Winners of the 2018 writing competition for women, titled ‘Hikayata’ organised by the BBC Hausa, were honoured in Abuja on Friday.
This year, Safiyya Jibril won the best story award with her story “Ya Mace” or ‘The Girl-Child’.
Ms Jibril 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 an object of constant physical and verbal abuse and the marriage ended in divorce.
According to the head of Hausa Service of the BBC, Jimeh Saleh, BBC announced the competition, titled “Hikayata” three years ago on the strength of a long feminist literary tradition in the Hausa speaking world; a tradition, he said, which still flourishes.
He said the Hausa service of the BBC introduced the competition as a way of encouraging the culture of writing among women.
“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 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.”
Speaking after receiving her award, the winner, Safiyya, applauded the BBC Hausa service for giving women a chance to display their writing skills.
“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.
Invited guests include Premium Times Hausa Editor, Mohammed Lere, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, Head BBC media action, Nigeria, Seamus Gallagher, Kannywood actors, among others.