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Search for Knowledge and Recognition

Hannah Hoechner

6. Producing educational ideals

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6.1 Introduction

  • 1 That the system does not encompass economic aspirations is not to say, however, that the system do (...)

1This section explores the definition of the fully educated person, the “person endowed with maximum ‘cultural capital’” (Levinson et al. 1996: 21), underpinning the Almajiri practice. By demonstrating that conscious spiritual, moral, and social ideals sustain the system, I challenge the conjecture that parents send their children on Almajirci owing to ignorance and negligence. Limited choice under conditions of poverty combines with culturally contingent ideas about childhood, high religiousness, and particular conceptions of an accomplished social life to form specific educational aspirations aiming for the acquisition of spiritual, moral, and social capital. These aspirations, I argue, can be understood as a “tactic” of the weak, in de Certeau’s sense—the “tactic” of communities that are largely economically disenfranchised by the inequitable development in Nigeria’s Muslim North. The existing social order does not give them access to economic power. Educational strategies aiming to prepare children for economically successful lives are therefore likely to fail. In such an environment, the constituencies of the Almajiri system focus their educational aspirations on those realms in which they have a chance of actually achieving them—the social, moral, and spiritual realms—and can thus maintain a self-definition as “potentially achieving,” rather than “necessarily failing.”1

6.2 Cultural/spiritual aspirations: embodying the Holy Qur’an

2Amongst Muslims in Northern Nigeria, it is widely accepted that it is a religious duty to acquire knowledge (whereby the Qur’an constitutes the necessary first step) and that every Muslim child should be sent to school (Last 2000: 375). Religious learning and facilitating the acquisition of religious knowledge, either directly through teaching or indirectly through enrolling a child in school, are seen as meritorious deeds that will be rewarded by God.

3The memorisation of the Qur’an takes a central position. Historically, memorisation fulfilled practical purposes. It helped preserve the Qur’an in the near-absence of affordable books and, through recitation, made it accessible even to people who could neither read nor write (see Last 1993; Boyle 2004). How can the importance of Qur’anic memorisation nowadays be accounted for?

4Bin Omar differentiates between two types of knowledge in Islam: revealed knowledge, and knowledge originating from reason, whereby reason is considered a necessary tool to understand and interpret revealed knowledge (i.e. to undertake Qur’anic exegesis—Hausa: tafsiri). Revealed knowledge “comes directly from God” and as such “is unique in certitude” and “fundamentally beneficial” in nature (Bin Omar 1993: 29 in Boyle 2004: 14). The Qur’an, then, is the “penultimate example of revealed knowledge for Muslims because it is considered to be the actual word of God” (Boyle 2004: 14-5).

5Eickelman argues for the Moroccan context that the concept of essentially fixed (i.e. revealed and therefore necessarily true) knowledge as represented by the Qur’an accounts for the lack of explicit explanation of memorised material. Reason is regarded as “man’s ability to discipline his nature in order to act in accord with the arbitrary code of conduct laid down by God and epitomized by such acts of communal obedience as the fast of Ramadan… [T]he discipline of Quranic memorization is an integral part of learning to be human and Muslim” (1985: 62-63). If its memorisation is associated with knowledge of the Qur’an, one should not confuse this with a Western concept of knowledge as the ability to understand and explain. Rather, knowledge is a more nuanced concept, also encompassing notions of “mnemonic possession” such as the ability to recite from and commit to memory. Mastery manifests itself not as an ability to explain, but rather in an “ability to make appropriate practical references to the memorised text” (64). Similarly, Last states for Northern Nigeria that “knowledge of texts and the ability to quote in extenso is a mark of learning… [T]he traditional mode is not to argue… Academic debate then is somewhat limited, advanced chiefly by capping quotations; memory, not logic, has the advantage” (1993: 122-123).

  • 2 The expression suggests that rather than being a matter of the mind (and thus potentially subject (...)

6Qur’anic memorisation is central to religious practice. According to Wagner, “[o]ne meaning of the word Koran is “recitation,” and for Moslems, prayer is usually interpreted to mean the recitation of the Koran. Thus, the teaching of proper recitation through the memorization of the Koran has been a central feature of Islamic education” (1991: 265). As recitation is crucial to religious collective enterprises such as praying, training in recitation also prepares for participation in social life (Boyle 2004: 96). In Hausa the standard way of enquiring whether somebody is Muslim is to ask whether she/he prays (tana/yana salla?). Whoever prays is considered part of the Muslim community (see Paden 1973: 37). Apart from revealing a very bodily conception of faith,2 this expression makes apparent how crucial learning to pray (and to recite the appropriate verses) is to being part of this community.

