Malagi; Kpele nini-nini, Twin marks: (A Nigerlite than the rest of us) By Jibrin Bala Jibrin Yikangi B.A.ED English, MISD,PhD(In-view)

This isn’t the time we should lost and eschew our cultural significance. However, the world has moved on while we are still what we used to be culturally. A Man who culturally divorce himself from what his ancestors used to be isn’t qualified to be what we call ourselves, civilize.The sum of what we are and what we aspire to be is a product of our cultural identity, hence the long and short of our agitations is a by-product of our “culturalness”. Contextually in our arbitrariness we are what our ancestors were centuries ago; features and our postures of what we are today is exercise of what they yearned: accommodating, level playing field, keeping Brothers and compassion. Should I tell you that some of their traits and dreams sustains even now? How? Some positive ones amongst the ancient practices still survive today? Amongst them is tribal marks. Would you spare a time so I could tell you about this? Scarification or let me be downgrading it, “Tribal marks” In centuries past is a practice where you were tied to where you come from; the purposed scarification, and I wish to be positive, is a mark deliberately performed on you so that you wouldn’t be lost to the world. Now the ardent fact, Pan-Africanistic wise, is a process performed on you to illicit Beautification, glamorization and identification of you and what your people stands for.


Many like this writer (And I honestly mean it) is that, that which connects people to their “beingness’ and grassroots. Tribal marks defined Africa in the past and still do; it’s an exercise of culture and culture is the sum of all of us and in us, physically, emotionally and spiritually. By now should I remind you that the Nupes are culturally inclined and the had hardly change who they are, their world views in centuries? Simply put, the Nupes are warriors, patriotic, kind hearted and nobelistic; they champion morality base on good behavior of their clans, the name of their clans and how the world outside sees it matters and amongst many cultural practices they do to preserve their identify is tribal marks, including today’s tattoos which we grew up to see on the arms of women and their cheeks called “kalangu” there is this one too called “kpatsungi” a scarification on the neck; alas each community and clan has it own type and even numbers of scarification, some on the chin, temple and above the nose.


In all of these, the Nupes are patrilineal and champions of their culture as it is the North’s center of cultural gravity and identity. Without let, I dare say that kinnupe (Nupe land) is Niger’s bastion of civilization and they remained patriotic to the cause of peace and togetherness. If you are Nupe, you are summation of all the good things of Niger and in Niger; when you have it’s tribal marks then you are the super reincarnation of that ancient Nupe whose world view is humility, simplicity and level headedness which promotes oneness; when you have Nupe tribal marks you are a representational symbol: And so is Alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi, the Kakaki Nupe expressly. Kpele nini-nini, twin marks is scarification done on both cheeks to promote beauty and identity; here is the significance, a mark each on either cheeks means independence of the other but when placed side by side it means coordination of purpose, unity and togetherness. Dishearteningly these practices began to die around thirty years (30) taking with it a whole lot of cultural significance but the good news is that we still have people carrying it and could still tell our children about it and document with illustrations and pictures, again a number of such people who still bear it are The Kakaki Nupe and the Number one citizen of the Nupe worldwide, The Etsu Nupe, Alhaji (Dr) Yahaya Abubakar (CFR)


The responsibility and burden of carrying an important cultural symbol is better imagined because you are an ambassador and a living monument, such a person must be examplary and moderate in all affairs, interestingly the Kakaki Nupe carries this flag high, excellently, infact over and above all from kinnupe out there; and I mean kinnupe the lynch pin of northern Nigerian culture and that of Niger State chiefly. If you are Nupe you are a representational picture of moral, physical and spiritual of anything Niger and so is the Kakaki Nupe, not even more when he carries the symbolical representation of the Nupes proudly and positively well to the world .





Jibrin Bala Jibrin Yikangi,

Is a Poet, A Teacher and a Social Activist

He writes from Gbako.

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