Deaf cultures and Sign Languages of the world: Nigeria (Nigeria)

Created 10 April 2000, links updated monthly with the help of LinkAlarm.

Nigerian flag David Bar-TzurNigerian flag

map of Nigeria

Flag: World flag database.
Map: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.

For a quick, interesting resource for facts about this and other countries,
try Mystic Planet - The New Age directory of Planet Earth.

Note: A flag next to a link shows what language the website is in. If it is followed by this icon: (video camera: This links to a video), it is a video in that spoken language. A flag followed by Sign Language iconmeans it is in the sign language of that country. globe (international icon)Sign Language iconmeans there is International Gesture.

Deaf and employment Deaf culture Deaf education & youth Deaf history and current events Deaf oppression & liberation
Maganar hannu, Maganar Bebaye (Bura, Hausa, and other Sign Languages in Nigeria) Maganar hannu, Maganar Bebaye (Bura, Hausa, and other Sign Languages in Nigeria) dictionaries Organizations

Deaf and employment

Parker, R. A tailor-made vocation. Since Matthew's father is a tailor, Matthew had learned the basics of sewing when he was 12 years old. For the past two years, Matthew has been a part of our Family Care course at his school, where he receives free vocational training as a tailor. He has learned how to make clothes for himself, as well as children's clothes which are distributed to families in the local area.

Deaf culture

Monaghan, L, Nakamura, K., Schmaling, C. & Turner, G. H. (Eds.) (May 2003). Many ways to be Deaf: International variation in Deaf communities. Twenty-four international scholars have contributed their findings from studying Deaf communities in Japan, Thailand, Viet Nam, Taiwan, Russia, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Nicaragua, and the United States. Sixteen chapters consider the various antecedents of each country1s native signed language, taking into account the historical background for their development and also the effects of foreign influences and changes in philosophies by the larger, dominant hearing societies. ISBN 1-56368-135-8

Togonu-Bickersteth, F. & Odebiyi, A.I. (1985). Prior contacts and perception of the deaf by the non-deaf in Nigeria.

World Around You. (January-February 1999). A deaf soldier comes in from the war.

World Deaf directory - Nigeria.

Deaf education & youth

Anthony S. Macaulay (Associated with the Wesley School For The Deaf).


golden marble bullet(2003, February 5). Goodwill gesture Hearing-impaired students collect books for Nigerian school. Judy Cudworth's students can't bring running water or electricity to the Plateau School for the Deaf half a world away. Still, they might open a new chapter for the Nigerian school. The four Middle School at Parkside students have collected more than 600 books and hope to round up many more for the school they learned of from Cudworth.

golden marble bullet(2003, February 4). NNPC Donates to Deaf Pupils. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in a good will gesture, recently presented food stuffs, vegetable oil and other items to pupils of Wesley School 1 for Deaf Children, Surulere, Lagos.

golden marble bullet(2002, December 23). Club Donates Materials to Deaf School. The Rotaract Club of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has donated textbooks and stationery worth thousands of naira to the Wesley School for the Deaf. The presentation of the items in Lagos coincided with the 40th anniversary of the school.

golden marble bullet(2002, December 18). Educate disabled children, parents advised. Speaking at an interview on Tuesday vice-president of Wesley Schools II for deaf children, L. Y. Atiku, who spoke on behalf of the principal T. A. Gbeleyi, said the deaf children were as much a great asset to the society as their unchallenged counterparts.

Eleweke, C. J. & M. Rodda. (24-28 July 2000). Enhancing inclusive education in developing countries.

Shettle, A. (2004, Spring). Deaf Children with Additional Disabilities in Developing Countries, Nigeria.

Deaf history and current events

Hernandez, N. (2007, May 20). Students help peers in Senegal. Deaf students and teachers in Senegal cried with relief when they learned a group from the Maryland School for the Deaf wanted to visit their school. For 20 years, they had been waiting for such news, said Nieshaakema James-Sarr, founder of Senecorps, the nonprofit agency that arranged MSD's two-week service trip, which begins June 8.

Miles, M. (2005). Deaf people living and communication in African histories, c. 960s - 1960s. There is strong documentary evidence that deaf or hearing impaired men and women, girls and boys, did occupy social space and took roles across the full spectrum of life throughout Africa in earlier centuries, living lives like everyone else and also having some different experiences. Traces and signs of deaf people appear in many sorts of historical document, such as travellers' accounts, legal and genealogical records, government, institutional and missionary archives, linguistic studies, literature, folklore, religious narrative, mime, dance and drama. Many of their experiences have involved severe economic poverty and adversity, stigmatising attitudes and exclusionary practices; yet this has not been the norm everywhere in Africa, and many deaf people have shown great resilience, perseverance, humour and ingenuity in their dealings and communications with the non-deaf world.

