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Friday, June 14, 2024

Hausa and Fulani: Difference Between the Two Ethnic Groups of Western Africa

With over 30 million population, they are the largest people in West Africa

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Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga is a graduate of Mass Communication and aspiring investigative journalist.

NIGERIA: Hausa-Fulani are an ethnolinguistic groups in Western Africa. While some Fulani claim Semitic origins, Hausas are indigenous to West Africa. Both Hausa and Fulani people are mostly found in northern Nigeria. With over 30 million population, they are the largest people in West Africa because of their intermarriages and constant interface with different people and places.

Hausa people are found in the northern part of Nigeria. They have the largest population in West Africa as they are the tribe that interacts and associates themselves with people. Hausa are predominantly farmers and travel often in search of greener pastures.

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On the other hand, Fulani is referred to as nomads, or nomadic. Due to their constant migration to different places, they are recognized in almost all parts of the West Africa region. Fulani people are called nomadic because of their lifestyle and their occupation of rearing cows.

Historical significance of the Hausa-Fulani tribes

With the reduction in the Nok and Sokoto, who had before now concord Central and Northern Nigeria around 800 BCE and 200 CE, the Hausa succeeded to emerge as the new power in the region. Closely linked with the Kanuri people of Lake Chad, the Hausa people all adopted Islam in the 11th century.

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Around 1810 the Fulani in an African country cut across West Africa invaded the Hausa states.

The cultural differences of the two groups, however, allowed people to integrate between the groups, who in modern times are often demarcated as Hausa-Fulani, rather than as individual groups.

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The Hausa tribe still remains pre-eminent in Northern Nigeria. Their impact in Nigeria is

High. Hausa-Fulani combined together have controlled Nigerian politics for a long time. 

Culture of Hausa-Fulani people

Hausas are located mostly in the north, Niger Republic, Sudan, Cameroon, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Chad. Most of the Fulanis in these regions do not differ from the Hausa.

Hausa people are Muslims and followers of Islam. These people have helped to convert Nigerians to accept Islam as a religion. Hausa people are known for being the most beautiful and handsome set of human beings on earth.

Mostly when the two tribes work, they often support it with melodious songs, either from their language or any other language. Storytelling, engaging in local drama, and local musical displays are common forms of their traditional entertainment.

The two tribes or ethnic-religious groups are a bit different but they see themselves as one. 

Both groups neither look alike nor do they practice the same culture.

Major cities occupied by the Hausa-Fulani tribes

Many of the cities in northern Nigeria had been largely occupied by the Hausa Fulani can be seen since time immemorial. Some of these cities include Kano, known as the groundnut pyramids, and indigo city. Others are Biram, Katsina, Abuja , Bauchi, Birnin Kebbi, Damaturu,

Dutse, Gombe, Gusau, Jalingo, Jebba, jos, Kaduna , Katsina, Lafia, Maiduguri, Makurdi, Sokoto, Suleja, Yola, Zaria.


Religion or ethnicity when living as one with the same beliefs and ideology tends to bring more development, and enhance peace and stability among themselves. Therefore, Nigerians must begin to look beyond the fact that we are all Nigerian and start seeing each other as one for development and peace, especially now that the country is in the ocean of insecurity and banditry.

Let’s start to see Gbagyi-Bassa, Nupe-Kakanda, Dibo-Abawa, and Igbo-Yoruba just the way we have Hausa-Fulani culture and our country will be peaceful and great again.

No man can survive alone also, no country, religion or tribe can as well survive all alone.

Also Read: One Out of Seven Children in Nigeria are HIV Positive: UNICEF


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