Safiyya Jibril’s ‘Ya Mace’ (‘The Girl-Child’) has won this year’s BBC Hausa Short Story Writing Contest for Women.
Safiyya, 29, is a secondary school teacher studying for her Master’s degree in Soil Science at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Her story, ‘Ya Mace’ highlights the ordeal of Halima, who going by family tradition, is expected to get married at about age 14. When she eventually does at age 17, it ends in divorce. Rejected by her father, she takes control of her life.
A member of the judging panel, Bilkisu Yusuf Ali, said “Safiyya’s story was selected from a shortlist of 25 because from the beginning to the end, it takes the reader to a climax brimming with tension, suspense and conflict.”
Safiyya said, “When I was told about the victory, I looked at my phone again to make sure I was not dreaming. Words cannot express how overwhelmed I am.”
‘Sunanmu Daya’ (‘Birds of a Feather’) by Sakina Lawal and ‘Zaina’ by Bilkisu Muhammad Abubakar, were also announced as first and second runners-up respectively, while twelve other stories were highly commended.
Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye, Head of BBC West Africa said the winner and the runners up will be honoured at an awards night in Abuja in the last week of October.
In its third year, the contest was introduced to give female writers a platform to tell and share their stories.
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