Zaynab Alkali

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Zaynab Alkali
Born 1950[1]
Nationality Nigerian- Somali
Education Bayero University Kano
Known for first woman novelist from Northern Nigeria
Spouse(s) Mohammed Nur Alkali
Children six

Zaynab Alkali (born 1950 Tura-Wazila, Borno State) is a Nigerian novelist, poet, short story writer.[2][3][1] She is regarded as the first woman novelist from Northern Nigeria.


Alkali was born in Tura-Wazila in Borno State in 1950. She graduated from Bayero University Kano with a BA in 1973.[4] She obtained a doctorate in African Studies in the same university and became the principal of Sakera Girls' boarding school. She went on to be a lecturer in English at two universities in Nigeria.[5]

She rose to be a dean in the Faculty of arts at Nasarawa State University in Keffi where she taught creative writing.[5]

She is regarded as the first woman novelist from Northern Nigeria.[1]



  • Zaynab Alkali, Al Imfeld (eds), Vultures in the Air: Voices from Northern Nigeria, Ibadan-Kaduna-Lagos: Spectrum Books, 1995, ISBN 978-978-2462-60-2


  1. ^ a b c Zainab Alkali,
  2. ^ Pushpa Naidu Parekh, Siga Fatima Jagne, eds. (1998). "Zaynab Alkali". Postcolonial African Writers: a bio-bibliographical critical sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-29056-5. 
  3. ^ "Zaynab Alkali". Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  4. ^ Margaret Busby, Daughters of Africa, London: Cape, 1992, p. 782.
  5. ^ a b Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; Professor Emmanuel Akyeampong; Steven J. Niven (2 February 2012). Dictionary of African Biography. OUP USA. pp. 177–178. ISBN 978-0-19-538207-5. 
  6. ^ Dearborn Financial Publishing, 1988; London: Longman, 1989; Addison-Wesley Publishers, 1990; Longman International Education. 1995

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