The Almajirai are boys and young men from primary school age to their early twenties who have come to the cities and villages in Northern Nigeria to study the Holy Qur’an. They don’t stay with their parents, most of whom reside in rural areas, but live with their Qur’anic teacher (Malam).
The Almajirai learn to read, write, and recite the Holy Qur’an. During the lesson-free time they earn their livelihood: Older students to menial jobs and engage in petty trade or handicrafts. Younger students work as household helps, or beg for food and money on the streets, which makes them a highly visible feature of the urban landscape.
Nine Almajirai from three different Qur’anic schools in Kano State have been trained to write the script for this film, to do most of the acting, to handle the camera, and to give the stage directions. This film shows their views and experiences they made while living as Almajirai in Kano.
Hannah Höchner, a DPhil candidate at QEH, is researching theAlmajirai and has produced this film with and about Almajirai as part of her fieldwork in Kano/Nigeria in 2011, together with the Goethe-Institut Kano in 2011.