Proto-Borno’ of the Sir H.H. Johnston Africanist school of thought.
This was the same as Sir H.R. Palmer’s ‘Borno Gungu’ or ‘Old Borno’ which he located on the banks of the River Niger here in the heart of KinNupe.
Leo Africanus, the second documented outsider to visit KinNupe after Ibn Batuta, categorically wrote that Borno was located in Central KinNupe in the 15th century when he visited KinNupe.
We also saw Sultan Bello practically locating Borno in KinNupe and not on the banks of the Lake Chad.
Even the name ‘Borno’ itself refers to the River Niger and not the Benue or the Lake Chad. The modern name ‘Borno’ is a Latinisation of the more indigenous ‘Bornu’ which in turn is a latter corruption of ‘Barnu’ which is a combination of ‘Bara-nu’ or ‘Bara-ni’.
Bara-ni is a compound word. It is a combination of Bara and Ni. The aricle ‘ni’ (or ‘nu’) was used in ancient times to refer to a tribesman or a person such that ‘Bara-ni’ will mean ‘The Bara man’ or ‘the man from the tribe of Bara’.
Now then the question is who were the Bara people? What is the ‘Bara’ in Barani, Barnu or Borno?
Bara is nothing but a dialectal variant of the same ancient and national name Bwara, Gbwara, Gwara, Kwara, or Koro. Of course, and as we all know, Kwara or Koro has been the name of the River Niger since very ancient times.
We should note the fact that the national name of the Nupe people in former times was Bara or Ibara. This is also documented by Professor Roger Blench. And that is why the Kanuri, that is the people of Borno who were originally located in KinNupe, were known in former times as the Baribari – a national name that is simply a repetitive form of ‘Bara bara’ or ‘Bara’.
Baribari is a name that is still extant in KinNupe to this very day in the form of the Baribari people of Borgu, the Kambari, the Gbari, the Nupe (Ibara, Ibari), etc, etc.
Why will the people of Borno and various other peoples in KinNupe to this very day be bearing the same name ‘Baribari’ or ‘Bari’ or ‘Bara’ – a name that refers to the River Niger – if Borno was not originally located on the banks of the River Niger in former times.
To Nupe historians this Old Borno was known as Gbara. In very ancient times the whole of KinNupe was known to Nupe historians as Gbara and the citizens of this Gbara Nation, that is the Nupe people, were known as the Igbara, Ibara. The Nupe people, especially the Nupe Tako people, are known to this very day, on the authority of Professor Roger Blench, as the Ibara people.
The Gbara, Ibara or Bara Nupe people were also known as the Bara-ni which directly translates as the ‘Bara People’. And it is this Bara-ni that was also variously pronounced as a Bar-ni or Barni, Barnu, Bornu or, as we Latinize it today, Borno.
KinNupe was the first place to be known and referred to as Borno, Bornu, Barnu, Barni, Bara-ni or, simply, as Bara or Ibara. And in fact KinNupe was known as Borno since very ancient times and continued to be known and to be referred as such right unto the end of the 18th century.
Michael Olugbode also wrote of the Old Borno on the river Niger in very ancient times.
This Old Borno or Original Borno was located right here in Central KinNupe in very ancient times. And it was still in existence as late as the end of the 18th century. It was only in latter times that the Old Borno of KinNupe migrated along the course of the Niger and Benue rivers up to the reaches of the Lake Chad where it eventually merged with the Kanem kingdom to form the Borno of history which became today’s Borno.
The Arab historian Ibn Khaldun wrote that Borno was originally a separate kingdom from Kanem; that it was only in latter times that the two met and merged into a united kingdom.
That Borno was originally located here in Central KinNupe is authoritatively documented in a cache of archive documentaries in the Holy City of Vatican, Rome, in Italy. These documents are in the private collection of the Pope in Vatican City and anybody who has any access to the Vatican archives can see, for himself, the incontrovertible testaments of the existence of an Original Borno in Central KinNupe in very ancient times.
It was this Old Borno or Original Borno which was located in Central KinNupe that the story of Bayajida was referring to when it narrated that Bayajida, the Founder of the Hausa race, came from Borno. The Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai theory itself was in effect saying that Bayajida came from KinNupe.
The truth of the matter is that Bayajida was a Nupe prince who became the emperor of an almighty empire which was comprised of Northern Nigeria, Middle Belt Nigeria, Southern Nigeria, today’s Benin Republic, and many other parts of the Central Sudan and even beyond.
Sultan Bello also wrote that in the beginning Hausaland and KinNupe were one and the same land. He wrote, in his Infakul Maysuri, that Hausaland and KinNupe belonged to the same Gawara, Gwara, Gbwara, Bwara, Bara, Bara-ni or Bornu empire which was in latter times ruled over by the ‘Sultan of Kororofa’, that is, the ‘Sultan of Nupeko’ or the ‘Nupe Emperor’.
This ‘Sultan of Kororofa’ or ‘Nupe Emperor’ was, of course, a dynasty of superpower emperors one of whom must have been the Nupe prince known to us today as ‘Bayajida’.
The story of Bayajida coming from the outside to found city states – ranging from seven to twelve – has so much in common with the story of Etsu Yisa (Kisra) an earlier Founder of Nupe that this parallelism did not escape the attention of Professor Leo Frobenius and many other scholars who immediately wrote that the story of Bayajida and Kisra or Etsu Yisa are one and the same told in different versions by the Hausas and the Nupes respectively.
In fact other world renowned professors, including Professor Professor Dierk Lange, H.A.S. Johnston, and many others, have shown that Bayajida the Founder of the Hausa race is the same that is known as Kisra to thers and among the Nupes as Etsu Yisa or Etsu Kitsa who was an earlier the Founder of the Nupe Nation long before Tsudi or Tsoede.
It is very true that Bayajida came and formed a confederation of Hausa and Banza city states but these Hausa and Banza states founded by Bayajida were Nupe city states located inside KinNupe several centuries before they eventually ‘migrated’ out of KinNupe.
Zaria, for instance, was originally a Nupe city state known as Zugurma and located on the very banks of the River Niger right here in Central KinNupe. It was only in latter times that a section of the Zugurma population, known as the Gbara or Gunguma, migrated out of KinNupe to become the Zaria kingdom that is located in its present location on the southern fringes of today’s Hausaland.
As a matter of fact the first Hausa people were the Yisa Nupe people who emerged as a result of the migration of the Kisra Nupe refugees from the Hausa world back to KinNupe on the occasion of the fall of the Sara world region and the rise of its daughter religions including Mithraism, Christianity and Islam in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Asia Minor.
These Yisa Kisra Nupe people were the first people to be referred to as the Hausa. Actually Hausa is a latter and dialectal corruption of the original Nupe word Yisa or Isa which was the national name and the name of the king and the name of the god of the ancient Yisa Nupe people.
A united nation of the Yisa and the Gwagba ancient Nupe people also resulted into the formation of the Gwa-Isa, Gwasa, Gbwasa, or Gbasa Nupe people. It was this ancient Nupe national name, Gbasa, that the Hausa tongue came to pronounce in latter times as Basa or Banza.
So, and in the beginning, both the Yisa or Hausa and the Basa or Banza people were ancient Nupe people through and through and both of them were resident here in Central KinNupe for centuries before they eventually spread out to other parts of ancient Nigeria and the Central Sudan in general.