Alhassan Dantata: Things You Didn’t Know About Him

Alhassan Dantata was born in 1877. He however died on the 17th of August 1955. He was buried in Sarari ward of Kano.  He was a resident of Kano when he was alive and of course, he was a Nigeria.


Alhassan Dantata got his education at Madrasah in Bebeji. While he was alive, he was a very popular merchant. He was also a board member of the Emir of Kano’s Council and he was a Muslim. He had two wives, namely Umma Zaria and Maimuna.

Some of his children are Ahmadu, Aminu, Mamuidi, Sanusi, Mudi and so on. Alhassan Dantata was born by Abdullahi and Fatima Dantata. Alhassan Dantata dealt in distribution of European goods as a business man.

He also dealt in groundnuts and kola nuts.  He was a supplier to large British trading companies and he also did business in the Former Gold Coast (Ghana).  He was among the wealthiest men in West African by the time he died.

Alhassan Dantata’s parents too were very rich. His parents belonged to the Agalawa group, which is a hereditary group of long distance traders in Hausa Empire. When his father died, he and the other children were just too young to manage their father’s wealth. They were all given their portions in accordance to the Islamic law.

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Amarya was Dantats’s mother. She was also a trader like her husband, Abdullahi.  She decided to leave Bebeji when her husband died and she went to Accra. Her children were left in the care of one of her old slaves called Tata.

Tata raised the children up and Alhassan decided to honour Tata and that was how he changed his name to Dantata, which means “Son of Tata” in Hausa language.

Alhassan went to Koranic  school in Bebeji. The Koranic school was run by Tijaniyya. He finished spending his father’s wealth after some years and he had to work to support himself as an almanjiri. Instead of begging, he decided to work to make money. He started saving some money using asusu or money box, which was bought for him by tata.

The Kano Civil War occurred when he was still a boy and that was in 1893. The civil war was prompted by two individuals claiming right over the Kano Emirate.

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This led to the enslavement of Dantata, because his family group supported the party that was defeated during the civil war. He however returned to his trading after the ransom demanded was paid. However, his family land was already taken by the time he was released.

He was freed from slavery in 1894 and he joined a caravan bound for Gonja in order to go and see his mother. While leaving Bebeji, he decided to buy some items to be sold. He was able to sell some of the items on the way to Accra and he sold the rest when he got to Accra.

This was what prompted his decision to go into full time business.  He later made connection outside Africa and with European companies to whom he supply various commodities.

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