Home Opinion Late Haruna Kundila: The Pre-Colonial Wealthiest Person in Kano

Late Haruna Kundila: The Pre-Colonial Wealthiest Person in Kano

by Editor
0 comment

Jamilu Uba Adamu

Late Mallam Sa’adu Zungur (1915 – 1958) in his song Arewa Mulukiya ko Jamhuriya said;

“Ya Sarki Alhaji Bayero, Ga Yan birni da Kanawiya.

Tun Bagauda na saran Kano, Suka fara fataucin dukiya.”

Throughout its history, Kano State has been a trading and important commercial center.  History has shown that Kano has produced quite a number of wealthy individuals that their names will always be there in the annals of history.

The ability of Kano and Kanawa to create wealthy individuals did not start in this modern era. The like of Madugu Indo Adakawa, Muhammadu Dan Agigi, Madugu Dangomba, Umaru Sharubutu, Mai Kano Agogo, Alhasasan Dantata, Adamu Jakada, Muhammad Nagoda, and many others were among the wealthy individuals that Kano produce.

Late Alh. Haruna Kundila (1810 – 1901) was known for his great wealth and fortune in the pre-colonial Kano during the reign of Emir Abdullahi Maje Karofi and his successor Emir Bello Ibrahim Dabo.

There was this popular Hausa saying attributed to him; Bana siyarwa bane ya gagari Kundila, literally meaning that there is nothing Kundila can’t afford to buy unless it is not for sale, because of his massive wealth and purchasing power.

Haruna Kundila was born in 1810 at Makwarari Quarters in Kano city.

The story about his source of wealth says that ” one day when he came out from the house, he met Mallam Sidi (according to the story Mallam Sidi, is a Pious God-fearing Islamic teacher, and many people believe that he is a “Waliyyi’) and Mallam Sidi asked Kundila how he can help him get those that can evacuate his sewer pit? Kundila answered him positively.  

When he checked and couldn’t find anyone to do the job, he decided to do it by himself. When the Mallam came back and asked him whether he find out the people? He told him that the people have already come and done the work, Mallam Sidi asked him again “How much they were supposed to be paid for the work? But suddenly someone that witness how Kundila did the work alone, intercede and told Mallam that Kundila do the work by himself. When the Mallam heard that, he shake his head and said; To , Insha Allahu,duk inda warin masan nan ya buga gabas da Yamma, Kudu da Arewa sai kayi suna ka shahara an sanka.”

History tells us that Haruna Kundila who was a slave trader in those days had trade relations with traders coming to Kano from foreign countries such as Mali, Sudan, Libya, Senegal, Damagaram, Agadas, Garwa, Duwala, Bamyo, and Fallomi.

In his heyday, there is no one in Kano with Kundila’s wealth. Kundila was very rich and had estates by each of the city gates (Kofofi). It was said that he owned more than one thousand slaves. In fact, he was the wealthiest trader in Nineteen century Kano.

The reason behind the name Kundila is; history tells us that, Haruna has a younger sister named Binta who follows him at birth. After she grew up, one day Haruna went home and found his sister in their mother’s room, he said to her “Please Binta, “Miko min Kundina” The sister started to be repeating the words “Ina Kundina? Ina Kundina? Since that time the name Kundila followed him for the rest of his life. Up till today, some Government housing estates in Kano bear the name, for example, Kundilar Zaria Road.

It was said that when he died in 1901 (two years before the British Conquest of Kano) Kano was shaken by the loss of one the greatest wealthiest individual in its history

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Update Required Flash plugin