7As the Qur’an becomes embodied through memorisation, as it becomes a “mnemonic possession” (Eickelman 1985: 64), it comes to serve as “a source of ongoing knowledge and protection” (Boyle 2004: 83) and as a kind of compass engraved in the body that can provide direction later in life. Memorisation prepares “for a lifetime of Qur’anic discovery” (128). It is thus a necessary “first step in understanding (not a substitute for it) as it ensures that sacred knowledge is passed on in proper form so that it can be understood later” (84). All of these themes—the value of Qur’anic memorisation in itself, its importance for social relations, and its foundational nature for the acquisition of further religious knowledge—came up in my research.

The value of memorising the Qur’an

8The sense that ensuring their children’s religious education was their religious duty figured centrally in fathers’ accounts of why they send their children on Almajirci. Young people also interpreted their parents’ decision to send them to acquire Qur’anic knowledge (at the expense of other kinds of knowledge) as fulfilling a religious duty which they would be held accountable for if they failed to fulfil it:

  • 3 Habibu, ‘radio interview’, 9 September 2009.

People bring their children to Qur’anic school… because they want them to have the knowledge… Allah said if you didn’t take your child to school, what will you tell the child on Judgement Day?3

  • 4 22 August 2009.
  • 5 Nura, ‘radio interview’, 3 September 2009.

9Many of the students I spoke to asserted that memorising the Qur’an earned them rewards in the afterlife and was useful also in this life as a “protective shield” against mischief. Ibrahim (24), for instance, said that “whoever has Qur’anic studies in this life, if he really studied because of Allah, I don’t think he will suffer in this life.”4 The meaning of Qur’anic knowledge was clearest in the students’ comparisons between Qur’anic and modern/secular knowledge. They reasoned that Qur’anic knowledge, by virtue of having been acquired, earned them direct benefits in the sight of God in this life and the next, whereas modern/secular knowledge would have to be translated into facts pleasing God through pious deeds.5 The young people’s accounts are reminiscent of Boyle’s suggestion that the “mnemonic possession” of the Qur’an is considered beneficial in itself.

  • 6 Ibrahim, 12 September 2009.

10Several of the older students (particularly those who had begun their Qur’anic studies only recently) told me that it is preferable for a child to learn the Qur’an early on, as “when you are very little, that is when you understand better.”6 The way Ibrahim employs the term “understand” (gane) chimes with Eickelman’s description of the concept of reason in Islam. While Western conceptions of education assume that a child’s abilities to understand improve as she/he grows older, Ibrahim suggests that the young mind is better able to grasp the Qur’an, as it can still be moulded and learn the discipline necessary to exercise reason.

11Qur’anic memorisation is understood first and foremost as a personal quest for spiritual benefits, the pace and scope of which are determined by a student’s intellectual capacities and commitment to his studies. This is evidenced by the fact that there is almost no group instruction except within small, temporarily constituted groups based on their present level of knowledge rather than on age-grades. Every student progresses at his own pace and also decides himself how much knowledge he wants to gain, i.e. whether he wants to commit the Qur’an to memory or leave school after having learned to read, write, and recite it.

  • 7 Drama, 2 September 2009.

12The students embrace an interpretation of their studies as personal endeavour and through this develop a certain relationship towards their teacher. On the one hand, it offers them grounds to resist harsh treatment by the teacher: is it not their own business if they renounce the benefits they could reap from studying harder?7 On the other hand—and probably on a more fundamental level—an interpretation of their studies as purely for their own benefit reduces the Almajirai’s room for manoeuvre, as it becomes more difficult to justify a refusal to learn and to study hard if not with reference to a student’s laziness and stubbornness. Habibu, for instance, argues that

  • 8 ‘Radio interview’, 9 September 2009.

he [a brilliant student] knows that whatever he does, he is doing it for himself. He knows that if he is not serious with his studies, he is cheating himself and he is also cheating his parents, and he is also cheating his teacher, because they will say he is not teaching him well.8

13An interpretation of studying as a personal affair also lends even greater legitimacy to their relative powerlessness vis-à-vis their teacher. Abubakar (11 years old), for instance, in a “radio speech” justifies even the physical punishment of students as it is they who will reap the benefits of a successful education:

  • 9 ‘Radio interview’, 3 September 2009.

