Yusuf M. Adamu lectures in the department of Geography, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. Currently with the School of Public Health, University of Alabama Birmingham as a Fulbright visiting researcher. He got his first degree in Geography from the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria and his Masters degree in the same discipline from the University of Ibadan. Currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Bayero University Kano working on maternal mortality in Kano State.

Yusuf M. AdamuA bilingual writer, he has published in both English and Hausa language. His Hausa titles include Idan So Cuta Ne (1989) and Ummul-Khairi (1995), while his English titles include Butterfly and Other Poems (1995), my first book of rhymes Litters (2000) and Landscapes of Reality (in press). He has also published critical essays on Hausa literature, short stories and poems in various newspapers and journals including Okike and ANA Review. Yusuf Adamu is currently a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors national executive and its Kano State branch chairperson. He is married with children.

Poems by Yusuf M. Adamu

International Community

A community of nations of the world
Where every member is a family member
Where every member is a stakeholder
A community where we are all humans
As if telling the extra-terrestrials to keep off
We are the most advance civilization in the Cosmos
That’s the community that’s truly international

Not an International Community of the Neocons
A community of wolves and vultures
A stage for vampires and scavengers
Where only the Big dance the music of policy
With brutal insensitivity and disgusting arrogance
And weaker nations are only spectators
Who must applaud very wretched choreography.

Instead of the contemptuous scripted drama
Let the Big declare ‘we are the international community’
So that when the Neocons and their apologists
Say ‘International Community’ we know
They are talking of only the ‘Big’
And the rest of us can have appropriate label
‘International commoners’

June 24, 2007

No More Heroes in the Freeworld

Where are the brave? Where are the heroes?
If justice is crushed by iron fist
Freedom is caged and democracy hanged
Yet celebrating brutality with fanfare
Turning liars into saints overnight

There are no more heroes
In the heart of the free world
There are no more brave men
In the land of the free
There are no more great men
In the land of the great

They have all gone wayward
They have all become accomplices
By looking the other way
While the killings of children and women is on
A people’s wealth is squandered without shame
They are busy celebrating their values and ways of life

May 18, 2007

Common Man

called common
common is he
he is the majority

his immense faith in God
that predicaments are from God
destiny always lies with God
kept his spirit alive

in the place of my birth
he is de-ideologized
made too submissive
never raise an eyebrow
hardly point an accusing finger
phobia of those uncommon men

the uncommon are crude
they dislike the common man
with no sympathy for him
to his suffering theyÂ’re insensitive
but always pretending fighting his cause
using him only as front

but the common can be uncommon
as bakin-wake dealt with the prince
uncommon act shall he stage
to make it a common play

July 15, 1999

They Can Speak English

(After Reading Dollar Brand's Western Influence)

red-eared men
together brought us
to live as nations

their language
to us they introduced
with it we communicate officially
later we even think in it
mother tongues second classed
back benched

if you speak english
you are civilized
praised, recognized
and respected

but in england
my pronouciation they bother not
my grammer they care not
if only they could understand me
i communicated well

but why should a black-eared red-ear one
be so proud to speak english
even at the expense of mother tongue

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 ashante or arabic
you can think and
express your thought

July 23, 1999

Brave Captains

-for Sarkin Musulmi Attahiru I

he knew they were coming
read it in books
heard their request
knew they are liars
not trustworthy

the maxim guns they have
the superior army well trained
they rape and exploit
enslave and domesticate
nations of people and empires

there can never be truce
would never have honoured it
he cannot believe them
to come and misrule his people

maxim gun he hasn’t got
can he remain on the throne?

with those who have faith in him
migrated towards the east
to meet the reformer in the sudan
they can gather force
to re-conquer what was to be conquered

soon understood the danger
mobilized men and guns

at burmi, the captains fought gallantly
an attempt to safeguard a faith
to re-make history about to drain
maxim gun was strong
a nation fell to them
the caliph was killed

we shall forever celebrate your valour
share your faith in freedom
admire your courage and will
bravery we shall forever remember
we need to have among us
someone who shall also repeat your words
Ba ni biyar annasara
For our glory has fallen and broken


Global Village

though we are all human
we are made to be different
by forces beyond our clout

yet they want 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
we should not be subjected to
someone’s standards
someone’s culture
someone’s technology
someone’s understanding
someone’s world view
someone’s theories and concepts

they try hard in harder ways
to make us part of that village
but we know we are different
and shall strive to leave outside
that fashioned unsafe village

May 7, 2001


brazen use of force
becomes a norm
use of sirens and meaningless convoy with
boys in green and those in black
holding canes
clearing way for the boss
who with his programmed mentality
knows only orders to give and take
no question is asked
the boss knows all

selected not elected clique
whimsically decides what be
civilized were militerised
mental subjection
civil psyche
chained and enslaved

though physically no longer on stage
civil psyche still suffers hangover

democracy allows for
choice, opinions
argument &
freedom of association
and of expression

July 27, 1999

Human Rights

The claim is fighting for freedom
From a militocracy dictatorship
To enshrined in a democratic way
A new lease of freedom of everything
Thus human rights are fought for
Under all guises of jargons
And martyrs are made overnight

are those fighting truthful to truth
are they fighting for common man
or for frustrated elite’s search for relevance?

July 27, 1999

Be Heard

identity massacred
self confidence lost
inferiority enshrined
phobias of labels dominates the psyche
the individual is made apologetic
a new brand of homo-eractus
a new homo-apologetica

information age is born
nations are degenerating
ethnic nationalities are being midwife

apology shall die
every one must
be heard
the new fashioned village
has so many listening ears.

July 27, 1999

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