Thursday, August 8, 2019


What is Kano without its city walls?
Built centuries ago with a sense of grace
It is our identity and cultural achievement
So imposing, intimidating, a grand monument
It is our pride and collective memory
Today, a gray shadow of its grandeur
Kano is naked, without its city wall
So are all of us.
August 6, 2019

Thursday, January 24, 2019


Our future is being traded by those that be
Our teachers, under someone’s instructions
Told us that the governor is being slandered
That he was shown on a video collecting bribe
So people will think he is corrupt, though a good man
What is bribe and what is corruption? We do not know
They preach to us and coerce us to carry placards
They wrote what they want, we can barely read what they wrote
We have no idea of the implications of our actions

Our parents are poor, we have little choice
We are children, we attend a public school
If we had a choice, we would be in private schools
Because public schools are ignored by the government
Public schools are dilapidated and congested
There are neither chairs nor tables in the classrooms
The ceilings are damaged and the floor is bare
We have no textbooks and our uniforms are tattered
We know, we can’t compete with our mates in private schools
Not because they are more intelligent than us here
But because the government is not concerned about our future

Where are the lawyers and human right activists?
Where are the Ulama and elders of the town?

Where are journalists who dare speak the truth?
Where is the Ministry of Education and SUBEB?
Where are the representatives in the State House of Assembly
Where are the politicians in the opposition?
Our writers, what has happened to your pens?
Who will stand for us?

Someone should fight on our behalf
We need sound education like all children
We want to grow up as educated and responsible citizens
We want contribute to nation building like other children
But we can’t be anything worthy if our schools are bad
We may end up as thugs of these politicians who
Today are trading our future to protect theirs.
Who will stand for us?
October 27, 2018

Saturday, December 8, 2018


There it is standing, looking lonely yet imposing

From one perspective, it appears majestic
Getting all the private space it needs
No competition but only shrubs at its mercy

From another perspective, it looks depressing
Left all alone by its self, devoid of friends and relatives
No one to talk to or share laughter and joy
As if abandoned by all other trees of its kind

But who could tell this big Baobab’s point of view
I wish, I were a tree to ask this big sister how it feels
To be left alone on a wide landscape like this
I can l only imagine what it meant to her.

Friday, February 17, 2017


A lion will always be a lion and nothing more or less
Lions are territorial because they are afraid to be challenged
In an open savanna every animal compete for best niche
But not in a country built and developed by migrants of all kind
That offer succor to those persecuted and those in need

We begged the world to let Trump be because he was elected
As democrats, we follow the majority even when we disagree
But the world should have nothing to fear from this wild one
He is now in the phase of voicing out and acting practical
But gradually learning what is possible and what is not

Some countries were banned from entering the God’s own country
They are carefully excluded because they are Muslim and assumed violent
Every good Muslim knows that the faithful shall inherit the Earth
And that the Earth is big, vast, abundant and belongs to mankind
So, allow them to close their gates, turn to God for succor and help

After all is said and done, the truth shall triumph over falsehood
No country is an island in this globalised world of amazing intrigues
Whatever happens in life before death, life will have to go on anyway
So be patient, oh those who were banned from entering the US of A
Let’s see how democracy can address this madness called Trumpmania!

Monday, November 14, 2016


Against all odds and brutal opposition
The Lion has won the American election
What a great shock to the liberals and establishment
Trump was demonized by the mainstream media
People hated Trump for his unguarded utterances

Many say he will be a disaster to World peace
Trump said again and again and again
To him America is first, second and third
If he meant what he said, that’s great for the world
His supporter’s said he will make America Great Again

Whatever happens or will happen on the US streets
Trump has won US election, he is America’s choice
This great democracy should be democratic
And respect majority American’s choice!
Let Trump be!

November 14, 2016

Saturday, December 12, 2015


You should know that your love in my heart is immortal

Your love shall remain until the pyramids turn into dust

Neither wind or heavy rain, nor the rising and setting sun

Can make the love I have for you ever go away anytime

This is a promise I made to myself, to you and to God

In this life on earth and in the afterlife and beyond that.