An Almajiri is not supposed to be taken from one school to another just because his father sees that he is being beaten… because the studies are going to be useful to him, not to his father.9

Rationale for studying the Qur’an firstly and exclusively

14Consistently, the Qur’an was perceived as a necessary first step for acquiring more knowledge throughout the life-course and not as a final stage. The students conceived of Qur’anic memorisation as a kind of “entry ticket” they had to earn first before they would be allowed to move on to other fields of knowledge to which they explicitly aspired (see Chapter Seven).

  • 10 Mallam Haruna, 16 September 2009.
  • 11 Habibu, 23 September 2009. Some students, however, attend Islamiyya/modern school at the same time (...)

15Adults repeatedly presented me with the same rationale for exclusively studying the Qur’an (i.e. learning to read, write, and recite it) while delaying access to other forms of knowledge (also to translation and explication of the meaning of the Qur’an). They argued that proper focus on the memorisation of the Qur’an is only possible if a student has no access to other materials that may confuse or distract him. One father (who was also a Qur’anic teacher) explained to me that if a student is taught other subjects at the same time as the Qur’an, he tends to abandon the study of the Qur’an in favour of the other subjects—just as an English-speaking person like me would probably abandon a book written in Hausa in favour of an English book, as English is easier to understand and therefore more captivating.10 Owing to the great importance attached to the Qur’an, no one wanted to incur the risk that his sons would not learn it properly. One student explained to me that as the Qur’an is very holy, students who are offered a translation before having properly memorised it risk citing it incorrectly.11

Social implications of Qur’anic memorisation

  • 12 21 August 2009.

16The social implications of acquiring (or failing to acquire) Qur’anic knowledge figured centrally in the students’ accounts. Nasiru, for instance, claimed that “if someone grows up without knowing what to recite during salla [prayer]… it’s a problem.”12 Dahiru (ca. 20) asserted that he would be ashamed hearing his friends recite the salla verses and not being able to recite them himself:

  • 13 21 August 2009.

In Islam, it’s better if you learn the Qur’an very well. If they know the Qur’an and I don’t know the Qur’an, I only know boko, it is a shameful thing for me. It’s a shameful thing if they say I don’t have the Arabic knowledge.13

  • 14 22 August 2009.

17While in the above accounts the ability to recite well seems to be considered as a form of social capital, the students were also aware of the limited number of “fields” in which such capital could bear fruit (see Chapter Seven). Ibrahim (24), for instance, maintained that “nowadays, if you have only the Qur’anic studies, there are places that when you go there, people will think you are nobody. Presently, it’s better for you to have both the Qur’anic and the boko studies.”14

Leaving home to memorise the Qur’an

  • 15 Mallam Usman’s students, 6 August 2009; Mallam Hussaini, Mallam Ali, 9 September 2009.
  • 16 Sani-Musa & Jamilu, 8 September 2009; Mallam Hamiz, 12 September 2009; Mallam Haruna, 16 September (...)
  • 17 Mallam Suleiman, 16 September 2009.

18Qur’anic memorisation enjoys popularity amongst almost all Muslim communities and is certainly not a controversial issue in Northern Nigeria. The Almajiri system has instead been criticised for not imparting enough Qur’anic knowledge, as the students spend a large part of the day trying to secure their livelihood. What sparks controversy are the conditions under which the Almajirai live in order to memorise the Qur’an. What drives parents to send their children away rather than to enrol them in a local Qur’anic school (of which there are plenty in Northern Nigeria)? A number of practical considerations (or what are considered to be such) play a role: both parents and students told me that at home children would be distracted from their studies by their participation in the daily productive activities of the household.15A second line of argument, which also motivates school changes, concerns a student’s familiarity with a place. Having too many friends would distract him.16 Being exposed to different teachers with different strengths and in general encountering new circumstances and people are believed to broaden a student’s knowledge.17 The largest part of the explanation is, however, accounted for by the moral and social aspirations underpinning the system, to which I will turn next.

6.3 Moral aspirations: preventing children from “becoming spoilt”

  • 18 This mode of reasoning is intriguingly similar to Puritanical images of the ‘evil child’ as sinful (...)

