THE MYTH OF THE HAUSA-FULANI RACE
We have been told so much about the formidable Hausa-Fulani race that it is virtually impossible for us to even contemplate the possibility of a non-existent Hausa-Fulani race today. But, much like almost all other things that conventional Western scholarship has taught us, the truth is that a true Hausa-Fulani race does not exist.
Yes, there is no, and there have never, been a true Hausa-Fulani race. The concpt of a Hausa-Fulani race ia actually just a concept and not an anthropological, let alone an ethnographic, reality. Before the coming of the White man nobody have ever imagined or even conceptualized the exiatence of a compound rac of the Hausa-Fulani. And even after the coming of the White man the idea of a Hausa-Fulani was merely a bureaucratic expediency and was not supposed to be an ethnographic reality.
But after Independence the new Nigerian hegemonists found a perfect refuge in the word ‘Hausa-Fulani’ in the face of a post-Independence British contraption, called Nigeria, that must be characterized by a single ethnic or racial majority from one of each of the three major regions of the country. The British colonialists have insisted that there musy be one major tribe or ethnicity from each of the three regions of Nigeria. The Hausa are a majority in the North ad so also are the Fulanis so the Nigerian hegemonists decided to merge the two together on paper since they couldn’t say the North is dominated by just the Hausa or just the Fulani alone.
And that was how we ended up with the very vague, and indefinite, ‘Hausa-Fulani’, race!
The idea of a Hausa-Fulani race is in fact more of a political invention than a sociocultural reality. It was colonial administrative expediency and post-Independence political dexterity that both led to the invention of the rather fictitious race of the Hausa-Fulani. There s no any anthropological basis for the concept of the Hausa-Fulani race.
For a start we should note the fact that Hausa and Fulani peoples exist as separate tribal or ethnic groups in various countries across West Africa but it is only in Nigeria that they are incongruously merged together into a fictitious ‘Hausa-Fulani’ race.
You go to the Gambia, the Chad, Tanzania, the Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, and all the other countries where you have he Fulani and Hausa people and you will never see the Fulnai and Hausa being incongruously crammed into an untenable ‘Hausa-Fulani’ ethnicity. It is only in Nigeria that this stunt was pulled up right before our unsuspecting eyes.
This, of course, corroborates our discussion to the effect that it was the political activities of post-Independence Nigeria that led to the furtherance of the concept of the Hausa-Fulani race which the colonial administrators penned just for their secretariat and bureaucratic deskworks.
Actually even the term ‘Hausa-Fulani’ is a misnomer and indeed an impossibility. There cannot be a Hausa-Fulani race; there can only be a distinct Hausa people and a distinct Fulani people.
First we should note that the Hausa people are a Negro people – a Black African Negro people with no connections whatever with the Chadic linguistic classification the Professor J.H. Greenberg wrongly classed them into. While, and on the other hand, the Fulani are not a Negro people. The Fulani are most probably a lost Indo-European race that wandered off or fled on exodus into the African continent on the eve of this historical era.
The Black African Negro Hausa and the Indo-European Fulani have remained racially distinct peoples to this very day and any attempt at deceiving the general public into believing that the Hausa and Fulani are one and the same race will fail woefully.
It was in the first half of the 19th century when the Sokoto Caliphate, headed by the Fulani family of Shehu Usmanu Dan Fodiyo, was established in the Hausaland northern half of Nigeria that the idea of a Hausa-Fulani phenomenon first came up.
In those days, however, nobody was actually talking about a Hausa-Fulani race. People were only aware, in those days, of the fact that the Hausa and the Fulani people have been brought into very intimate, and acculturating, contacts with one another due to the sociocultural peculiarties of the Islamic Revolution in the Central Sudan of those days.
In those days the Hausa and the Fulani people were brought together into a nation sharing everything from social norms through marriage to the same religion of Islam. An insignificant miscegenation of an half-caste Hausa-Fulani population did ensued but this was never significant enough as to labeled the entire nation a Hausa-Fulani nation or race as is being wrongly done today.
But it was the colonial historians who actually came and popularise the concept of a Hausa-Fulani race. At the very time that the colonialists were establishing their Colonial Government in Nigeria, racist ideologies were very popular and rampant among the philosophers and politicians back in Europe. It was therefore quite natural to see the White men colonialists in the Nigeria of those days promoting racist ideologies in order to justify their illegal colonization of Africa and the rest of the world.
