Its not just a class act, 2017 was definitely the year of the Northern Woman and no body embodies this liberation more than Hauwa Muhammad or Jaruma Empire. From a mere Karuwa who invoked the anger of a guild of women that once dominated the aphrodisiac trade, Jaruma evolved into a near-house-hold name, able shape public opinion and perhaps even create future senators. Hauwa wasn’t kidding when she said all she touches becomes Gold, this year she presented Ziyyatul Haq as a possible contender to Bauchi central senatorial seat and within 48hrs, Ziyya was so inundated with the fame and attention that she kindly slipped back into her orange closet.
Outside of Jarumma, the Northern Woman found an unlikely champion in the Emir of Kano who, this March made history by throwing away a 500 year old tradition and sending his young daughter to represent him in an official capacity. MSII also championed reforms that would have seen swift changes to the marriage code of Kano, changes that would have stopped randy men from marrying each time they feel like it and divorcing each time the sex doen’t go so well. So if anything, Shahida Sunusi has broken a 500 year old chain. Thank you Maimartaba
Away from unlikely champions we also saw unlikely heroes, Aisha Ahmad of the CBN liberated us form the Hijab when thanks to Buhari, her sexy figure splashed at the eyes of every Wahabbi Sheikh, screamed to the world, we are Northern and we are unclad. The trend eventually spiraled into our Cinema where long assumed docile women showed the lion they had in them, Jamila Nagudu came out with that fiery red figure, dressed in roses and Brazilian hair. Again the Shiekhs had an eye full of everything they hated the most.
Away from the Hijab, 2017 also saw Northern Women taking a bold step towards plain out flesh love. Hauwa Waraka, graduated from an onscreen Karuwa into a celebrated one when she opne her cleavage and gave men a sight of her beholden boob crest. It soon became a viral trend with Instagram flooded by women who for the first time dared to reveal their endowed beauty in selfies and pre-weds.
If tradition was the enemy of the Northern Woman then no body wrecked it more than Fatee Ganduje, the daughter of the Governor of Kano who against all odds gave the Kanawa an Ajimobi for a Siriki. After Fatee, marrying a southerner was no longer the preserve of men who are allowed to spread their civilizing tentacles down south, we too could open our wombs and give out some civilian pleasure to a southern man.
The political front was also full of women achievers. Dabino gate couldn’t bring down a woman, neither could Atiku’s walk out bring down Bala Usman and Fati Muhammad was no longer just an actress but the coordinator of Atiku’s Campaign in the North West, Zahra Ringim declared her intentions to be a Senator. And above all was Gumsu Sani Abacha, who launched her blog and with that gave herself a launch pad into politics, hopefully as the first female executive Governor of Kano and of all Nigeria!
Following in MSII’s path, the executive Governor of Kaduna also gave women a lot to smile for, and no, its not just his Vice Governor! KADFEST17, engineered by Mrs ElRufai (so credits to her) was fueled by his Excellency and his uncanny ability to stir controversy. His presence gave the festival the boost and the bad which equals good publicity it needed to become the most successful literary festival in Northern Nigeria since Vatsa hosted ANA in 1985. Naturally, with all things literature in the North, Women dominated the space. From Rammat to our very own Carmen Mccain, women dazzled in the week long limelight which KADFEST provided. We also witnessed the emergence of some raw Northern Woman talent, so thank you Elrufai.
Still talking literature, Laila Aliyu proved that curvy women actually had brains! She became an author in 2017 and although she had resigned from her show, Zainab TY of the Zeenali show wasn’t just about a N20 million naira watch, her Zeenali show and Northern Hibiscus broke the threshold of oblivion and finally became a brand in 2017.
On the fashion scene, Miss Adamawa broke borders and gave pageantry the publicity and all the bad press it needed to be a success. With more sheikhs talking about the cat walk than ever, Friday Khutbas gave Arewa pageantry more press than the Network News, and yes, that includes all the Miss World brouhaha!
Talking activism, the daughter of Bukar Mandara was no where to be seen but the girls of St Louis Kano were there to do us proud when they defied a security order and came out protesting the incessant cases of rapes that have crippled family life in Kano. While the St Loius girls were protesting against notoriety, some women attained notoriety. Maryam Sanda and the many women who sent their husbands to an early grave, or at least attempted to do so brought an ancient issue to the front burner of the nations agenda. Forced marriages and domestic violence became hot topics thanks to these Bonnys. Also, cheating men who were once careless with their phones were no longer willing splash that affair on our faces. Count every major story of 2017 and chances are there was an Arewa Woman leading the charge, but we are still far from liberty. Lets hope 2018 gives us more of the same energy to charge forth with all the electioneering to come. Remember, 2018 is a keeper for 2019. Lets do what the Americans couldn’t and make Gumsu Abacha the woman in charge of Kano. I am Maryam, and I am with Her, are you?