June 16, 201


At the airport departure lounge
Tens and tens of passengers waiting
The old and the young passengers
The male and the female waiting
Some busy talking to their company
Some calling for God knows how long
Many, immersed in their What’s apps and face books
Two big thumps kept active right and left
Punching key points, scrolling the screen
Busy sending or replying messages
Their two hands doing all the punching
See how the cell-phone get people clued
Cell-phones and our fingers bonded for life

16-08-2015 @ NAI Airport Abuja 12:04 noon


When they stopped us at the border
They could only stop our physical frames
But they cannot stop our imaginations from crossing
On the wings of imagination, we flew across the border
We landed in Adare and trekked its streets
We met its beautiful people and inhaled its fragrance
We were at the border, we crossed the border
For no immigration hullabaloo could ever stop us
We are now good to go, to go back home
For us, it is a mission accomplished!


Nigeria-Niger border, Maigatari)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Who is in charge?

The world's greatest power and democracy
Is today under the grip of a horrendous spell
The emperor and the empire are in trouble

One wonders who is in charge in the empire
The venomous snake whose Trojan horse is active
Or the emperor whose silence is yet to be understood?

What happens to Caesar when the senate's loyalty is elsewhere?
For the greatest democracy in the world,
The tragedy is great and monstrous

The empire is under a poisonous spell
It needs true citizens to break this damning spell
Loyal citizens to whom the empire is first, second and third

Citizen who will save the empire and the world
Not those whose loyalty lies somewhere else
God bless the empire!

February 2, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015



Muhammad is the benefactor of mankind

He is like the Sun that never fails to rise

He is like the Stars adorning the night sky

He is like the air we breathe and the water we drink

Let the ignorant and the arrogant indulge in their cowardice

Muhammad is our Earth, our Universe and our Life

We will always love, adore, respect, value him without END!


January 14, 2015


Saturday, May 17, 2014


Nigerian Government always has a way of getting away with
Its incompetence, negligence and thoughtlessness
But the climax of Nigeria’s Government insensitivity
To the sufferings, frustration and helplessness of its citizens
Was reached with a horrendous kidnapping saga
Of innocent girls pursuing their final examinations at Chibok! 

Now that the World have seen what the situation really is
No one is left in doubt about the sorry state of things in Nigeria
A nation of failed leadership and hopeless people
Even the self appointed International Community is angered
By the insensitivity shown on the abducted girls
Mr. President, luck is no longer on your side anymore 

Bring back our girls and clean your mess!

Monday, March 24, 2014


Wonders they say never end
Today I heard president Obama
Talking about International Law
He argues, Russia’s activities in Crimea
Are against international law

I marvel, where international law
Has gone when Obama’s America
Act against reason and international law
Displaying immorality of the highest order
And invaded Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya

Is there any international law left to respect?
When world powers and their friends break it at will
Today, international law is back
The great bully of this world is crying victim!
This world is full of wonders.

February 4, 2014

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


This is a tale of two adversaries in this weird world
One has amassed nukes enough to annihilate the planet
The other trying to enrich uranium for peaceful means

This is a tale of two adversaries in this weird world
One has closed its doors to UN inspectors and goes scot-free
The other is under crippling sanctions despite allowing inspections

This is a tale of two adversaries in this weird world
One has not invaded any country for two centuries
The other has invaded many countries and still occupies some

The doublespeak and cowardice of so-called world powers
In addressing the problem of these adversaries
Amaze all intelligent and civilized homo-sapiens

But between the labeled axis of evil and the great Satan
The world will have to make decision for peace or war
For injustice in all disguises remains utterly injustice.

November 25, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Endless Colonialism of Speaking in Tongues

Author: Yusuf M. Adamu

Reviewer: Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga

Publisher: Adamu Joji Publishers, Kano

No of pages: 69

Yusuf Adamu’s They Can Speak English, is a philosophical poetic periscope and sad reminder of the negative aspects of British socio-cultural linguistic imperialism and post-independence maladministration of the powers that be in Nigeria till date.

The 69-page book contains 55 poems that evaluate different linguistics, administrative, social, national and global issues, via the windows of medical geographical compass, barometer, wind vane, history, weather and climate skins in the mallemaroking blood of poetry.

Like an angry thunder questioning the audacity of Irokos, mahoganies, and obeches domination of other beautiful shrubs in a forest, the author makes mockery of those neglecting their mother tongue and speaks phonetics as if there are hot crumbs of yam burning their mouths. The medical-geographer cum poet takes swipe at those who claim to be civilised because they can pronounce English words properly in a delicious manner as if speaking in tongues.

