Unveiling Unspoken: Exploring Queer Dynamics in the 21st Century Hausa Prose Literature

Citation: Abbas, Y. & Kabir, J. (2024). Unveiling Unspoken: Exploring Queer Dynamics in the 21st Century Hausa Prose Literature. Tasambo Journal of Language, Literature, and Culture, 3(1), 77-85. www.doi.org/10.36349/tjllc.2024.v03i01.009.

 Unveiling Unspoken: Exploring Queer Dynamics in the 21st Century Hausa Prose Literature


Dr. Yahaya Abbas

Jamilu Kabir

Department of Hausa , Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina , Nigeria

Phone Number1: +234 8036796121

Phone Number1: +234 7067708766

Email1: yabbas@fudutsinma.edu.ng

Email2: jkabir@fudutsinma.edu.ng


This research meticulously examines queer elements within a carefully selected Hausa novel. The paper aims to identify queerness in selected Hausa novels and to unravel the intentions of authors. As Hausa literature becomes a space for cultural exploration, this article contributes to the discourse on queer representations. Employing queer theory, the study combines systematic textual analysis and insightful author interviews to explore the portrayal of queer elements within the specific subset of Hausa prose. Findings from this exploration reveal deliberate navigation by Hausa novelists through societal norms, illustrating a subtle yet impactful inclusion of queer elements. For instance, the literature often offers nuanced perspectives on identity, love, and societal expectations, subtly challenging prevailing norms. This nuanced incorporation not only stimulates readers' emotions but also potentially enhances the marketability of these novels. Many interviewed authors express scepticism about promoting non-normative sexual orientations, drawing attention to the cautious dance between cultural authenticities and evolving societal expectations. This scepticism often stems from concerns about the reception of such elements within the Hausa literary landscape. However, these reservations also underline a recognition that unconventional experiences find resonance within a limited yet significant portion of Hausa society.

Keywords: Sexual Orientations, Gender Identities, Heteronormativity, Societal Norms, Textual Analysis

1.0 Introduction

Hausa prose literature is like a colorful tapestry, woven with the rich threads of culture, language, and a lively storytelling tradition. Originating from the Hausa people, one of Africa's largest ethnic groups, this literary tradition has deep roots in oral storytelling, dating back to a time before the written word.

Historically, Hausa literature found its voice in oral tales, folk stories, and poetry, mirroring the values and traditions of the Hausa community. The advent of written literature in the 20th century brought about a significant change, with both established and emerging writers exploring a variety of themes such as fantasy, heroism, political intrigue, romance, and different storytelling techniques, injecting a contemporary flair into the traditional art of storytelling.

The 21st century has witnessed a fascinating diversification of themes in Hausa prose literature. While timeless topics like love, culture, and societal norms persist, there's a noticeable exploration of contemporary issues. Authors delve into socio-political dynamics, technological influences, globalization, and various aspects of modern life.

In this landscape, a distinct genre has emerged known as Queer literature, primarily housed on the Internet through platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Wattpad, Telegram, Google, YouTube, Okada Application, Instagram, and others. Cultivated by young writers aged 17 to 30 (Kabir, 2022). Queer literature explores the intricacies of Queer life, presenting a departure from traditional storytelling with its contemporary style.

The study specifically concentrates on selected Hausa prose novels, unravelling the queer elements within this subset. Through a combination of systematic textual analysis and author interviews.

The Queer novels examined are fictitious stories that entail descriptions of nudity and explicit sexuality. It explores queer themes of lesbian, gay, and bisexual. Female writers frequently navigate the intricacies of marital life within their narratives, presenting a spectrum of experiences. The queer instances exemplified in the selected Hausa novels depict a nuanced and diverse portrayal of queer life. From intimate encounters and desires to societal challenges. These narratives reflect the intricate dynamics of the LGBTQ+ community within the cultural landscape of Hausa society. Importantly, the deliberate choice of authors to publish their works online speaks to an awareness of a specific audience actively seeking queer literature in the digital realm.

