Home News The Great Kabbi (Kebbi) Empire of Hausa

The Great Kabbi (Kebbi) Empire of Hausa

by Isiyaku Ahmed
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By Adnan Bawa Bello

The Hausa States were part of the Songhai Empire after their conquest by Muhammadu Askia, the sovereign leader of the Empire. After the conquest of Katsina and Zazzau, the King of Kano Muhammadu Kisoke (1509 -1565) got a hint and strategized adequate preparations to defend Kano against the Askia’s invasion. Askia couldn’t defeat Kano after losing half of his Army and therefore had to retreat to his headquarters at Gao in Mali.

Askia came back to Kano for the second time and defeated it. Thereafter the conquest he enforced a levy for Kanawa to pay him one third of the total annual tax collection yearly. He coerced Mohammadu Kisoke to take a pledge never to take any counter offensive against his domain and he gave his daughter’ s hand in marriage to Muhammadu Kisoke inorder to appease him.

Muhammadu Kanta the great, the King of Kabbi dared Muhammadu Askia and defeated his Army in 1516. Muhammadu Kanta established the great Kabbi empire with its headquarters at Leka near Gwandu. The empire comprised of all the territories of Hausa entities, the Nupe land, the Azbin region in the present Niger Republic and some parts of Bennin Republic.

There was a correspondence between the king of Morocco and Kanta the Great. The King of Morocco via a letter introduced some Arabs traders and requested Kanta to permit them to do Business with Kano.

Contacts and diplomatic relations between the Hausas and outside world had been established for over five hundred years. Leo Africanus visited Kano in 1513 and mentioned his visit in his book; History of Africa and Memorable things contained therein, London (1600).

A Briton called Captain Clapperton visited Kano in 1824 and mentioned it in his book; Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in the North Central Africa, London 1826. Heinrich Barth a German Explorer of Africa and a scholar came to Kano in 1855 and mentioned it in his book; IM Herzen Der Haussa Lander, Berlin 1889.  


Kano Chronicle, Kano Daga Dutsen Dala by Dr. Uba Adamu, Musulunci A Kano by Jamilu Abba

Tarihin Fulani A Kasar Hausa by Adnan Bello          

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