Therefore, in the poem titled They Can Speak English, Adamu satirically says: “If you speak English / You are civilised / Praised, recognised / And respected / With a fluency that didn’t / pronounce people as feople / Action as haction / Mother as moda / One becomes an English man in black-ear / But in England / My Pronunciation, they bother not / My grammar they care not / If only they could understand me / I communicate well / But why should a black-eared red-ear one / Be so proud to speak English / Even at the expense of mother tongue?…”

From the foregoing, it is clear that many Nigerians are more English than the English people. This phenomenon of English ‘Mungo Parkism’ is very glaring among various electronics media houses’ newscasters in Nigeria. Sometimes, you wonder whether news was being relayed by foreign newscasters on channels of some Nigerian television or radio stations, as they speak through their noses as if drowning or gasping for breath in a fumigated room. But you would be taken aback at last when the newscasters name is also anglicised with English phonetics that makes you wonder it is a new type of African-English vernacular name.

Adamu says you cannot be an original English person by speaking in a gallivanting manner like a drunken parrot, English phonetics-wise. Hence, he further offers in the same poem above that: “You are only complete when you are complete / So, be proud not because you speak English / Be proud only if in your mother tongue / Be it Hausa, Ashante or Berber / Swahili, Masai or Kwa Zulu / Sango, Yoruba or Arabic / You can think and express your thought”.

However, the poet recognises the importance of English language as Nigeria’s official language. But his bone of contention is that, inability of any non-English native to pronounce some English words properly should not be seen as a sign of illiteracy; as someone who is not fluent in English could be articulate and literate in his mother tongue, which is also a veritable vehicle for communicating, as long as the audience could understand him. This is the major goal of communication- to share meaning and understanding, not borrowed phonology.

Another notable poem in the collection is the one titled Global Village. The author wonders about the deception of globalisation, when racism and class struggle are leopard spots that continue to make some races second class people. Hear him: “Though we are all human / We are made to be different / By forces beyond our clout / Yet they want to remake us / In a new image of their choice / In a village too big to be safe / The world they now call / A single village in the globe / With a big brother to match / As long as we are second class / Within that large village fashioned”…

Nearly all the poems in the volume are blank verses. Only the poem titled Mathematics has quintet ‘even rhymes.’ It is a poem of just five lines. Another piece that contain scatter-graph of ‘even’ and ‘alternate’ rhymes laced with serenading rhythm, is titled The Impossible.

The most common figure of speech in the entire verses is simile; while the asset or style of the poet is his didactic simplicity enrobed with historical allusions to past and contemporary happenings in political administrations, social order and disorder, lamentation and thanks giving to God and personalities with mutual philosophical onions.

In spite of the author’s grievances against some people belittling and claiming superiority over others who cannot pronounce some English words properly, he makes a clarion call for peaceful co-existence in the second to the last poem titled ‘Friendship,’ thus: “So break all the chains / Smash all the complexes / Dismantle all the iron curtains / That prevents friendship from blossoming among men/…”

In conclusion, the poet persona hopefully look forward to a brighter future for all, by wrapping up the volume with a piece titled ‘Optimism,’ as its last four lines offer in the likeness of all Nigerian commoners singsong as follows: “Yet we are very hopeful / Very hopeful people / We are optimistic / Things will one day improve.” This has been the expectation of the masses for centuries. Only God knows when things will improve as the masses wake up from one nightmare to another.

Adamu is an Associate Professor and Medical Geographer, who lectures in the Department of Geography, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. He has published bilingually in Hausa and English. His works in Hausa language include ‘Idan So Cuta Ne’; ‘Ummul-Khairi’; ‘Maza Gumbar Dutse’ and ‘Kwaryar Kira’ (which he co-edited) he was chairman of Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA) Kano State chapter, twice (2000-2006 and 2009-2010).