The racist theory, known as the Hamitic Hypothesis, became famous among the racism-tainted academic circles of Europe from the second half of the 19th century onward.
In fact Europe of necessity needed racist philosophies and ideologies to bolster its imperialist drive for world colonization in those days. The Great Powers of Europe were, in those so-called Age of Discovery days, out to loot, exploit and subjugate the rest of the world in those days and that is why racist philosophies and ideologies to justify and promote the colonization of the rest of the world by the European powers was the norm at that particular period in the history of Europe.
In the 1850s the British racist explorer, John Hanning Speke, slanderously wrote that Negroid Africa was populated by descendants of Ham, the cursed son of Noah.
John Hanning Speke was unashamedly a brazen and reckless racist. He was indeed a product of his times – those days when Europe needed racist philosophers to promote its imperialist desgn for the rest of the world. John Hanning Speke, now officially termed a ‘scientific racist’ even by Western scholarship, was blinded by his racist persuasions which made him see nothing good or positive about the Black Negro people of Africa.
Speke hypothesised that the cursed race of the Negroes are such imbeciles who could not develop cultures or established civilisations. That it was Caucasians from the Middle East and Southern Europe who are responsible for any culture or civilisation in Negro Africa.
That was how he came about his convoluted philosophy of claiming that the Tsutsi are Hamitic and are racially superior to the pure Black African Negro Hutus over whom the Tutsis ruled. It was during his expeditions to the interior of the Black Negro Africa that Speke came up with his notorious Hamitic Theory in 1863.
Incidentally, and as we have pointed out before, that same second half of the 19th century was the period that the Great Powers of Europe were spreading their imperial tentacles of colonialism over the darker races of the Southern Hemisphere. It is therefore not surprising that the Great Powers of Europe were actually funding all research and scholarly efforts geared towards the justification of the colonization of the rest of the world by a racist-minded Europe that was merely interested in looting and exploiting the rest of the world for its agricultural and industrial revolutions.
The second half of the 19th century therefore witnessed a proliferation of all manners of racist philosophers with unfettered and unscrupulaous disdain for the Black African Negro and all the other ‘natives’ peoples of the world.
By the time the colonialists established Nigeria as a British ‘Protectorate’ in 1901, the Italian racist philosopher-scholar Giuseppe Sergi was already promoting his bizarre theory of a Mediterranean super race in his book accordingly titled ‘The Mediterranean Race’.
Sergi claimed that the Caucasian was born on the shores of the Mediterranean and that, being superior to all other human races, it was from the Mediterranean that the Caucasian spread advanced civilisation to all the darker races of the world.
And Sergi was just one out of the countless other such European scholars and philosophers whose racist ideologies and philosophies were being promoted by the European Great Powers as fashionable in those days.
So was it that European colonialism was fortuitously aided by the racist propaganda of the European academicians of those days. The two actually went hand-in-hand; Colonialism and Racism. And, as a matter of fact, one could not have survived for long without the other even in those days when the Great Powers of Europe absolutely dominated the world.
In the 1930s the racist and Nazi Professor C.G. Seligman have authoritatively developed John Hanning Speke’s Hamitic Hypothesis into such a convincing scientific theory that nobody dare challenged. Even Hitler derived the academic credence for his obsessive fantasies of the Aryan Superman from the forceful remonstrations of Professor Seligman.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the colonial historians in Nigeria in those days also joined the fashionable bandwagon of spurning all manners of racist ideologies to justify the conquest and exploitation of the Black man by the White man.
The Colonial Office in London was directly funding and sponsoring colonial secretaries, clerks and historians to write articles and booklets in justification of the need for the British imperial government to conquer, subjugate and colonise the ‘primitive natives’ of ancient Nigeria. The colonial historians in particular who came to work in Nigeria where in the overwhelming majority shameless racists who were so much consumed with their racist worldview to the effect that the White peoples are superior to the Black African Negroes.
They were the ones who came and surreptiously infused the ancient traditions, folklores and myhtolofies of the tribal peoples of Nigeria with claims that they originated from the Middle East and other ‘White’ places outside the African continent. Claims that the Yorubas came from Mecca, the Ibos from Israel, the Hausas from Asia Minor, etc, etc, were actually promoted by these racist colonial historians who were out to prove to the world that the Black man is incapable of establishing a functional civilization in the heart of Black Negro Africa and that any such civilization we see in Africa was established by White people coming from outside the African continent.
