Balaraba Ramat Yakubu

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Balaraba Ramat Yakubu (born 1959)[1] is a Nigerian author who writes in Hausa. She is a leader in the genre of littattafan soyayya or "love literature", and one of the very few Hausa-language writers whose work has been translated into English. She has also worked as a screenwriter, producer, and director of Kannywood films. Her stories have focused on issues such as forced marriages and women's education.

Early life[edit]

Balaraba Ramat Yakubu is the younger sister of General Murtala Ramat Muhammed, who briefly served as the military ruler of Nigeria from 1975 until his assassination in 1976.

At the age of 13, she was taken out of school and forced into an early marriage. She has said that this is the reason she writes in Hausa rather than English.[2]


Balaraba Ramat started her career as the only woman member of the influential Kano-based writer's club Raina Kama.[3] Her first novel, Budurwar Zuciya ("Young at Heart"), was published in 1987. Her second and third novels, Alhaki Kwikwiyo Ne... ("Sin Is a Puppy That Follows You Home") and Wa zai auri jahila? ("Who Will Marry an Ignorant Woman?"), followed in 1990. Alhaki Kwikwiyo Ne... was adapted into a film by Abdulkareem Muhammed in 1998.[4]

An English translation of Alhaki Kuykuyo Ne..., Sin Is a Puppy That Follows You Home, was published in 2012 by Blaft Publications, an Indian publishing house, to positive reviews.[5][6]

There is a literary prize named after her, the Balaraba Ramat Yakubu Literature Prize for Hausa Drama.[7]


Balaraba Ramat started producing film in 1990's with Wata Shari'ar and recently she wrote and produced Juyin Sarauta[8] , a film that won about ten awards and received positive reviews from scholars and film experts[9]


  1. ^ Femke van Zeijl, "From illiterate child bride to famous Nigerian novelist", Al Jazeera (Features), 8 March 2016.
  2. ^ "I write in Hausa 'cos I didn't get Western education - Says Murtala Muhammed's sister". Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  3. ^ Graham Furniss. "Hausa popular literature and video film: the rapid rise of cultural production in times of economic decline" (PDF). Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  4. ^ Carmen Mccain (22 October 2012). "Hajiya Balaraba Ramat Yakubu's novel Alhaki Kuykuyo Ne/Sin is a Puppy Published in translation by Blaft". Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  5. ^ Subashini Navaratnam (6 December 2012). "'Sin is a Puppy That Follows You Home', a Popular Hausa Novel, Is a Fast-Paced, Riveting Read". Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  6. ^ Deepa Dharmadhikari. "Book Review: Full Hausa". Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  7. ^ Awaal Gaata. "CATCHING THEM YOUNG: School gives prizes to students in Kano". Archived from the original on 2013-02-15. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Juyin Sarauta – Ramat Productions Ltd". Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  9. ^ Juyin Sarauta, retrieved 2018-10-16

Further reading[edit]