Current Institutional Affiliation
Lecturer II, Department of History, Bayero University Kano

Sani Yakubu Adam is a lecturer in the Department of History, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. His broader area of interest is in the history of Islam in northern Nigeria. He was a fellow of the All Africa House program at the University of Cape Town in 2015 and is presently a grantee of Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Doctoral Completion Fellowship. He is currently working on a PhD dissertation focusing on the formation and expansion of the book market of Kano, the major entrepot of northern Nigeria. It examines the book business located in this space but also beyond its boundaries. It looks at all the major players that make up the book market from writers to copyists to printers and also the readers, as consumers, and other intermediaries. Its central thesis revolves around the intersection between the book distribution process and the religious unrest in northern Nigeria.

Award Information

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship 2019
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Department of History, University of Cape Town
A History of the Islamic Book Market in Kano, Northern Nigeria 1903-2015

The book trade is considered as an integral part of book history: an emerging area that received little attention from the African scholars. In the whole of Nigeria, no any region has a vibrant Islamic book market more than Kano. The Kano book trade has a distribution network throughout northern Nigeria and neighbouring countries (Niger, Chad, and Cameroun). The research is interested in exploring the nature of the books sold in the market and their influence in animating the Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria. There is a connection between the Boko Haram ideology and the Islamic book trade because the Boko Haram members are primarily indoctrinated by the sermons of their leaders and the Jihadi-Salafi literature they obtain from the Islamic book markets in northern Nigeria with Kano market being the largest. From the 1990s, there was growing patronage of the Salafi literature, including the works of Jihadi-Salafi scholars among the young people. This corresponded with the period considered as the genesis of insurgency in Nigeria. The previous researches on terrorism in Nigeria are primarily concerned with the doctrines, mode of operation and devastating impact of Boko Haram in West Africa. This research is the first of its kind that examines the sources of ideological orientation of the Boko Haram using empirical data and the methodology of book history with its emphasis on connectivity by exploring the connection among the several components involved in the life cycle of the book from production to reading.