Traditional Music

nigerian hausa music

Late Alhaji. Dan Ba’u: Ambassador of Hausa Traditional Music

Yewande Omotosho


The Hausa’s cannot forget in a hurry the man who did not only announce Hausa traditional music within the country but also outside the shores of Nigeria., Alhaji Dan Ba’u. Although after his demise in April 7, 2015, the legend’s music still roars in major Hausa radio stations and within the Hausa people as his music was second to none in terms of voice recording and lyrics.


nigerian hausa music

Alhaji.Dan Ba’u






Alhaji. Ba’u who started his music career at the age of 18 did not relent in his enthausiastic delivery even at the age of 58 when he passed on. Born in Gidan Boyi in Raba Local Government Area He was not new to music while growing up, his late father, Abdullahi Mai Dan Jaki, played the goge (a stringed musical instrument ) which was famous then. His music gained popularity in Nigeria and Niger Republic, because his artistic composition was not the type to sound without noticing the uniqueness. He travelled across Nigerian States and some West African countries as well as Saudi Arabia to perform. He is known for some of his popular songs such as  Aminci yafi Kudi which he dedicated to the defunct NPN(National Party of Nigeria), Madawakin Daura, Wakan Hadin and Kan Najeriya.

The legend music inspiration was tilted towards farming, local boxing and wrestling. This interest later evolved into a refined mode of folktale songs and ode to suit the trends in the society and personalities which includes politics, royalties and business tycoons.
Earlier in his career journey, Alhaji Ba’u joined a drummer popularly known as Bawa, where he gained a lot of experience while going around towns with his mentor who sang the praises of celebrated farmers in his home town Gidan Buwai. After which he went solo and mostly used the Kalangu musical instrument, which he used to sing for celebrated wrestlers across Sokoto State.
Dan Ba’u later relocated to Achida, a semi-urban town in Wurno Local Government Area of Sokoto and made for himself a base from where he travelled to towns and villages on invitation to attend  or perform at ceremonies, political activities and wrestling tournaments.
Politics during the second republic marked a turning point in Alhaji Ba’u’s life. He was invited to perform for the NPN at one of the party’s political events and from that day onward, Dan Ba’u became a musician forced to reckon with. His performance during the NPN event was a lucrative outing as he made monetary profit as well as clothes, houses and above all, recognition among his colleagues.
Because of an important admirer of his, a wealthy business tycoon, Alhaji Abdu Na Kofa, Dan Ba’u paid regular visits to Ilela while he was at Achida. After several visits, the businessman bought him a house so as to live close to him instead of shuffling between Achida to Ilella. Subsequently, Dan Ba’u  moved  his belongings and the group down to Illela town where he remained until his death.
Alhaji Dan Ba’u, married three wives, two from Ilela town while the other one was from Wurno and had eight children. The song Dan Ba’u sang for Alhaji Buro endeared him to the man and as a politician, he invited Musa Dan Ba’u to sing for his political party MNSD, which won the presidential election then with  Tandja Mamadou as  the president of Niger Republic.
Alhaji Dan Ba’u made painted the walls of history with the changes he brought his folks through music. He also sang for President Tandja, a song through which he solidified his position among the people in the French-speaking country. Sokoto State  Governor , Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko described the death of the popular musician as a great loss not only to his family but to the society in general. The Governor emphasized that Dan Ba’u will be remembered for his noteworthy contributions towards maintaining peace and unity among Nigerians, saying Dan Ba’u’s songs were  educative, enlightening and entertaining. Dan Ba’u  assisted greatly towards enlightening  the public  on government policies and programmes that  affected lives in Nigeria.