18-year-old Dalil wins BBC Hausa’s women short story writing competition

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An eighteen-year-old first-year university student of English and French, Aishatu Musa Dalil, has won this year’s BBC Hausa competition for women with her short story titled: Hakkina (My Right).

She began writing in 2018 and has a passion for writing about women’s issues.

 
Hakkina tells the story of a young woman, Fatima who is raped by her stepfather and is threatened by her mother not to tell anyone about the abuse. In fact, she locks Fatima in a room in spite of the injuries she sustained during the assault.

To Fatima’s mother, silencing her daughter not only covers up for her husband but also ‘protects’ her daughter from the stigma being faced by victims of rape in society.

A story of a young couple whose new marriage and news of the pregnancy were marred by kidnapping written by Nana Aicha Hamissou Abdoulaye, titled: Butulci (Betrayal) clinched the first runner-up position.

The title of the story stems from the events that led to the kidnapping and the unexpected revelation of the person involved.

Zulaihat Alhassan’s Ramat, named after the protagonist, Ramat, is a revered policewoman, whose husband also serves in the police and is caught up in a family scandal where she has to choose between her only son and her job.

The BBC Hausa women’s short story competition was introduced to give female writers a platform to tell their stories. 
 


Editor of the Hausa Service, Aliyu Tanko, said: “As the competition enters its sixth year, it is gratifying to know that women have accepted their experiences as an avenue to stir conversations in the region through their writings.

“We’ve seen set after set of remarkable writers emerge from Hikayata competition and this is truly what we’ve always aimed to achieve.”

Lead judge of the contest, Dr. Hauwa Bugaje said: “This year we have seen an absolute shift in the thematic preoccupation of the stories. It is obvious that women writers in northern Nigeria are becoming more aware of the most pressing issues faced by women in the region. The themes centre on rape, domestic violence, kidnappings and career choices. The characters this year have been created to represent strong and bold women.”

Responding, Dalil said: “When I got a call from the BBC that my story was among the winning stories, I was ecstatic. I quickly got down on my knees to give thanks to Allah.”

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