The map indicating the extent of Hausaland. Source : creativecommons.org

The origin of Hausa people has been a topic that have been attracting the attention of many scholars specifically historians. The Hausa people were black Africans who lived in the West African sub-region specifically in the Northern Nigeria and southern Niger.

The Hausa people were famously known as business people who went far and near for a business activities. Also, about 95% of the Hausa people were Muslims who followed Islamic religion.

Origin of Hausa People

The Origin of Hausa People have remained a topic that have been attracting the attention of historians for many years till date. Up to date, different theories regarding the origin of Hausa People were being formulated in order to explain the issue clearly. However, at least three theories were the most popular as follows :


One of the famous theories about the origin of Hausa People was the Misra origin. Many scholars argued that the Hausa people came to were they are now from Misra the modern day Egypt. One of the scholars who supported this claim was Lugard. Lugard in his book ‘A Tropical Dependency’ argued that the Hausa people were originated from the Egyptian Phoenicians. He further argued that the name ‘Hausa’ and their language came from the name of the Pharaoh Hausal the grandfather of the Pharaoh Namarud.


Another theory regarding the origin of Hausa People was that of a theory in which the origin was linked to that of the Habesha the modern day Ethiopia. The theory argued that original Hausa people who came to settled in what is today Hausaland were hunters who migrated from a region in Habesha in search of animals. He also stated that the original Hausa People shared many similarities in many aspects with that of the people living in the Habesha region.


The Bayajidda Legend has up to date remained the most popular story that tried to explain the origin of Hausa People. The Bayajidda Legend linked the origin of Hausa People to the person called Abu-Yazidu who was said to be the son of the Baghdad King. The story further stated that Abu-Yazidu quarrelled with his father and he left home in anger towards the west. Eventually, he arrived in Borno Kingdom and later into the Hausa town of Daura.

In Daura, Abu-Yazidu killed a famous snake that menaced the town. The Queen of Daura who was called Daurama married Abu-Yazidu because of how he killed the menaced snake. Abu-Yazidu and the Daurama gave birth to a son who they named ‘Bawo’. On the other hand, Bawo gave birth to seven sons who founded the seven Hausa States as follows :

  1. Bagauda in Kano
  2. Kumayo in Katsina
  3. Gunguma in Zazzau
  4. Gazori in Daura
  5. Ubandoma in Gobir
  6. Zamna Kogo in Rano
  7. Zauna Gari in Biram (Garun-Gabas)

However, many historians especially among the Hausas have debunked this Legend and called it a myth. They only accepted the Bayajidda story as an attempt by the forefathers to theorized the history of the foundation of Hausa seven kingdoms

Ahmad Abdullahi, BA History

My name is Ahmad Abdullahi, I was born on 10th March, 1994 in Garun-Danga Town, Gabasawa L.G., Kano State. I attended FCE Demonstration Primary School from 2002 to 2007, FCE Staff Secondary School from 2007 to 2013, and Northwest University, Kano from 2013 to 2017, where I obtained bachelor degree in History.

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