It was in this context, and in this frame of reference, that the Hamitic Theory became a fashionable and expedient tool in the hands of the colonial administrators of Nigeria.
The Hamitic Theory is the most eloquent explanation of the racist claim that the White people are superior to the Black people and that, accordingly, the Black people are the natural slaves of the White peoples.
For the British colonial administrators of Nigeria this Hamitic Theory was a fortuitous implement for the inhuman colonization and exploitation of the ancient tribes and ethnicities of Nigeria.
Besides, and as both Frederick Lugard and George Goldie Taubman realised, the Hamitic Hypothesis – which purports that the White people are superior to the Black people – was indispensable in the working of their infamous scheme of Indirect Rule.
The stratagem of the Indirect Rule is based on the use of some tribes and ethnicities by the White people to indirectly rule other tribes and ethnicities all inside Nigeria. The White men colonialists claimed that some tribes are superior to some other tribes in Nigeria. In other words not all the tribes in Nigeria are equal but that some are superior to others.
And then the colonialists went ahead to classify the ancient peoples of Nigeria one above the other based on how phenotypically White or European the tribes appeared. Those tribes that looked Whiter or Caucasian than the others are said to be the racially superior ones.
That was how the White colonialists came up with the claim that the Fulani people are the most superior race in the whole of Africa simply because the Fulani people appear more White in complexion than any other ancient Nigerian peoples.
And then according to the Indirect Rule stratagem the Fulani as the most superior race were the ones to be used by the White men colonialists to indirectly rule over the pure Negro people of the Northern Protectorate of Nigeria.
The only problem was that the pure Fulani man was a barbarian, a wild pastoralist herdsman roaming about the wildernest with his cattle and possessing no any sense of refined culture or cicilisation whatever. Obviously such a wild Fulani herdsman cannot be used to rule over cultured and civilized Negroes like the Nupe and the Edo-Benin peoples who have already established mighty kingdoms and empires even before the White man first arrive the West African Coast.
The only way out was to resort to the use of the settled Fulani. But the settled Fulani was more or less a Hausa man as he has been completely acculturated into a Hausa man through his settling among the Huasa people. That, was how the White men colonialists first came across the concept of the Hausa-Fulani race.
Lugard, Goldie, and their legion of colonial writers and revisionist historians had to invent a fictitious Hausa-Fulani race to ensure the success of their Indirect Rule.
First the White men colonialists invented the lie that the Sokoto Caliphate was brought about through a Fulani Jihad. The fact, as I discussed in many of my books including ‘The Tsatsa Caliphate: The Life and Times of Shehu Abdurrahman Gbaji’, ‘The Mahdi From Nupeland: Sokoto Caliphate or Nupe Caliphate?’, etc, etc, is that the Sokoto Caliphate was established by the Negroid peoples of Nigeria including the Nupe, the Kanuri, the Hausa, the Kambari, the Igala, the Yoruba, and so on.
The Sokoto Caliphate was not founded or even established solely by the Fulani people as the colonial historians have come to make us believe today.
That the Sokoto Caliphate was eventually headed by the Fulani family of Shehu Usmanu Dan Fodiyo does not mean that the Sokoto Caliphate was solely established by an entire race of Fulani people. I discussed in my books that Nupe Jihadists played the paramount role in the establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate.
In fact, and if anything at all, the Sokoto Caliphate was established by Shehu Abdurrahman Gbaji the Nupe man. But that is a discussion for another day.
Then the Hamitic Hypothesis-minded colonial White men went ahead to promote the racist propaganda to the effect that the Fulani were able to establish the Sokoto Caliphate only because the Fulani were a Caucasian, that is White, race.
After that they got crack scholars, who misled the American Professor J.H. Greenberg, to come up with the claim that Hausa as a Chadic language belonged to the larger Afro-Asiatic group of languages. By this singular act the racists European colonialists were able to convince the world that the Hausa language is of half Caucasian origins.
So, the reasoning followed, since the Fulani are of full Caucasian origins they are the most intelligent and racially superior people in Nigeria. And since the Hausa are of half Caucasian origins then the Hausa form the mid-way between the fully-intelligent Caucasian Fulanis and the fully-imbecile Negro tribes of ancient Nigeria.