Waiting for International Judges

One keeps wondering where justice has gone
She used to have her eyes blinded to everyone
Now she seem to have a means of seeing who to judge
Those of us whose eyes are not blinded can see things
We have seen how criminals of war go round unhindered
Those who commit crimes against humanity wander freely
Yet some criminals have an extradition necklace on their necks

 Because some war criminals are too big to be judged
The International Judges see only Third World war criminals
They should be reminded about those criminals still at large
They invaded a whole country and kill its people
They spare not women and children in their barbarism
Using a flimsy excuse of WMD that have never being found

I just remember George Bush and Tony Blair
Will they ever be brought to justice at The Hague?
Are the lives of Iraqi citizens less human or unworthy?
The suffering of a generation caused by B and B is enormous
But they are not to be judged by the International Justice System
For justice if it still exists in this world of bullies
Exist only as a tool of neo-imperialism.

July 23, 2013



Monday, July 8, 2013

The nexus between poetry, politics, culture

Author: Yusuf M. Adamu (PhD)
Publisher: Adamu Joji Publishers, Kano
Year: 2012
Pages: 69
Reviewer: Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga

If the ten definitions of poetry propounded by Carl Sandburg (1878) are used as yardsticks to classify Yusuf  Adamu’s poetry volume titled  A Flat World, one could say the seventh definition best describes Adamu’s cosmological verses full with acres of anger.

Sandburg’s seventh definition of poetry says “poetry is the harnessing of the paradox of earth cradling life and then entombing it.” In this wise, as a medical geographer cum poet, Adamu always employ different commendable instruments of geography in his psyche, such as barometer, compass, wind vane, thermometer, rain-gauge, telescope and so on, in investigating both local and international political weather and cultural climates; and voices out his observation in poetic garments.

Hence, in A Flat World, made up of 51 poems that span 69 pages of the volume, the reader encounters various paradoxical situations that are making the world a bitter place for many peace-loving people; due to bullies on both the local and international topography and socio-cultural spheres. Wondering why acrimony pervades human existence, the author rhetorically welcomes the reader with the first poem in the volume titled, Why Do We Fight?

Although, rhetorical questions don’t deserve answers, Adamu generously provide answers in Why Do We Fight? as follows: “Sometimes we fight / For sacred reasons / Sometimes we fight / To emancipate ourselves / But at times we fight / For na├»ve and selfish reasons / We fight to make life hard for others / We fight to make the world a brutal place / But must we always fight to have peace? / Isn’t there any other way? / Why must we always fight?”

Having set the ball rolling with the aforesaid poem, the poet paints a beautiful canvass of the hitherto peaceful Jos plateau in Nigeria, which has suddenly become a theatre of concurrent genocide in recent times over the years. Listen to Adamu in the poem titled The Jos Plateau I, where he geographically, socially and resourcefully versify the region in a Michelangelo-like artistic imagery thus: “Tin ores and mines / Volcanic cones and dones / Crater lakes and ponds / Spring-water and waterfalls / Escarpments and slopes / Fluvio-volcanic and granitic hills / Spread on the table land / Nations of people / Biroms, Angas / Pyem, Mwhavul / Mada, Irigwe / Hausa, Fulani / Irish potatoes and maize / Vegetables and fruits / Cool weather, fine scenery / Jos plateau / Land of nature and nations.”

This versification of Jos by the poet clearly shows that it is a place of multiple natural blessings. Who knows? Perhaps, Jos is the original much talked about biblical Garden of Eden.

From the first two poems in the volume already discussed, the reader is not surprised why Adamu is so annoyed with the spate of quarrels, killings and disunity among local, national and international folks in a paradise earth created by God for human enjoyment. On this basis, the reader could feel the author’s cup of thoughts winking with worries at the brim of consciousness like a traffic light.

Therefore, with poems such as The Oro Trap; Ungrateful Brothers; Global Village; Arrogance; Prime Suspect; Injustice; Crumbling Blocks; Filters; Strange Irony; Reciprocate With Love Not With Bombs; Branding; New Imperialism; Murder Is Murder; Pretence; The Rich; Stature’s Ordeal; New Freedom; Hypocrites; Cowardice; The Holocaust Card; Immigration Laws; Niamey; Baghdad; International Community; Bushnization; The Migrants; Palestine; The Wolrd After Bush; Jos Plateau II, Gaza; Blind Hearts; Fuel Subsidy; and so on, Adamu expresses his unhappiness with the systems of things going on in the world. This is in similitude with some poems in Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga’s Nightmares in Paradise volume, which underline the thinking patterns of contemporary poets.
While conjuring metaphors, ironies, innuendos, amongst other literary devices blended in the frying-pan of sarcasm, Adamu’s poetry hisses with volcanic gases bombarding traitors and oppressors gallivanting worldwide.

