By Iminza Keboge
Published November 9, 2017
Maimuna S Beli of Kano State in northern Nigeria has won the 2017 BBC Hausa Short Story Writing Award for Female Writers.
Bai Kai Zuci Ba (Not from the heart), the story that won Maimuna Idris Sani Beli the award, revolves around a woman who is obsessed with her children and constantly dreams of what might befall them if she dies. She even tells her husband to marry her best friend who loves children if she suddenly dies so she can help take care of her children. She always dreams of dying and coming back from the dead to visit her children.
The judges are said to have been impressed by the writer’s bold writing style as, with ease and creativity, she takes the reader from the land of the living to that of the spirit.
Jimeh Saleh, Editor of BBC Hausa that marked its 60th anniversary in 2017, says, “We are so impressed with the level of interest generated by this year’s contest, and the number and quality of entries we’ve received.”
The competition was introduced in 2016 to give women a voice and encourage creative writing among Hausa-speaking women. Four hundred entries from around the world were received for the 2017 award.
Maimuna S Beli, together with the second and third place winners, will be honoured in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on November 24, 2017. The winning entry and runner-up stories can be heard on air and online on BBC Hausa that reaches an estimated 24 million people on a weekly basis in West Africa and the Diaspora, from November 25, 2017.