A notable aspect of this literary movement is the deliberate choice of authors to publish their work on the Internet, reflecting an awareness of a specific audience actively seeking Queer literature in this digital realm. This selectivity indicates a nuanced understanding among readers attuned to the distinctive narratives within the realm of Queer literature on the Internet.

Navigating the contemporary landscape of Hausa prose literature, our focus is not merely on the evident evolution of themes, diverse voices, and narrative intricacies. Instead, our mission is to uncover the concealed, shedding light on the queer elements intricately woven into selected Hausa novels. In this 21st-century Hausa society, our study aims to expose, understand, and contribute to the discourse on queer dynamics within this rich literary tradition.

2.0 Literature Review

The trajectory of queer literature has undergone a significant evolution, navigating the contours of non-normative sexual orientations and gender identities across various literary genres, including novels and poetry. In the early 20th century, the term "queer" carried a derogatory connotation, often used as a pejorative slang term for homosexuality. During this period, literature addressing same-sex desires and relationships manifested subtextually or through coded expressions.

Michel Foucault (1978) marked a pivotal moment by introducing the notion of sexuality as a social construct. From Foucault's lens, queer literature became a medium to explore how societal norms regulate and define sexual behaviour.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (1990) delved into the concealed aspects of non-heteronormative identities, unearthing and challenging societal norms regarding sexuality and identity.

Judith Butler (1990), in her seminal work "Gender Trouble," launched a critical discourse by challenging traditional conceptions of gender and sexuality. According to Butler, queer literature disrupts established norms by questioning the stability of categories like 'male' and 'female.'

Teresa de Lauretis (1991) extended the exploration into the intersectionality of queerness, contending that queer literature not only addresses sexuality but also delves into its intersections with gender, race, and class.

Lee Edelman (2004) challenged societal preoccupation with futurity, asserting that queer literature disrupts normative narratives by resisting the pressure to conform to reproductive futurism.

In examining the treatment of homosexuality in 21st-century Nigerian literature, Lindsey Green-Simms (2016) discussed how the literary community critiques discourses of homophobia and explores the everyday fears, desires, pleasures, and anxieties of those who experience same-sex attraction.

Jamilu Kabir (2022) has demonstrated that literature often labelled as queer literature essentially entails depicting and portraying themes such as prostitution, alcohol consumption, homosexuality, lesbianism, dancing, and nudity within written works.

The novel "Ghana Must Go" by Taiye Selasi (2013) introduces a significant queer element through the character Taiwo, who faces challenges related to his sexual identity. Taiwo's experiences are intricately woven into the broader exploration of themes such as identity, family dynamics, migration, and the impact of concealed truths on relationships. This adds a poignant thread to the complex tapestry of the novel, contributing to the nuanced portrayal of familial and individual struggles.

In Chinelo Okparanta's "Under the Udala Trees" (2015), the narrative centres around a lesbian relationship between the protagonist, Ijeoma, and another girl during the Nigerian Civil War. This queer element serves as a focal point, threading through the exploration of intricate themes. The novel delves deeply into the complexities of identity, love, and societal expectations, offering a poignant commentary on the intersection of personal desires and the broader socio-political landscape of Nigeria.

"Speak No Evil" (2018) by Uzodinma Iweala addresses the challenges faced by a gay Nigerian-American teenager, introducing a significant queer element. This element becomes a lens through which the narrative explores broader themes of identity, race, and the conflict between personal desires and cultural expectations. The character's journey serves as a compelling narrative arc, adding depth to the exploration of societal and individual struggles.

Jowhor Ile's novel, "And After Many Days" (2016), incorporates a queer element through a subplot involving the protagonist's brother grappling with his sexuality. This element intertwines with the broader narrative, where themes of family, loss, and self-discovery take centre stage. The exploration of the brother's experiences adds layers to the novel's portrayal of familial relationships and the individual quest for self-understanding within the context of Nigerian society.

"The Hairdresser of Harare" by Tendai Huchu (2010) features a gay protagonist working in a hair salon in Harare, Zimbabwe. This queer element is integral to the novel's exploration of themes such as identity, secrecy, and the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community. The character's experiences provide a lens through which the narrative navigates the complexities of personal and communal identity, shedding light on the struggles within the cultural landscape of Zimbabwe.

