Safiyya Jibril wins BBC Hausa’s women’s writing competition for 2018


Somalilandsun- ’Ya Mace or ‘The Girl-Child’ by Safiyya Jibril has won this year’s BBC
Hausa Short Story Writing Contest for Women.Safiyya is a 29 year-old  secondary school teacher studying for her Master’s degree in Soil  Science at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, northern Nigeria.

The story highlights the ordeal of Halima, who going by family  tradition, is expected get married at about 14 years old.  But Halima is  unmarried at 17, and comes under severe family and societal pressure.
She settles for a man called Garba, someone she barely knows.  Shortly  after the honeymoon, Halima became the subject of constant physical and  verbal abuse and the marriage ended in divorce.
But her father would not accept her back – he beats her and tells other  family members not to take her in. Halima takes control of her life by  deciding to live on her own instead of going back to Garba; she rents a  room and takes up menial jobs to support herself. But the landlord soon  discovers she is single and decides to evict her from his house.

Bilkisu Yusuf Ali, a member of the judging panel says: “Safiyya’s story was selected from a shortlist of 25 because from the  beginning to the end, it takes the reader to a climax brimming with  tension, suspense and conflict.”

Safiyya Jibril says:
“When I was told about victory, I looked at my phone again to make sure  I was not dreaming. Words cannot express how overwhelmed I am.”

Sunanmu Daya or ‘Birds of a Feather’ by Sakina Lawal and Zaina (named  after the main character) by Bilkisu Muhammad Abubakar  were also  announced as first and second runners-up respectively, while twelve  other stories were highly commended.

In its third year, the contest was introduced to give female writers a  platform to tell and share their stories.

Editor of the Hausa Service, Jimeh Saleh says:
“The competition has truly lived up to its billing of giving women a  voice in a male-dominated society. The quality of entries has improved  remarkably over the last two years and women are becoming more daring in  the themes they tackle.”

Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye, Head of BBC West Africa says:
“We are delighted about this year’s competition and the active  participation of women in telling their stories to the world. This  year’s winner courageously brings to fore a challenge many women face  and it’s great that her work is getting the recognition it deserves.”

BBC Hausa audiences will have the opportunity to listen to the stories  in the coming weeks.

The winner and runners up will be given their prizes at the end of October.

For more information please contact BBC World Service Group

The Judging Panel

Professor Ibrahim Malumfashi is a prominent Hausa literary critic and  senior lecturer in Hausa Literature at the Umaru Musa ’Yar’adua  University, in the northern Nigerian city of Katsina

Dr Halima Abdulkadir Dangambo is a senior lecturer in Hausa Literature  in the Department of Nigerian Languages, Bayero University, in the  northern Nigerian city of Kano

Bilkisu Yusuf Ali, a veteran writer and literary critic. BBC Hausa<> is part of the BBC World Service and  offers a breadth of multimedia content which reaches 25 million people  on a weekly basis. It broadcasts to Hausa-speaking audiences, providing  radio, online and TV content in West Africa as well as to diaspora  audiences. BBC Hausa is also available on
Google+<> and

Marina Forsythe
BBC World Service Group Communications