Jealousy among Co-Wives and its Implications as viewed by Hausa Oral Tales

 Bashir Aliyu Sallau
Sashen Harsunan Nijeriya
Jami’ar Umaru Musa Yar’adua Katsina 


Salima Suleman Isa
Sashen Harsunan Nijeriya
Jami’ar Umaru Musa Yar’adua Katsina 


Rivalry and jealousy which in some cases lead to misunderstanding and resulted in conflicts are inherent among various communities the world over. This usually happens in situations where there is the need to dominate or have total control over something. From time immemorial before the coming of Islam into Hausa land, a Hausa man can marry as many wives as he so wish. This is because possession of so many wives among the Hausa men was and is still a sign of wealth, prosperity as well as dignity. With the coming of Islamic religion into Hausa land and its acceptance by the majority of the Hausa people, it made them to limit the number of their wives to four as stipulated in the teachings of the new religion. In an attempt to have control over their husband, each of the wives will do everything possible to win his heart so that he will make her to be his Mowa ‘the favourite’ and others to be Bora ‘not favourite’. The Mowa and her children are always given special consideration, while the Bora and her children are not given proper care. It is the intention of this paper to look into the issue of jealousy and rivalry among Hausa co-wives as portrayed in Hausa folktales and examine the consequences of such rivalry and the lessons to drive therein for the benefit of our present day society.

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