Fulani Princess Nana Asma’u of Sokoto Caliphate

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Nana Asma’u bint Shehu Usman dan Fodiyo was the daughter of the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate (est. about 1804), Usman dan Fodio. Asma’u was a scholar and poet who was fluent in four languages – Arabic, Fulani, Hausa and Tuareg (Tamasheq – a Berber language). She wrote several books and was a teacher to both men and women in the community on Islam (leading a pious and righteous life). She recorded political events and battles of the Sokoto Caliphate and even advised her brother when he succeeded as Caliph. Nana Asma’u is an excellent example of a just leader and a female intellectual who had tremendous political influence during the 1800s in North West Africa. She passed away in 1864.

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