Jun 12, 2012

The Origin of the Name " Kaduna"

Kaduna City
Kaduna city is the capital city of Kaduna State, one of the thirty-six states in Nigeria. It is located in the North-Western part of the country. The state it administers and which was named after it, Kaduna, was created in 1976. Later in 1987, Katsina State was carved of it.
Most places in Nigeria, as elsewhere, where named based on prominent geographical features present in the locality. Some examples include “Lagos” which means a lagoon in Portuguese, Plateau by virtue of the table nature of the land, Niger and Benue States based on Rivers Niger and Benue respectively.  Others include Cross-Rivers, Rivers, etc.  
In like manner, the city of Kaduna was named due to the presence of a prominent river in the locality. The name ‘Kaduana’ in its modern form is a colonial invention. The colonial administration was constructing the railway line that eventually connected the different parts of the country. While passing through the Zauzzau (Zaria) Emirates, it noticed the appeal of the locality and decided to move the capital of the Northern Protectorate previously at Zungeru in Niger State, to the new land. The white colonial administration sought the permission of the Emir of Zauzzau.  With his approval the capital was moved.
In naming the city, the colonial masters learnt of the presence of ‘rafin kaduna’, which means the river of crocodiles. ‘kada’ is a Hausa word that means "crocodile" while ‘rafi’ means a river. The word ‘kaduna’ is the plural of ‘kada.’ The colonial administration then adopted the word ‘kaduna’ for its new headquarters  The colonial administration however, changed the pronunciation such that one is not reminded of crocodiles when it is pronounced.

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