On Saturday, 25 th March, 2023 Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) in
collaboration with All Poets Network International has in celebration of this year’s World Poetry
Day organized a one-day Hausa Poetry Writing Workshop for 30 selected people with special
needs in Kano. The workshop took place at CITAD Annex, Women Development Centre, Court
Road, Kano with participants drawn from the association of people with vision impairment,
people with hearing impairment and speech difficulties and physically challenged people. Every
year UNESCO celebrates World Poetry Day. Adopted in 1999, the occasion honors poets and
pays tribute to expanding linguistic variety and sharing oral traditions through poetic forms.
Sagiru Ado Abubakar who coordinates the activities of people with special needs at CITAD. in
his welcome remarks, said that CITAD has been supporting associations of people living with
disabilities to project their voice in order to demand for accountability and inclusion as well as
help them to sustain that voice. In view of this, CITAD believed that there is need to engage and
support People with Disabilities (PWDs) to amplify their voice through poetic expression.
According to him, the aim of the workshop was to expose PWDs to the rudiments of writing
Hausa poetry in order to catalyze a voice for the demand of inclusion and accountability so that
they can send their messages to the appropriate quarters for consideration.
On his part, the Curator and Founder of All Poets Network International, Khalid Imam explained
that Poetry is believed to have originated thousands of years ago and has been kept alive
through oral and written forms. He said that the theme of this year’s World Poetry Day was
“Empowering People with Special Needs”. The objective was to increase the opportunities for
endangered languages to be heard, support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and
encourages PWDs to understand the importance of poetic devices. He added that with poetry
as a driving force of communication, the participants at the end of the day were expected to
utilize the knowledge they derived from the training towards pressing homes their demands
with poetry from the appropriate quarters until they are met.
Dr. Murtala Uba Muhammad gave a brief history of poetry. He said that unlike other literary
forms that we can date to precise texts and time periods, it’s a challenge to pinpoint the
earliest work of poetry. In one form or another, poetry has been around for thousands of years.
However, we might think of the epic poem as the first instance of poetry, appearing as early as
the 20th century B.C. Jumping hundreds of years ahead, we might turn, then, to the sonnet
form and its early appearance in the 13th century. Before moving into more modern poetic
forms, it’s important to consider Restoration poetry of the 17th century and the satirical verses
of John Dryden and Alexander Pope. He then explored three poetry learning techniques as
follows reading aloud, paraphrasing, and drawing the theme.
At the end of the day, to show that the workshop yielded positive results, some of the
participants composed songs on different topics. Nasir Garko, a participant from the association
of people with vision impairment (Nigerian Association of the Blind) sang the following song:
The poem we can make it.
Dedicated to persons with disability in Nigeria.
In the morning I begin with brush, after hustling to the home I rush, surprised I’m oh! gosh!, let
not bit around the bush, disability isn’t nightmare, if we are given much care, by uplifting our
welfare, treat disabled and nondisabled with fair.
Special need has capacious memory memorizing pages with no sorcery, easily messages bump
our sensory, to have no doubt google special need’s history.
Have you ever seen the deaf carpenter? the cripple who does welder? the blind who teaches in
blind or nonblind center? special needs are unique in spite of one’s gender, excelling in
academia and businesses we Render.
Now society embrace us as your colleagues, don’t harass or stigmatize us for our physique.
Nasir Garko the poet
Malam Ibrahim Umar Abdulkarim contributed as follows
A POEM ABOUT HABLE ONE
What a friend I have in you my Hable,
That will always make me able,
To write on a desk or on a table,
And fly so high to touch the gable,
Wishing that my name was Abel.
Smartly dressed in my singlet,
I can use you to control my smartphone and tablet,
Thus making me compose a couplet,
By ensuring that my knowledge in Braille ooze like a droplet,
Keenly listening to your tone dulcet.
You have obliterated the drudgery in me,
Of a monotonous grope for one letter after another amiss from me,
From the soft touch keypad,
In a smartphone and a tablet part,
But with your Perkins-style keypad,
I can now type heart and heart.
With you my little Hable,
I know I will one day write my fable,
Uttering no word nor babble,
Not even wanting to go to the Tower of Babel,
So that my work with Hable will remain unerrable.
2023 world poetry workshop is part of CITAD engagement under the ‘SUPPORTING AND AMPLIFYING
THE VOICE OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES TO DEMAND FOR ACCOUNTABILITY’ project to support
associations of people living with disabilities to project their voice and demand for accountability and
inclusion as well as help them to sustain that voice.