Monthly Archives: October 2009

Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu’s fantastic Hausa “abdalla font”

Forgive me if I rave over something that is very old news to most Hausa computer-users, but today I just used the abdalla font, created by Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, for the first time. I am ashamed to admit that I had not taken the time to figure out any of the Hausa fonts before–I had just lazily put an apostrophe for the hooked characters while Times New Roman font, and I was often reproved for that by Hausa speakers when they read my writing.  However, recently I had some documents I had written in Hausa proofread. The friend who helped me did a fantastic job of correcting my Hausa using the Rabiat font and sent me the Rabiat font so that the fonts would print correctly.  Unfortunately I had problems when the font would not show up after being turned from a Word file to a pdf,  so I tried the abdalla font instead (which Prof told me would be better for pdf). It’s a beautiful font. It blends perfectly with a Times New Roman font (whereas Rabiat looks like bold wherever a transition is made from Times New Roman) and the keys are easy to remember.

So, since I didn’t find this when I googled it (I’m sure this has done many times before–but I’m redoing it for the google searches), here is a little public service announcement for those hapless researchers like myself first trying to figure out the abdalla font fingerings.  (I’m sure this is unnecessary for most people in Kano using the font.)

Hooked capital D = [      (key to the right of “p”)

Hooked lower case d = ]     (key to the right of “[“)

Hooked capital K = {      (shift on the “[” key used for hooked D)

Hooked lower case k = }     (shift on the “]” key used for hooked d)

Hooked capital B = |    (shift on the “\” key to the right of the “]” key)

Hooked lower case b = ~     (shift on the “`” key to the left of the 1 key)

If you don’t have the abdalla font, you can download it at the Gaskiya ta fi Kwabo site here.

Allah ya ba da sa’a

Academic opportunities for PhDs or PhD candidates in African Studies

My friend Katrin Schulze just sent me the links to some fantastic academic opportunities in the UK that I rather wish I could apply for myself. Since I can’t, I will go ahead and pass them on to any others reading this blog.

1) Junior Research Fellowship in African Studies at King’s College Cambridge.

King’s College wishes to appoint, with effect from 1st October 2010, a Junior Research Fellow in African Studies. This is defined as the disciplines of humanities and social sciences as applied to the study of the African continent, including history, social anthropology, human geography, politics, literary and cultural studies, and development studies. The successful candidate will be associated with the University’s Centre of African Studies, an internationally renowned interdisciplinary research centre established in 1965 ( He/she would be expected to participate in the Centre’s activities and to contribute up to 6 hours of teaching a week to a new interdisciplinary M.Phil in African Studies which will be launched in October 2010. Further enquiries about the Centre and the M.Phil may be directed to Professor Megan Vaughan at

A Junior Research Fellowship is a faculty-level postdoctoral position that is tenable for up to 4 years. Applications are welcome from graduates of any university. Candidates will usually have completed their PhD, and must have undertaken not more than 2 years of postdoctoral work by 1 October 2010.

To apply, click here.

For more information, click here.

Application Deadline 13 November 2009

2) 10 Week Cadbury Fellows Workshop at Centre of West African Studies at the University of Birmingham

The Centre of West African Studies at the University of Birmingham ( invites applications to contribute to the 2010 Cadbury Fellows’ Workshop, which will focus on popular culture in contemporary urban Africa.

Three visiting fellows from Africa will be appointed to participate in a ten-week schedule of seminars,  discussion groups, and other activities. The workshop will culminate in an international conference, 6-8 May 2010 jointly organised with Institute of Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA), University of Leuven, within the framework of AEGIS.

One aim of the Fellowship scheme is to assist new scholars to develop a research paper and bring it to publication, and the conference papers will form the basis of a special issue of Africa, the journal of the International African Institute.

Fellowships will cover return air-fare, accommodation and living costs for a period of ten weeks.


Who is eligible for a Cadbury Fellowship?