19Last writes that the functioning of Muslim Hausa society is premised upon strict controls over individual behaviour, which in turn are premised upon the sanctioned use of force by its powerful members (2000: 372). Children in this context are seen as “beings who require disciplining in order to become human.” Undisciplined children are perceived as animal-like, as “they simply sleep, eat and drink” (ibid. 374). Without “external shaping” in the form of discipline and physical hardship, including physical punishment, “a child is scarcely human, and certainly not a proper Muslim” (ibid. 376; see Schildkrout 1978/2002).18

20“The crucial site… for the disciplining of Muslim children is,” Last asserts, “not the home but the school” (2000: 375). What Last argues for Qur’anic schools in general is particularly true for the Almajiri system. Two strands of belief sustain the assumption that the Qur’anic “boarding” school is best placed to ensure the moral upbringing of children.

21Firstly, Last describes a concern with not spoiling a child: “Adults may hesitate to coddle a child, as it is synonymous with spoiling him… and preventing him from having to behave in public as a human being properly should” (ibid.). Parents are particularly afraid that their deep affection may lead to the child being spoilt, a sentiment that gives rise to a “strong tradition of public restraint or emotional reserve” between parents and children (ibid. 378). In the face of such strongly felt concerns, it becomes plausible that parents entrust their children to a Qur’anic teacher to “save their souls,” knowing that they will have to endure considerably more hardship at school than at home.

22Secondly, the Qur’anic “boarding” school seems ideally placed to ensure that a child is exposed to the necessary hardship without his parents interfering. The distance acts as a safeguard both against “soft” parents and fugitive children and as an additional privation steeling the child’s character. The Almajirai’s deprived living conditions serve particularly educative functions. I contend that they can be understood as training to acquire forms of embodied moral and social capital—stamina in the face of subjugation—in Bourdieu’s sense. “Eating” (ci), Last says, plays a central role in metaphors of power, the word “eating” being used to describe situations such as winning a victory, or “penetrating” a woman. In this context, that the Almajirai often toil to find enough food for the day teaches them not to eat: “Not to eat is to experience what it is to lack power” (ibid. 374). Similarly, sleeping is considered the privilege of the powerful. The Almajirai usually start their first lesson after the first morning prayer and are kept busy until after the evening prayer. Hardship is part and parcel of their education.

  • 19 Mallam Abdul-Samadu, 17 September 2009.

23My findings tally closely with what Last describes. Several fathers justified their decision to send their sons away with the fact that their teacher would be stricter, thus making them study harder. One father explained that being poorly clothed and being sometimes hungry helped his sons to learn morals and behave well. Feeling hungry would improve their character and help them study well, as eating to full satisfaction each day would make them stubborn towards their teacher.19

  • 20 30 August 2009.
  • 21 Nasiru, 21 August 2009.

24Strictness and physical punishment are perceived as necessary and even beneficial for a child and his learning, and while it is recognised that parents are reluctant to exert much harshness, this is perceived as weakness. Mallam Gali, for instance, explained his decision to teach Almajirai rather than students from the neighbourhood by his experience that close-by parents could not help but interfere in the teaching. Rather than blaming them, he took this to be a structural problem to be solved by sending children away.20 One student claimed that one studies better away from home, as at home, enjoying one’s parents’ support, one may simply decide to drop out of school if one feels treated badly by the teacher.21

25Interestingly, fathers who did not send all of their children on Almajirci did not seem worried about the character of those children (including girls) staying at home. The thorough moral training associated with Almajirci was not considered a necessary, inevitable stage in childhood. This reinforces an interpretation of the Almajirai’s training as investment in one specific form of capital (existing amongst others).

  • 22 e.g. Mallam Ibrahim, 9 September 2009; Mallam Haruna, Mallam Suleiman and his father, 16 September (...)

26“That most parents today went through the Islamic school system—and survived it—has made its style of discipline not only familiar but appropriate,” Last argues (2000: 375). This is consistent with the impression I gained from my interviews with fathers (almost all of whom had lived as Almajirai themselves) who sent their sons on Almajirci. Several fathers told me how much they had suffered as students, arguing however that the conditions nowadays were slightly less tough, with people being richer and giving more, with more profitable activities being available to the Almajirai to earn a living particularly in the cities, and with the physical infrastructure of the schools having improved.22 This account contradicts the claims of the crisis rhetoric that parents are either unaware of the conditions under which their children are studying or simply do not care. Rather than being ignorant about it, fathers seemed to approve of their sons’ deprivation as a necessary evil, while being relieved that the deprivation nowadays was not quite as harsh as when they were students.