In Jayawa` work (2004), the intricate definition of prostitution takes centre stage, particularly in its application to the narrative found in 'Yartsana.' The analysis extends across diverse contexts, encompassing both rural and urban settings, and probes into various manifestations of prostitution, including street and brothel-based scenarios. The study thoughtfully dissects how elements of pornography are interwoven into the fabric of the book's narrative.

Shehu's (2012) scholarly contribution orbits the elucidation of prostitution, delving into its historical roots and origins within the Hausaland. The research provides a succinct history of written Hausa stories, underscoring their profound significance in the tapestry of Hausa life. This scholarly investigation culminates in a meticulous examination of specific literary works, namely “` Ya ` yan Hutu, Ƙ wai Tara Tsinana, and Ɗ a ko Jika.

In a thought-provoking exploration, Abubakar (2014) sheds light on the domain of queer theory and its manifestation within an African context. Employing this theoretical framework, Lawal scrutinizes Hausa novels like “Kyan Ɗ an Miciji” and “Wane Kare Ne…,” unravelling the intricacies within the text. The study adeptly connects written Hausa stories to modern life, forging a link between Sakina's work and the broader concept of queer theory.

Gambo (2017) contributes to the discourse by providing a comprehensive description of deleterious lifestyles, encapsulating realms such as drug abuse, homosexuality, prostitution, and lesbianism. The study meticulously outlines the causal factors behind these societal issues, weaving connections to influences from foreign films, modern communication methods, and deficiencies in parental care.

Ango's (2019) scholarly endeavor delves into the nuanced meaning and causes of lesbianism, spanning historical and contemporary dimensions. The research provides insights into the multifaceted role of lesbianism in society, delineating various types and the locales frequented by those engaged in such activities. Additionally, the work explores the physiological and psychological indicators of prostitutes, delving into the dynamics of polygamy, its causative factors, and the challenges faced by polygamists.

Sheme (2003) focuses attention on queer life, particularly in its intersection with prostitution. The research elucidates the diverse types of prostitutes and their lifestyles across various settings, emphasizing the integral role of prostitution within the realm of queer literature.

The review aims for a critical discussion of how these global theories interact with and inform the analysis of specific Hausa novels. This shift ensures a seamless transition from a global exploration of queer literature to a more localized and focused investigation of queer elements within the cultural tapestry of Hausa prose literature.

The inclusion of contemporary works serves not just as an endpoint but as a bridge, connecting these broader theories to practical manifestations within the Hausa literary landscape. Thus, the literature review becomes a roadmap, guiding the reader from global theories to their localized applications, setting the stage for a detailed exploration of queer dynamics within selected Hausa prose novels.

3.0 Queer Theory and its Evolution: A Framework for Unveiling Unspoken Narratives in 2 1st Century Hausa Prose Literature

Queer theory, born out of the LGBTQ+ rights movements of the late 20th century, challenges normative assumptions about sexuality and gender. It seeks to disrupt traditional notions, prompting a reevaluation of how societies perceive and categorize identities. This theoretical framework plays a crucial role in contextualizing the exploration of queer dynamics in 21st-century Hausa prose literature.

The inception of queer theory can be traced back to the early 1990s, with scholars like Judith Butler and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick at its forefront. Butler's groundbreaking work, particularly in "Gender Trouble" (1990), posited that gender is performative, challenging established binaries and asserting the fluidity of identities. Sedgwick, in "Epistemology of the Closet" (1990), delved into the construction of homosexuality and heterosexuality, emphasizing the social and cultural contexts that shape these categories.

As queer theory evolved, it expanded its scope beyond sexuality to encompass broader issues of identity, challenging normative structures and inviting a more intersectional approach. It questions power dynamics, encouraging scholars to examine how societal norms oppress certain groups.

Within the framework of this article, queer theory provides a lens for interpreting the representation of non-heteronormative identities in Hausa prose literature. It offers a conceptual tool for understanding how authors in this tradition engage with and subvert traditional norms, thereby contributing to a more inclusive and nuanced narrative landscape. The exploration of queer dynamics within the context of the article aligns with the fundamental tenets of queer theory, aiming to unravel and challenge ingrained assumptions about sexuality, gender, and identity.