We are looking for younger African scholars who have something to contribute to the theme, and whose research would benefit from a residential fellowship of ten weeks at the University of Birmingham. They should be in the early stages of their academic careers and based in an institution on the African continent. They should have a PhD or be close to completing one. It is intended that the Fellows will have time to use the University’s excellent library resources, discuss their work with academic staff at CWAS, and contribute to the intellectual life of the department by participating in academic and cultural events here.

To apply, click here.

To find out more information on themes etc, click here

Application Deadline 1 November 2009

The latest on the Iyan-Tama case from Nigerian News Service, plus new fees from the National Film and Video Censor’s Board

In a 29 September 2009 article “Iyan Tama: Matters Arising” on the Nigerian News Service, Bolaji Oluwaseun reports that when Iyan-Tama’s counsel went to the Federal High Court of Appeal in Kaduna “to file a motion to stop the retrial”:

The judge assigned to the case ordered Iyan-tama’s counsel to go back to Kano to the magistrate that was assigned the case initially to file the motion to stop the retrial (the same court that sent him to jail for over 3months over false allegations), and that if they refuse to grant the motion then they should then come back to Federal High Court of Appeal in Kaduna to re-file the motion to stop the re-trial.

For those not familiar with the case Oluwaseun gives a summary of the case, pointing out:

After spending over 3 months in jail, Iyan-Tama was granted bail  and a retrial was ordered following a review of the case by the Kano State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice. According to the Attorney-General, Barrister Aliyu Umar, the first trial was besmirched by irregularities. Due process was not followed in the trial that led to the conviction, he said. He used very uncomplimentary terms to describe the trial conducted by a senior magistrate, Alhaji Mukhtari Ahmed, such as “improper,” “incomplete,” “a mistake,” summing up by insisting that a “more competent magistrate” should be given the case to try again.

But yet after having committed an injustice that can be successfully argued even by a baby lawyer to be a travesty of justice, the said senior magistrate, Alhaji Mukhtari Ahmed still works in the court houses of Kano State.

And after all Iyan-Tama went through he was not compensated for his illegal imprisonment by the Kano State Government.

Olawuseun continues with more opinions about the case and provides about 6 scanned in copies of documentation that allegedly support Iyan-Tama’s case at the end of the article. To read the entire article, see this link. [UPDATE 13 Oct 09. For more recent news about how Iyan-Tama was invited to the Toronto Film festival, and a clip from his banned film Tsintsiya, see this 23 September article from the Nigerian News Service.]

In more general news concerning the National Film and Video Censor’s Board of Nigeria (not the same body as the Kano State Censorship Board), Al-Amin Ciroma in today’s Leadership (“Censor’s Board increases Fees”) writes that the NFVCB is increasing their fees for previewing a film by 30%:

The review, the board said in a release signed by the corporations Assistant Director, Corporate Affairs, Yunusa Mohammed Tanko, is in line with its efforts to offer premium service to its stakeholders.

With the acquisition and installation of modern cinema style preview theatres at our Lagos office, which is capable of handling 35mm celluloid video, as well as a digital lounge for clients, the present fees charged for preview of films and movies, musical videos and others are no more realistic. The sustainability of this heavy resource base is a prerequisite in the effort to offer global best practices in the Nigerian movie industry.

He said the new equipment would enhance and facilitate online preview of films and movies within the minimum time possible. It will also afford owners of the movies the opportunity to follow and track the progress of the preview in a seamless manner without being present physically.

New costs will be as follows:

The review, The corporation’s Assistant Director, Corporate Affairs, Yunusa Mohammed Tanko, said for local films made in Nigerian languages (of 0-15 minutes) will be N10,000, while a Nigerian film in foreign language such as English language will be charged N20,00, while a film meant for exhibition will be charged N25,000.00. In a general perspective, NFVCB has made 30% increment of the applicable fees.

To read the rest of the article, see Al-Amin Ciroma’s blog.

Image of the letter from the NFVCB to Iyan Tama from Nigerian News Service:

Iyan Tamas letter from the National Film and Video Censors Board--see link for more images

Iyan Tama’s letter from the National Film and Video Censor’s Board–see link for more images