The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) has promised to upgrade the Gidan Makama museum to meet international standard.
The Director General of NCMM, Mallam Yusuf Abdallah Usman said that the museum being a National Monument deserves special recognition and attention even as the commission was ready to uplift it.
Gidan Makama is one of the historic buildings recognised as a National Monument by the Federal Government. It is located opposite the Emirs Palace, Emir’s Palace road, Kano. Gidan Makama is a palace built in the 15th century by the 20th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Rumfa (1463-1499). The well maintained compound is a great example of the palaces built by the aristocrats who ruled the medieval Sahel. The palace was said to be the palace of the Habe kings before Muhammed Rumfa built the present edifice. Visitors can walk round the museum and courtyards with or without a guide. The structural qualities of mud as a material dictate the shapes, which can be built so that the whole complex bulges with rounded humps and skyward-pointing fingers smoothened over with mud plaster and ridged with hand-prints. The windows are designed to maximise ventilation while the pillars and gateways are decorated with geometric designs picked out in white. Inside the rooms, one can also discover white-painted ribs and columns that support the roofs of split palm wood.
The first rooms contain displays about the growth of ancient Kano, which explained the layout of the city walls, gates and buildings seen around the town. Other rooms house a selection of traditional Hausa clothes, tools, weapons and crafts such as saddle, indigenous garments, battle gear and wearing apparels for horsemen, household utensils, women’ dresses, musical instruments, brass work as well as photographic display depicting Kano’s transition to modernity.
Glady Oundle is a tourist from the United Kingdom. She told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that some of the historic items on display have not been well kept, but it was quite interesting to visit the museum. According to her, I have lived in Nigeria for many years and spent about 2 months living in Kano. I toured and took groups to Kano to tour, eat and savour this historic and interesting city. The Gidan Makama Museum is where to start any tour of Kano. The museum is a beautiful place to be and most importantly, it is built in Sudanese architectural designs. The museum walks you through Kano history from the 9th to 21st century. The museum, which has recently received a face-lift, takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get through. The jihad period and the British invasion of the city in 1901 are really interesting. Another overlooked building is Gidan Dan Hausa, which is the Kano State museum.
Nuhu Ibrahim is a native of Kano but works in Abuja. He described the museum as one of such historical monuments that the people of Kano hold in high esteem but regretted that some of the historic objects found in the museum were gradually fading away. He enjoined the federal government to assist in uplifting the standard of the museum since it was a national monument.