Specifically, in applying queer theory to Hausa literature, the study will draw on key concepts from these scholars. For instance, it will analyze how the performative nature of gender, as posited by Butler, manifests in the portrayal of characters and relationships within selected Hausa novels. Moreover, Sedgwick's exploration of the social construction of sexuality will guide the examination of how Hausa authors navigate and challenge these constructions in their works.

Furthermore, this study acknowledges the importance of an intersectional approach. Beyond sexuality and gender, it will explore how factors such as race, class, and religion intersect with queer identities in the context of Hausa literature. Recognizing the limitations inherent in applying a Western-centric theory to a distinct cultural setting like Hausa society, the study anticipates potential challenges and aims to navigate them with sensitivity.

In essence, this theoretical framework establishes the groundwork for a nuanced exploration of queer dynamics in 21st-century Hausa prose literature, ensuring a contextualized and culturally sensitive analysis.

4.0 Methodologies

This research employs a mixed-methods approach, integrating systematic textual analysis and author interviews to discern and elucidate instances of queer elements within carefully selected Hausa novels of the 21st century.

Textual Analysis Details

The systematic textual analysis involves a comprehensive examination of the chosen novels, utilizing literary theories such as queer theory. Close reading techniques will be applied to identify keywords, recurring themes, and narrative devices employed by authors to represent queer dynamics. The analysis will also explore how these elements intersect with broader cultural and societal contexts within Hausa literature.

Sample Selection Criteria

The selection of novels adheres to a meticulous process, considering various factors to ensure a representative sample. Novels were chosen based on themes, publication dates, and author demographics to capture the diverse landscape of 21st-century Hausa prose literature. This ensures a well-rounded understanding of how queer elements manifest within different contexts and periods.

Interview Sampling Process

The authors selected for interviews were chosen through a combination of purposive and snowball sampling. Purposive sampling targeted authors whose works prominently feature queer elements, while snowball sampling leveraged existing connections within the Hausa literary community. This dual approach aims to gather insights from authors with diverse perspectives and experiences related to queer representation.

Data Analysis Techniques

Data analysis will be a multi-stage process. For textual data, thematic analysis will be employed to identify patterns and meanings related to queer elements.

Ethical Considerations

Recognizing the sensitivity of the research topic, ethical considerations are paramount. Informed consent will be obtained from all participating authors, emphasizing their right to withdraw at any stage. Pseudonyms will be used in reporting to ensure confidentiality. The research adheres to ethical guidelines and respects the cultural nuances of discussing queer themes in the context of Hausa literature. The goal is to foster an environment of trust and openness in the interviews, acknowledging the potential impact of the research on both participants and the broader literary community.

5.0 A Textual Analysis of Queer Elements in Contemporary Hausa Novels

Contemporary Hausa novels exhibit a notable shift in narrative dynamics, with authors boldly introducing and exploring queer elements. This departure from traditional norms signals a new style of narration and themes in Hausa novels. In this segment, we present instances from selected novels, providing both the original Hausa text and English translations. This dual presentation aims to facilitate a nuanced understanding of the queer elements within the cultural and linguistic context of Hausa literature.

1. "Auren Jinsi" by Haleemah Abdullahi Shu’aib (Ummu Basmah)

Original Hausa Text:

“Nazla ta fara kissing ɗ in Laila ta ko’ina ta ce “halina fa da ke, ke nan ke turarema baki iya sawa. Kissing suke yi wa junansu ta ko’ina har suka fita hayyacinsu”(Auren Jinsi:7.Haleemah Abdullahi Shu’aib Ummu Basmah)

English Translation:

"Nazla started kissing Laila all over and said, " This is my problem with you, you cannot even put on some perfume. They continued to kiss each other until they los t their senses" ” (Auren Jinsi: 7. Written by Haleemah Abdullahi Shu’aib Ummu Basmah) .