27Interestingly, the children who also brought up the danger of becoming spoilt as a reason for Almajiri enrolment mainly linked this danger to specific external corrupting influences rather than to some intrinsic characteristics of children, thus making use of their “tactical creativity” to shift the blame away from themselves. Habibu, for instance, suggests that parents enrol small children as Almajirai

  • 23 ‘Radio interview’, 9 September 2009.

because leaving the child at home is risky. If you leave a child, he is going around with spoiled children… the child is following the spoiled children, going to watch football, and going to roam about, and going to engage in rough play—instead of allowing your child to do all this, it’s better to bring your child to Qur’anic school.23

  • 24 Drama, 2 September 2009.

28Similarly, in a small role-play about Almajiri enrolment, the children invented a drunkard, a gambler, and an arrested man as corrupting influences justifying a father’s decision to send his son away.24

6.4 Social aspirations: preparing for an accomplished social life

Fending for yourself

  • 25 Interviews with children begging for money; Ibrahim, Abubakar & Shehu, 12 September 2009; Ibrahim, (...)

29Boyden et al. (1998) indicate that the path to adulthood in many societies is secured by making contributions to the good of the family/household rather than by children evolving autonomy as Western thinking has it. Children are expected to increasingly take over responsibilities for others as they grow up, rather than being gradually “released” into an independent adult life. As regards the Almajiri system, a large concern is that children should learn early on to take care of themselves. Rather than being supported by their teachers, the students contribute towards their teacher’s livelihood (see Chapter Five). The students perceived their contribution as an expression of their valuation of the teachers’ efforts, which only God could adequately reward. The contributions were given voluntarily, and the students mostly determined the amount and timing themselves.25 The children thus willingly embraced a role for themselves as contributors and supporters rather than merely recipients.

30Learning to fend for themselves is a trope that came up several times in my research, pointing to the importance of economic self-reliance for social maturation. Being left without means of sustenance is thus intended not only to “steel” the character but also to teach the child how to take care of himself so as not to be a “drain” on others.

  • 26 Interviews with Mallam Usman & Mallam Gali.

31Two teachers told me that if a student did not find anything to eat, they would give him food.26 Yet, this was considered exceptional and done reluctantly, conveying displeasure about the fact that pity had for once won out over principles. Mallam Gali was reluctant to give the younger students food and had even told off a British VSO-volunteer, who had lived in my house before me and regularly provided food for the Almajirai, for doing that. Surprisingly, however, the older students (who were too old to either beg or work as household helps) ate regularly from his house. The point was thus not that he did not have the means to provide food in exceptional circumstances or that his sense of responsibility towards his students was strictly limited to his Qur’anic lessons. Rather, the idea was that the students had to get socialised into their social obligation not to be a drain on others but to be self-sufficient. The students largely agreed. Isma’ila (13 years old), for example, stated:

  • 27 ‘Radio interview’, 12 September 2009.

My parents bring clothes for me; I have enough now. So even if they want to bring something for me, I tell them not to. They also bring food for me… Now, I don’t want them to bring food for me again, because I want to fend for myself.27

32Constructing the children’s income-generating activities and contributions to their teachers’ livelihoods as exploitative and involuntary (as the crisis rhetoric does) fails to recognise that these contributions are often relatively minor and may indeed present a source of pride and self-esteem to the children.

Learning respect and to be well-behaved

  • 28 e.g. Mallam Sani-Umar, Mallam Suleiman, Mallam Hamza, 16 September 2009.
  • 29 e.g. Mallam Gali, 30 August 2009; Mallam Hussaini, 9 September 2009.

33Several fathers commented to me that children were sent out to study so they would learn “respect” for their parents, as having experienced the hardship and strict discipline of the Qur’anic school made them realise what they had at home.28 The perceived ability of a teacher to teach “morals” (tarbiyya) and religion (in an applied sense, going beyond mere Qur’anic recitation) also figured centrally in my respondents’ accounts of what they considered to be good schools.29

34The students pointed out several times that the role of Qur’anic schools was to mould students into socially suitable beings. Abubakar, for example, considered it the teacher’s responsibility to ensure his students’ social reputation:

  • 30 ‘Radio interview’, 3 September 2009.

The teacher is supposed to put his students to do the right thing so that the people in town will not see his students as bad students. And that they will not see them always going to play football.30

35Habibu makes a very explicit link between a family’s decision to send a child to Qur’anic “boarding” school and the perception by the community that he will therefore be well-behaved:

  • 31 ‘Radio interview’, 9 September 2009.