Deaf oppression & liberation


golden marble bullet(2005, May 11). Deaf protest against alleged neglect. About 200 deaf people staged a protest on Tuesday in the northern Nigerian city of Kano against what they called government's neglect of their plight... They carried placards accusing the state government of starving them of jobs and of news of events happening around them and elsewhere in the world.

golden marble bullet(2005, March 5). Story that touches the heart: We want our rights, not pity, disabled confab delegates insist. On Wednesday, some scores of the deaf created a scene at the gate of the conference venue. They would not understand why they were totally left out of the confab. Thus, they were at the venue to protest against what they said was a deliberate discrimination against the deaf.

golden marble bullet(2004, October 8). Deaf Persons Raise Alarm Over Future. The deaf under the aegis of Lagos State Association of the Deaf (LSAD) recently lamented the total negligence and discrimination against them in every facets of their lives, particularly as many see them as objects of ridicule or derision in the society.

golden marble bullet(2004, September 28). Crushing the Disabled in the Ghanaian media. Not too long ago a television station showed on its screen a Nigerian comedy titled 'Mr Ibu', with the popular Nigerian Actor, John Okafor, as the lead actor. In this comedy, many scenes sought to portray persons with disability as indecent, wild, mischievous and not good enough to be lovers.

golden marble bullet(2004, January 1). Group seeks succour for the disabled. The Organisation of Deaf Business Men and Women of Nigeria on Wednesday appealed to the Federal Government to formulate policies in the new year that would bring succour to the disabled in the country... It asked the government to make the year 2004 dynamic and purposeful for the development and welfare of the deaf, adding that the group would want to be involved in all the affairs that affect the deaf as well as be consulted on the national and state budgets.

golden marble bullet(2003, July 2). Mid-Week Features: Lamentations of the deaf. "Nigerian journalists are wicked. They don't want to help the deaf by reporting our plight. They discriminate against us because we cannot hear" charged Olu Ajayi, the president of Brotherhood Society of the Deaf (BSD) in an interview he granted to Vanguard Midweek Features (VMF) recently.

golden marble bullet(2002, May 11). Deaf protest against alleged neglect. About 200 deaf people staged a protest on Tuesday in the northern Nigerian city of Kano against what they called government's neglect of their plight. Under the banner of their organisation, the Deaf Youth Association, they called for special sign language interpreters for news and other programmes broadcast on state-run television.

Maganar hannu, Maganar Bebaye (Bura, Hausa, and other Sign Languages in Nigeria)

Blench, R. and Warren, A. An unreported African sign language for the deaf among the Bura in Northeast Nigeria. Written descriptions of signs.

Dively, V. Signed Languages: Discoveries from International Research.

Hausa Sign Language: A language of Nigeria.

International bibliography of sign language: Nigerian Sign Language.

stained glass ballKamei, N.

golden marble bullet(n.d.).The Birth of Langue des Signes Franco-Africaine: Creole ASL in West and Central French-speaking Africa. Langue des Signes Franco-Africaine (LSFA) is a generic term for sign languages widely used among the Deaf in French-speaking West and Central Africa with two distinctcharacteristics, loan signs from ASL and an influence based on spoken/written French. Inshort, LSFA can be defined as a generic term for creole sign languages consisting of ASL and French in Africa.

golden marble bullet(2006, December 25). History of Deaf people and sign languages in Africa: Fieldwork in the "kingdom" derived from Andrew J. Foster. Tokyo: Akashi Shoten Co., Ltd. 月刊言語』書評で紹介 (2007年6月号) 毎日新聞全国版の書評で紹介 (2007/02/18)『アフリカのろう者と手話の歴史』刊行 (2006/12/25)

Maganar hannu (Language of the Hands). The main part of the book is devoted to the analysis of HSL itself. The description focuses on manual signs. In Chapter 4, I will look at the phonological structure of signs and present an inventory of the sublexical components in HSL, i.e. the manual and non-manual parameters. Chapter 5 is concerned with morphological processes in HSL. I will investigate different types of polymorphemic signs which can be composed both through simultaneous and sequential processes. In Chapter 6, the role of iconicity in the established lexicon will be examined. I will also briefly describe instances of lexical borrowing and of lexical variation in HSL. A summary is given at the beginning of each chapter.

Nigerian Sign Language: A language of Nigeria.

Schmaling, C. (2001, April 9). Maganar hannu: Hausa Sign Language (Paperback). Gallaudet University Press. ISBN-10: 3927731706, ISBN-13: 978-3927731707.

Wiley InterScience: Book Home - Language, Frogs and Savants. Chapter 3: Maganar Hannu (p 51-55).

Maganar hannu, Maganar Bebaye (Bura, Hausa, and other Sign Languages in Nigeria) dictionaries

Blench, R. and Warren, A. An unreported African sign language for the deaf among the Bura in Northeast Nigeria. Written descriptions of signs.

Foundation for Endangered Languages - 6. Reports on Field Research. An unreported African sign language in Northeast Nigeria: Roger Blench and Victoria Nyst.

Schmaling, C. ASL in northern Nigeria: Will Hausa Sign Language surivive?

SignPuddle. Dictionary Nigeria.

The incorporation of Nigerian signs in deaf education in Nigeria ; a pilot study ; a dictionary of Nigerian signs. Teil 2.


Brotherhood Society of the Deaf.

Nigerian National Association of the Deaf.