Analysis: In this text, the intimate interaction between Nazla and Laila Depicts intimate moments between two female characters, potentially challenging heteronormative expectations. The emphasis on perfume, a sensory element, suggests a delicate negotiation with societal norms. The kiss becomes a vehicle for transcending conventional boundaries, reflecting the intricate dance between desire and societal expectations. The scene challenges traditional expectations, presenting an intimate encounter between women, possibly symbolizing a departure from societal norms.

2. "`Yar Lesbian Ce" (9-19) by Nadeeya Muhammad Ahmad

Original Hausa Text:

Tura ɗ akin ta yi ta daka mata duka tas h i sarkin sha`awa, bu ɗ e ido Feenat ta yi, ta mayar ta lumshe, Leemah ashe za ki zo? Eh kin san ba zan iya barinki a irin halin na ba . Haka Feenat ta fa ɗ a yayin da ta jawo Leemah jikinta, bakinta ta saka cikin na leemah lokaci ɗ aya ta fara tsotsar lips ɗ inta ta kamo harshenta ta ringa tsotsa kamar lollypop, nan take Leemah ta kamu ta fara maida martani, cire mata `yar ƙ aramar rigar jikinta ta yi, brest ɗ inta suka bayyana ta ringa shafa su tana murzawa, tuni Feenat ta fita hayyacinta don ko mayarwa ba ta iyawa. Hannu Leemah ta tura cikin pant ɗ inta ta ringa murzawa, nishi kawai suke Ahhhh! Washhh! Kusan minti 30 suka yi a haka feenat ta kankameta alamar ta yi release. (`Yar Lesbian Ce (9-19 Nadeeya Muhammad Ahmad)

English Translation:

She barged into the room, gave Feenat a hearty pat on the back, and declared, "Wake up, queen of desire." Feenat, blinking her eyes open, turned to find Leemah standing there. Expressing her surprise, she said, "Leemah, I didn't expect you to show up." Leemah replied, "Well, I can't just leave you in this state." Feenat responded by pulling Leemah closer, initiating an intimate encounter. The p assion ignited as Feenat passionately kissed Leemah, exploring her with desire. Things escalated with the exposure of breasts and explicit actions, with Feenat losing herself in the moment. Leemah, equally engaged, reached into Feenat's pants, and they both moaned in pleasure. This continued for about 30 minutes before Feenat signalled to conclude the encounter (‘Yar Lesbian Ce: 9-19 written by Nadeeya Muhammad Ahmad).

Analysis: The narrative depicts an explicit portrayal of a lesbian encounter with detailed actions. The sudden intrusion of Leemah into Feenat's space creates a charged atmosphere, implying a hidden connection. The metaphorical "queen of desire" sets the tone for a passionate encounter. The encounter is both a breach of societal norms and an assertion of personal desire, revealing the intricate interplay between societal expectations and individual identities.

3. "Aljanu a Makarantar Kwana" by Kamalu Namowa Kanawa Bichi

Original Hausa Text:

“.........Habah Sakeena! A gaskiya kin wajiga min ruhina. Don haka ina fatan zaki yi ha ƙ uri yau mu kai asubahi muna Farantawa junanmu rai, kin ga ke nan duk mun huce gajiyarmu ta kwana da kwanaki koko me kika gani ta kuma yi shiru ta na mayar da numfashi sama-sama kamar mai cutar asma. Ha ƙ i ƙ a Sakeena tafiya ta yi tafiya duk abin da Naseera take fa ɗ i ba a cikin hayyacinta take ba, sai dai ɗ aga kai kawai take yi. Ita kuwa Naseera da ta ga haka sai ta ci gaba da abin da ta ga dama da Sakeena”(Aljanu a Makarantar Kwana: 9. Kamalu Namowa Kanawa Bichi)

English Translation:

"......... oh Sakeena ! You broke my soul. So I hope you will be patient today and we will make each other happy till morning. It will make us relax and put aside our old boredom and tiredness . What did you see? Sakeena was quite not responding to Naseera, but rather breathing in and out like an asthmatic patient. She had lost consciousness, she did not understand whatever Naseera was saying, she was not in her senses, but she was just raising her head. As for Naseera, when she saw her situation , she continued what she wanted with Sakeena" (Demons in the Boarding School: 9. Kamalu Namowa Kanawa Bichi)

Analysis: The portrayal of Sakeena's unconscious state emphasizes vulnerability. Naseera's persistence reveals a desire that transcends societal norms, creating a space for an intimate connection. The use of morning as a metaphor for renewal and the acknowledg e ment of boredom and tiredness hint at a desire for escape and emotional connection.