Frederick Lugard, and his team of racist administrators and revisionist historians, then came up with the unwritten law that Nigeria should be ruled by a power structure with the Hausa-Fulani at the top and the rest, that is Negro, people of Nigeria at the bottom. That was how came about the Indirect Rule that has maintained the so-called Hausa-Fulani at the top of the Nigerian political system to this very day.
The only problem with this colonial contraption is the fact that, and as we pointed out right at the beginning of this article, the existence of a Hausa-Fulani race is a myth.
It is true that the Fulani are of Caucasian origins. They were originally White people who come into Africa as nomadic refugees in the days of Antiquity. But the Fulani being Caucasian doesn’t mean that the Fulani are more intelligent or racially superior to any Negro tribe in Black Africa.
In fact the Fulani were a degenerated race of White barbarians who arrive Africa at a time that Africa was replete with advanced civilisations established by the Negro peoples in those ancient days. That was why History found the Fulanis restricted to the Futa Jalon and Futa Toro mountains as primitive cavemen or unsophisticated pastoralists at a time that we had the advanced civilisations of the Negroes best exemplified by the Benin kingdom of Nigeria and the Ashanti empire of today’s Ghana.
The truth is that it was the Negro who civilised the Fulani and not the other way round as the racist White colonialists claimed.
But even though the Fulani were truly of Caucasian, but uncivilised, origins, the same cannot be said of the Hausa people.
The Hausa people are not of any – half or otherwise – Caucasian origins. The Hausa people have no any connection with the Caucasians or any other White races for that matter.
The Hausa people are of Negro origins. As a matter of fact, and as I discussed in many of my books, the Hausa man was originally a Nupe man. In many of my books, including the ones titled ‘Bayajida was Nupe: How the Hausa People Originated from Nupe’ and ‘The Hausa Bakwai-Banza Bakwai Lie’, I proved that the Hausa man is of Nupe origins.
Leo Africanus, the 16th century Moorish globetrotter and diplomat visited West Africa in the 16th century. Leo Africa recorded, in his ‘A Geographical History of Africa’, that the whole of Northern Nigeria, that is today’s Hausaland, was inhabited by Nupe Gara-speaking people as late as the 16th century.
The point here is that as recent as the 16th century there was not a Hausa race in Northern Nigeria. Instead there were the Nupe people inhabiting the whole of Northern Nigeria as recent as the 16th century.
It was these heterogeneous collection of Nupe people of Northern Nigeria that the Islamic Jihadists came and blanketed with the general name of ‘Maguzawa’ which is the Negro corruption of the Arabic Majusi for pagan.
There were the Habe, the Kado, the Hausa, the Bori, and so many ancient Nupe people inhabiting Hausaland before the advent of both the Arabs and the White men.
By the time of the Islamic Revolution in ancient Nigeria and, later on, the establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate, these ancient Nupe people of Northern Nigeria were being generally referred to as the Maguzawa.
But the Maguzawa were a motley collection of a variety of Nupe people speaking different dialects and lects of the Old Nupe language. The Gara which is still spoken as Koro in parts of Niger State and the FCT, the Gwandara which is still spoken in Nasarawa State, the Bini which is still spoken in Central KinNupe, the Ife which has partially survived in the Yoruba language, the Shintakoi Gbagyi which is still spoken in Niger and Kaduna States – and many others, are just a few of the various dialects and lects of the Old Nupe language that were spoken by the Nupe Maguzawa people of the Northern Nigeria of those days.
But then Arabic came with the Nupe Wangara long-distance traders and merged with Gwandara and other ancient Nupe dialects to form the language we refer to as Hausa today. So, we can see that Hausa language was itself nothing but Old Nupe mixed with Arabic.
If the Maguzawa are Nupe and if the Hausa language was Nupe then where is the Hausa race that is being drummed down our ears on a daily basis today?
The truth is that there was never, and there have never been, a Hausa race. Professor J.E.G. Sutton have demonstrated long ago, in the 1950s and ’60s, that a Hausa race does not exist. Many other world renowned scholars have corroborated Professor Sutton’s findings. Yet so-called Hausa hegemonists have deliberately turned a deaf ear to these research facts.
And, since the Hausa race does not exist, the concept of a Hausa-Fulani race is evidently a myth.
This is the unpalatable irony that gnaws at the fictitious myth of the Hausa-Fulani race today.