Moreover, in some lines, you could feel the temperature of the poet persona’s emotion, eager to imprison every global evil doer. The thermostat of his verses is full of brimstone, sulphur, caustic soda, magma, monosaccharide and disaccharide, belching like an angry anaconda, warning the real terrorists of the world, spreading tongue like dark menacing winds.

In the light of the foregoing, one could say the title of the volume, A Flat World, is a metaphorical microcosm of Jos as an epic center symbol of the entire world, where abundant milk and honey flows, but hatred, sorrow and death are the ‘medals of joy’ some self-acclaimed saints of universal authority shower on weaker people daily.
Despite all the oppressive tendencies of the powers that be from the grassroot to international level, Adamu rolls up every atom of his anger from A Flat World into a ball of defiant hope in the book last poem titled Our Spirit Has Not Broken!. In the epilogue poem, he pays glowing homage to some personalities coupled with prayer in the last line thus: “May Allah help us! Amin.”

Though no mechanical or psychological noise was noticed in the book, there is need for the use of a better legible font for the volume’s title (A Flat World) in the front cover during re-impression. The font used in the current edition’s cover is too blank, and there is also no point writing El-Mina Castle simultaneously in the front cover as it tends to confuse a first time observer of the book, as regards the real title.
Adamu is a professor of Medical Geography at the Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. He has published numerous works in Hausa and English languages.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Free E-poetry Book

If you live in Germany, Nigeria, United States, Australia and Norway, you can have a free e-copy of my recent poetry book A FLAT WORLD. This is in recognition of the number of visitors to this blog from these countries and for the many students who are taught some of my poems, notably GLOBAL VILLAGE and THEY CAN SPEAK ENGLISH. All you need to do is to email me at Please indicate if you are a student (give the name of your school). Happy reading!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


This is my latest poetry collections titled A FLAT WORLD. It consists of poems that are political in nature and may be of interest to global politics. Ismael Bala, a poet and critic and lecturer in Literature as the Bayero University Kano, Nigeria has this to say about the new book.

More than any other recent collection of poems, Yusuf Adamu’s A Flat World shows that the nexus between poetry and politics is not limited to such situations where the poet becomes politically involved in an explicit way. The book underlines the fact that all cultural expression is
and can be related to the social and political context in which it is conceived and produced.    

Taking a cue from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s famous saying that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world”, the poet has further cemented his place in the contemporary Nigerian poetic scene that poets are somewhat ahead of their society in anticipating new mode of political perception and consciousness. The new perception is here crystallized seamlessly and creatively into the overall metaphor of these poems.  

Monday, May 7, 2012


The inhumanity of man to man
Mercilessness and hopelessness
Treachery and cruelty of the highest order
Was displayed in the brutality of El-mina

I wept and bled profusely in my heart
I shed unquantifiable tears of agony
When I saw how African peoples were
Dehumanized and abused with impunity

I was at the male and female dungeons
In a point of no return, a point of despair
They are hot, stuffy and suffocating
Congested in most unhygienic manner

How on Earth can any sensible human
Treat fellow human in this unkind manner?
Slave masters are indeed raw brutes
They are horrible monsters and murderers

Africa and Africans have been cheated
Today, slave masters have turned away their heads
Should we just lament and complain each day
Or should we demand for reparation?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Transient Saints

Tradition It Is Becoming
When Power Is Snatched From Your Hands
When Your Influence Is Gone
When You No Longer Have A Say
When You Are No Longer Acting On Stage
You Are Accused Of All Wrong Doings
"Past Administration" You Are Labelled
Any Little Mistake Is Yours

Those In Power Think They Are Better
In Fact They Want To Be Seen As Saints
But Saints Are Made By Their Actions
Saints Never Accuse Others To Hide Their Weaknesses
Saints Are Careful Not To Blow Their Trumpets

They Are Judged By Prosperity
Never Define Their Sainthood
Their Good Deeds Tell Who They Are
Those That Now Call Themselves Saints
Will Not Remain As Saints When They Leave Office
Nay They Will Also Be Like Their Predecessor,