4. "Sirrin Wasu Gayu" by Zuwairat Haladu

Original Hausa Text:

“Wait a minute Safwan ya fa ɗ a mashi sai da ya gama le ƙ a ko ina na ɗ akin sannan ya umurci yaron ya shiga bathroom, with confidence ya shiga, kaman wasa Safwan ya samu erection, to cut the dirty thing short duk ƙ o ƙ arin Adam sai da ya yi kuka sai shushing ɗ in shi Safwan yake yana cewa ya yi shiru ko ya amshe wayar shi, he tries to be gentle amma babu gentility tare da Safwan, komai nashi na mugunta, haka ya cimma burin shi ya sadu da yaron cikin bathroom, ɗ in uban shi” (Sirrin Wasu Gayu: 1080-1081. Zuwairat Haladu).

English Translation:

"Wait a minute," Safwan said to him, and when he finished looking around the room, he ordered the boy to enter the bathroom. The boy entered the bathroom confidently. Before you know it, Safwan got an erection. To cut the dirty thing short. The boy had to cry even though tried not to. Safwan was shushing him , saying to be quiet or else he w ould collect back his phone . He tries to be gentle but there is no gentility with Safwan . Safwan is known to be rude always. He finally achieved his goal and met with the boy in his father`s bathroom” . (Sirrin Wasu Gayu: 1080-1081. Written by Zuwairat Haladu).

Analysis: Safwan's actions reveal a power dynamic that goes beyond societal norms, raising questions about consent and exploitation. The contrast between the confident entry of the boy and his subsequent distress underlines the complexity of the situation. The use of "dirty thing" hints at the moral ambiguity surrounding the encounter.

5. "Ragon Miji" by Amina Lawal Shalele (Maman Mamy)

Original Hausa Text:

“Wani abu take ji ta ɗ an tattara natsuwarta ba kome ba ne, sai hannun shi da yake rawa-rawa, a haka ya fara shafo ƙ ugunta zuwa saman kanta, hannun shi na kyarma ya zare ɗ ankwalin kanta, yana shasshafa gashin kanta, du k da kayan da ke jikinta ba ƙ aramin da ɗ i yake ji ba. A sannu ya kai hannunsa saman tudun breast ɗ inta yana fidda numfashi ya yi ƙ o ƙ ari ya sanya shi cikin rigar yana shasshafa saman nonuwanta: Ragon Miji:190, Amina Lawal Shalele (Maman Mamy)

English Translation:

"She felt something, she gathered her composure, it was nothing, but his hand was sh i vering , then he began to touch her waist to the top of her head, his hand was still shivering, he removed her head tie , touching her hair, even though she was wearing clothes , but yet he feels a pleasant sensation . He put s his hand slowly on her hilltop breast while exhaling . He tried and put his hand inside her gow n and started to touch the top of her nipples . ( Ragon Miji: 190, written by Amina Lawal Shalele (Maman Mamy)

Analysis: While the scene is heteronormative, it contributes to the broader theme of explicit sexual encounters in the novels, showcasing diverse sexual content. The narrative captures a moment of intimacy tinged with discomfort. The shivering hands and the act of undressing symbolize a breach of personal boundaries. The juxtaposition of physical actions with the internal pleasant sensation reflects the complexity of desire and the internal conflicts associated with unconventional relationships.

6. "Sirrin Wasu Gayu" by Zuwairat Haladu

Original Hausa Text:

“Kneeling ya sanya babbar ta yi ya fara saduwa da ita ta baya” (Sirrin Wasu Gayu: 630. Zuwairat Haladu)

English Translation:

" He made her kneel and start to enjoy her from behind " (Sirrin Wasu Gayu: 630. Zuwairat Haladu)

Analysis: The text implies heterosexual intimacy with explicit details. The use of "kneeling " and "enjoy her from behind" suggests a power dynamic that raises questions about consent and agency. This instance introduces a physicality that may transcend conventional boundaries, emphasizing a complex exploration of desire and control. The explicit nature of the scene adds to the broader theme of explicit sexual encounters in the novels.

