Hyperbole as the building block of Hausa court-songs

Salisu Garba


Hyperbolic expression is one of the most common and effective foregrounding expressions employed as a literary device in the form of eulogy across the literary genres. But the most common ground for its usage, among the genres, and where its usage is more effective, is poetry. Hyperbole is manifested clearly in praise-songs, which in Hausa take the form of court-songs. This paper explores the forms and effects of literary devices employed by Hausa court singers. Attention is mainly given to Salihu Jankiɗi and his song Bubakar Ɗan Shehu Bakadire (Bubakar, Shehu’s son of Qadiriyya Sect) eulogizing Sultan Abubakar III, but also extoling Sardauna and the Sokoto Caliphate on the occasion of the durbar ceremony in 1965. The presentation includes various forms of the devices, such as irony, overstressing some facts and possibilities, cherishing both the religious and political ideals of Sultan Abubakar III, Sokoto and Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Premier of the defunct Northern Region, for whom the durbar was organized.

The paper further highlights the ability of the artist to capture the political undertones of the durbar procession.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32690/SALC52.3

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