Running up and down FAA Departments

I’ve been running up and down between the Fine and Applied Arts Departments at the Federal College of Education and Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Kumbotso, here in Kano distributing questionnaires for students and members of staff, finishing off the Hausa translation of the student questionnaire – yes, students at Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, tomorrow’s (art) teachers don’t know enough English (at least theoretically the language of instruction in schools after the first years) for the teaching to be conducted in English, let alone for me to administer English questionnaires -, and attending (or trying to) teaching sessions. If I find time in-between that I’m making rather extensive use of the library of the History and Culture Bureau that contains some BA, MA and PhD theses on Kano, its history and local crafts – currently finally reading Prof. Salihu Suleiman’s thesis on the role and relevance of art in education in Nigeria (Ohio State University, 1974, unpublished, I think). Prof. Suleiman is the one who put together the original curriculum of the Creative Arts Department in Maiduguri and I’m hoping that his thesis is going to give me some insight into his intentions and ideas behind it. (And, as I’m running out of time I might not be able to stop over for a longer period of time in Bauchi where, if I’m not mistaken, he is currently based, so his thesis might be the closest I get to him.) Well, and Thursday’s holiday (Democracy Day) I used to hunt down the local lorry drivers, or rather I tried to. I thought I knew where they were (Unguwa Uku Motorpark) but turned out I was wrong. So the very helpful officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers put me onto an achaba into the town, more exactly Kofar Mata. There, just next to the local Gidan Wanka da Bahaya (well, how do I translate this best? I have never used one but think it’s something of a public bath and toilet – honestly, here Kano is so much ahead of Maidguri where I’ve never seen any public conveniences at all. Instead … you don’t want me to spell that out here.) … anyway, close to the Gidan Wanka there is supposedly a workshop of lorry painters. Problem is only that there are at least three of those Gidan Wanka close to the gate and two of them were at a road that was closed off because of Democracy Day. My achaba driver tried to argue with the guards on my behalf – he might have felt that they should have made an exception for the baturiya on research – but they insisted to treat me like everybody else and, yes, I think they did the right thing there, although it obviously delayed me. Anyway, so I will have to go back there one of the next days and ask around for somebody to point me towards the right direction … whenever I’ll find time between FCE, SRCoE, Kano State Polytechnic (they have an art department and resume next week), the library and other appointments.


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