… if a child has acquired knowledge, people will say this child has good knowledge. And they will compare him with his father, and they will say, it’s because the whole family is well-behaved that that child is also well-behaved. That the family doesn’t make trouble and that they like Qur’anic schools, that’s why [the child is well-behaved]. If their children are growing up, they don’t leave them at home; they always take them to Qur’anic schools.31

36In the next chapter, I will explore in more detail what these “morals” and “good behaviours” consist in. Here suffice it to note that the perception that Qur’anic schools instil certain desirable social values and behaviours in children contributes to parents’ decisions to enrol their children as Almajirai.

6.5 Conclusion

37This chapter explored the ideal of an “educated person,” which underpins the Almajiri system. In a context where even modern education—given its poor quality and limited availability—hardly presents itself as an avenue to economic prosperity, families focus their educational aspirations on realms in which they have real prospects of success. People’s educational choices cannot be understood with reference merely to children’s prospects in the labour market. Rather, the Almajiri system is sustained by spiritual, moral, and social rather than economic aspirations. These are informed by a high regard for Qur’anic memorisation, by specific conceptions of childhood giving rise to anxieties about “spoiling” children, and by particular conceptions of an accomplished social life, including a concern for self-sufficiency and respect. The next chapter will inquire to what extent the Almajirai actually learn what the educational ideal sets out for them to learn.


1 That the system does not encompass economic aspirations is not to say, however, that the system does not have implications for the economic realm (see Chapter Seven).

2 The expression suggests that rather than being a matter of the mind (and thus potentially subject to decision-making), faith is considered to reside in the body and its ritualised movements (such as following the appropriate movements during prayer, or swaying gently back and forth while reciting) in a context where every aspect of everyday life is attributed to God (see Paden 1973: 64).

3 Habibu, ‘radio interview’, 9 September 2009.

4 22 August 2009.

5 Nura, ‘radio interview’, 3 September 2009.

6 Ibrahim, 12 September 2009.

7 Drama, 2 September 2009.

8 ‘Radio interview’, 9 September 2009.

9 ‘Radio interview’, 3 September 2009.

10 Mallam Haruna, 16 September 2009.

11 Habibu, 23 September 2009. Some students, however, attend Islamiyya/modern school at the same time as Qur’anic school, and most students aspire to forms of knowledge they are not yet supposed to study (see Chapter Seven).

12 21 August 2009.

13 21 August 2009.

14 22 August 2009.

15 Mallam Usman’s students, 6 August 2009; Mallam Hussaini, Mallam Ali, 9 September 2009.

16 Sani-Musa & Jamilu, 8 September 2009; Mallam Hamiz, 12 September 2009; Mallam Haruna, 16 September 2009.

17 Mallam Suleiman, 16 September 2009.

18 This mode of reasoning is intriguingly similar to Puritanical images of the ‘evil child’ as sinful creature needing correction in order to be saved in seventeenth-century Europe (see James, Jenks & Prout 1998).

While Last writes about urban Muslim Hausa society in particular, I find his observations applicable mainly to the rural constituencies opting for Almajirci. I presume that some part of the wealthier and modern-educated adults in urban Northern Nigeria have abandoned such images of childhood, as evidenced by their participation in the crisis discourse described in Chapter Four.

19 Mallam Abdul-Samadu, 17 September 2009.

20 30 August 2009.

21 Nasiru, 21 August 2009.

22 e.g. Mallam Ibrahim, 9 September 2009; Mallam Haruna, Mallam Suleiman and his father, 16 September 2009; Mallam Isa, Mallam Mahammadi-Difari, 17 September 2009.

23 ‘Radio interview’, 9 September 2009.

24 Drama, 2 September 2009.

25 Interviews with children begging for money; Ibrahim, Abubakar & Shehu, 12 September 2009; Ibrahim, Bashir & Shu’aibu, 22 September 2009.

26 Interviews with Mallam Usman & Mallam Gali.

27 ‘Radio interview’, 12 September 2009.

28 e.g. Mallam Sani-Umar, Mallam Suleiman, Mallam Hamza, 16 September 2009.

29 e.g. Mallam Gali, 30 August 2009; Mallam Hussaini, 9 September 2009.

30 ‘Radio interview’, 3 September 2009.

31 ‘Radio interview’, 9 September 2009.

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