Africa Report / Spotlight

My Priorities Remain Uniting the Kano Royal Family and Helping People in Need-Ciroman Kano

Africa Report / Spotlight interest of the Kano people


On Friday, 4 December, 2015, the city of Kano came alive in a festival of colour, grandeur and traditional rites as a crowd of traditional and political leaders, royal fathers, dignitaries, cultural custodians and well-wishers converged on the ancient city. It was the turbaning ceremony of the Ciroman Kano, Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayero, a man generally seen as dutiful, obedient and loyal to the tenets and sanctity of the Emirate and the traditional institution.
The Maktoub crew met with him recently at his palace, and charmed by his genteel manners, amiable personality and infectiously regal carriage, we asked him what is the significance of being Ciroman Kano to him and a few other questions.

What does being Ciroman Kano mean to you?
For me, it means a call to duty and what we have been doing for the people of Kano. Precisely it is a call to duty because there are so many things one has to consider running public life. There are times when you have to stand up and continue what you’re doing and move forward. So for me, it’s an answer to the call of duty and continuity of purpose.

How exactly did you feel on your coronation day?
It was a mixed feeling. I served my father and the Emirate council for 20 years and… – it might sound unrealistic – but I’m still mourning him. So, it’s a mixture of sadness and joy for me. And that is what it is; life has not been the same for me since I lost him. But it has to continue. So, it’s more of happiness and sadness. But he’s not here; he wants us to continue because this is what he will expect me to do if he were here.

Having served your father, the late Emir and the Emirate for so long and now as Ciroman Kano, what expectations will you place emphasis on?
The Ciroma is a very important title in Kano and for me, some of my priorities will be uniting the generality of the family and helping the needy, that is, those who could need help especially in the family as well as projecting the good image of the family to the outside world generally. That is what I have been doing by God’s grace and that is what I hope to continue.
So, one of my priorities will be uniting all the segments of the family, because we are a big family in thousands and of various segments all over. It is my task to bring everybody together, especially the aggrieved so we can move forward together in unity and make a greater impact in Kano and Nigeria generally. This is one of my core goals, along with helping the people of Kano because that is what we do.

What mostly drives you?
If I see I’ve made impact on some people, that drives me to continue. If I make people happy, it is a motivation. For me, I was born into this and I don’t know any other life other than this. So motivation or no motivation, this is my life; I did not choose it. It is something God has placed me in and I am never proud about it, but humbled for the grace.

How important is the traditional stool in modern governance?

There have been arguments and counter-arguments about the degree of roles and influence that should go with traditional titles, constitutionally or otherwise…
The traditional institution predates colonialism and it is a system that the British met, and not only retained but used for effective administration. So, this has always been a part of the people and their culture. And it is what they want that matters; we are only here to serve them. Overtime, the place and role of the traditional institution has expanded in the life of the people and keeps extending, especially in Northern Nigeria and in a historically important city as Kano. So, it has always been a part of the way of life of the people and as long as it is what they want, we will always be there to serve them.
It is one big family here and as you would notice people are always coming in to see me, seeking help or so I can interact with them on certain important matters and also so I can give pieces of advice here and there for both their personal and communal progress. So with me, it is always a busy scene here with this one big family.

How do you rewind, refresh and refill at your spare time?
I love to read and I am a habit reader. Currently, I am reading ‘THE NEGUS: The Life and Death of the Last King of Kings’ by Angelo Del Boa. It is a book about the history of Ethiopia and the life and times of King Haile Selassie, the former Emperor of Ethiopia. I love to travel. Just yesterday I came back from England where I had gone with my family for some family time, but I had to leave them there and come home to attend to some needs of the people.
I love to walk. I love horse-riding and often go to the polo club for pastime, although I haven’t done so in a while.

How about fashion, away from your traditional garbs?
When I’m not in my traditional wears or on social functions, I love to be simple and comfortable in any outfit I wear, whether it’s blazers and trousers, or jeans and a nice T-shirt.

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