Some have maintained that “Kaduna” is a Hausa word, a plural of crocodiles and I have listened to some presenters on radio houses, particularly in Kaduna State describing the city as “The Crocodile City“. Well, the Gbagyi people have forgiven them because they don’t know what they are talking about. The question is – does it mean the place never had a name prior to the arrival of d colonial masters?

The coming of colonial masters which led to the influx of people into Kaduna for greener pastures, also gave rise to the changing of names to most places, added to few places earlier mentioned in my last episode is Risa village (now called Rigasa). The stream close to Bakin Ruwa today used to be called “Risa“, hence the name Risa village.

The Air Force Base in Kaduna (old air force) used to be known as “Karidna” meaning a river of Bamboo trees, similarly Abakpa was formerly called “Vowun dna“, a name derived from a particular kind of tree dominant in the stream. Between Abakpa and Nigerian Defence Academy (N.D.A.) Kaduna, the trees in view refers to a particular species which was used by Gbagyi farmers (peasants) as soft strings for tying bundles of guinea corn during harvest.

The name of Kaduna has nothing to do with crocodiles; therefore Kaduna is not a crocodile city.
Kaduna got its name from a question asked by some Gbagyi women (carrying loads) on their way to ‘Kucituko‘ market, (Kucituko means “by the forest”). When they arrived at a popular passage (the place where people use to cross the river Kucituko) they found heavy equipment brought for the construction of the railway bridge, they moved up and down along the banks of the river, seeking for where next to cross, seeing that the usual passage was blocked with railway materials, they asked one another, “YI KA DU NA?” meaning “where do we cross?”. The workers that were there laughed and mocked at them, repeating those words after them this way, “KA-DU-NA“, hence the name Kaduna.

Meanwhile, prior to that time, the place called Kaduna today was known as “Kucituko” because of the thick mahogany trees that covered the area initially.

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Danlami Gajere

Danlami Gajere

Written by Danlami Gajere

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