7. "Jahan Khatoon" by Khadija Bashir (Matar Basakkwace) & Fatima Mustapha (Aunty Baby)

Original Hausa Text:

Hajiya Najah fa sai kara lashe baki take tana kallo nonuwan kowacce a cikinsu. Ta ce “babies kuna da da ɗ i wallahi ko za ku ƙ aramin? Murmushi Jahdamah ta yi ta ce, haba Hajiya duk cin ki ɗ in da muka yi ba ki ƙ oshi ba? Ta ce, ku ɗ in ne na daban ne, kuna da wata ni`ima da ban ta ɓ a samu ba a jikin wata mace (Jahan Khatoon: 27 Khadija Bashir (Matar Basakkwace) & Fatima Mustapha (Aunty Baby)

English Translation:

Hajiya Najah, growing increasingly excited, focused on the breasts of each of the ladies. She expressed, "Babies, you're so delightful. If you don't mind, I'd like to engage in more intimate activities with you." Jahdamah, with a smile, retorted, "Hey Hajiya, aren't you satisfied with all that we've done with you?" She responded, "You're different, you possess a special quality I've never found in a woman's body" (Jahan Khatoon: 27 Khadija Bashir (Matar Basakkwace) & Fatima Mustapha (Aunty Baby)).

Analysis: This scene contributes to the portrayal of diverse intimate encounters, including a desire for more explicit activities between women, and challenging societal norms. This instance introduces Hajiya Najah's excitement, focusing on the physical attributes of the ladies. The use of "delightful" and the desire for more intimate activities suggest a nuanced exploration of pleasure. Jahdamah's playful response and Hajiya's acknowledgement of a unique quality emphasize the complex dynamics of unconventional relationships.

The selected instances from contemporary Hausa novels portray diverse expressions of queer elements. Each narrative brings forth unique perspectives on desire, intimacy, and societal norms. The analyses reveal layers of complexity, prompting discussions on consent, power dynamics, and the intricate emotions associated with non-conventional relationships within the cultural context of Hausa literature.

These analyses emphasize the complexity and diversity of queerness within the depicted narratives, urging a critical examination of the portrayal of queer elements, consent, and power dynamics within the context of each instance.

6.0 Conclusion

This research, "Unveiling Unspoken: Exploring Queer Dynamics in 21st Century Hausa Prose Literature," delves into the rich tapestry of Hausa prose literature, exploring the evolution of themes and the emergence of Queer literature in contemporary storytelling. The study, employing queer theory, systematic textual analysis, and author interviews, aimed to identify and understand queer elements within selected Hausa novels, shedding light on authors' intentions.

The findings of this research underscore the navigation of societal norms by many Hausa novelists. These writers incorporate queer elements into their narratives, using a subtle approach to stimulate readers' emotions and potentially enhance sales. It is noteworthy that the interviewed authors express a degree of scepticism regarding the promotion of non-normative sexual orientations associated with Western cultures. They assert that unconventional experiences exist among a limited number of individuals within the Hausa society, reflecting a nuanced negotiation between tradition and modernity.

The queer instances exemplified in the selected Hausa novels depict a nuanced and diverse portrayal of queer life. From intimate encounters and desires to societal challenges, these narratives reflect the intricate dynamics of the LGBTQ+ community within the cultural landscape of Hausa society. Importantly, the deliberate choice of authors to publish their works online speaks to an awareness of a specific audience actively seeking queer literature in the digital realm.

This research contributes significantly to the discourse on queer representations in African literature, specifically in the context of the expansive and dynamic Hausa prose tradition. It highlights the evolving nature of storytelling, where tradition and modernity converge to paint a vivid picture of life in 21st-century Hausa society. The delicate yet deliberate inclusion of queer elements in these narratives underscores the literary landscape's responsiveness to contemporary issues, making Hausa prose literature a space for both cultural exploration and the nuanced representation of queer life.


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