In every culture, tradition is key part of the identity of that ethnic group, whether in Nigeria or anywhere in the world. The members of that cultural group try as much as possible to keep it alive and by showcasing periodically, and it can be obvious in their character as they interact with others in their day to day activity.
The historic Kano Kingdom is no exception when it comes to display of their heritage, which is still in practice till today especially in the matters of the Royal household. Paying homage to the Queen Mother is a strong tradition practised by the King whenever he returns from an official journey or visit outside the kingdom.
This visit to the Emir’s Mother’s home [called Zuwa Babban Daki – literally “Going to the Great Room”] is one of the most cherished traditions of the Emir of Kano, that is inherited, valued and practiced by generation of Emirs for centuries. It is celebrated with cultural pomp and pageantry, even though not with the full grandeur of the real Durbar displayed during the Eid/Sallah celebrations. It is still a sight to behold.
The Emir will be wearing colorful royal attire, riding a beautifully decorated horses as citizens come out to hail him on his way to Babban Daki. He is accompanied and escorted by an entourage of his Council Members – the Wambai, the Tafida and other numerous title holders with their horses and flags. Providing safety and security are the Royal Guards and Protocol Official. Algaita (Trumpet) sounds of Royal musicians fills the air, capturing every bystanders’ mind in an exciting and sensational way even from a far distance. The colorful parade is certainly hard to ignore, as it almost magically pull more crowd, towards the beats of special royal drums (Tambari). Cheers and joyful waves of citizens, adult and children adds to the flavor of happiness to the gentle and majestic procession to the home of the Emir’s Mother.
On arrival, the Emir’s mother will welcome her son, with her own entourage of helpers and praise-singers. The Emir will alight from his horse, proceed into her quarters and respectfully goes down, bending at the knees, as a sign of deep reverence and respect to greet her, and seek her blessings. She will warmly welcome him, praying for his wellbeing, while food and drinks are being served to her visitors, consisting of her son and his people.
The Emir’s entourage will then wait for him as he spends time with his mother discussing issues, receiving advise, words of wisdom and prayers for long life and prosperity of his reign. The accompanying cultural entertainment groups remain outside the compound blowing Algaita, beating heavily on the Tambari, as praise-singers continue to shout praises of the Emir and his mother.
Emir of Kano usually spend the whole day at his Mother’s home; departing only late in the evening, before dusk. The Royal drums and trumpets continue to accompany him back to the Palace Gates. Another tradition of a multiple gun powder salute, by the Palace Guards and Warriors will fill the air, announcing the Emir’s return to the palace. It has been an eventful day.