Safiyya Jibril has emerged winner of the 2018 BBC Hausa Hikayata Writing Competition for women with her story “Ya Mace” or “The Girl-Child”.
Safiyya Jibril is a 29-year-old secondary school teacher studying for her Master’s degree in Soil Science at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Safiyya Jibril’s story highlights the ordeal of Halima, who going by family tradition, is expected get married at about 14 years old. Still unmarried at 17, Halima comes under severe family and societal pressure.
She settles for a man called Garba, someone she barely knows. Shortly after the honeymoon, Halima became an object of constant physical and verbal abuse and the marriage ended in divorce.
According to the head of Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Jimeh Saleh, BBC announced the competition, titled Hikayata three years ago as a way of encouraging the culture of writing among women.
According to Jimeh Saleh:
“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.”
According to one of the judges, Ibrahim Malumfashi, the 2018 BBC Hausa Hikayata Writing Competition screened about 300 entries, which saw the emergence of Safiyya’s ‘Ya Mace’ as the overall best.
Sakina Lawal a graduate of Hausa from Kaduna state University came second with her story “Sunanmu Daya” and Bilkisu Abubakar came third with her story titled “Zina.”
In the words of Safiyya Jibril after receiving her award:
“I must commend the BBC Hausa for giving us this opportunity and we thank them for the recognition.”
The event was held at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.