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Question 3

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Department
Geography
Course Code
GGRB02H3
Professor
Rajyashree Narayanareddy

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3. According to Watts how should we understand the insurrections staged by Yan Tatsine (Marwa
Maitatsine followers)? How is Watts explanation of insurrection different from that of mainstream
explanations?
Muslim inspired revolts in Northern Nigeria represent a particular political and cultural expression of
changing economic geography in Nigerian capitalism. The rise of fast capitalism in Nigeria was very
anarchic (chaotic). The Yan Tatsine movement was a result of the impacts of massive capitalist
expansion (fast capitalism). Northern Nigeria is mostly muslims, who are anti-materialist. They also
forbid paying/receiving interest payments and frown upon debt. The accumulation of capital was
unevenly distributed (prebendalism). Capitalism was against Islamic beliefs. Certain people benefited
majorly from the massive exporting economy of oil. But there was corruption, materialism, soaring debt,
fast capitalism, growing gap between rich/poor, chaotic urban development, etc. t[]À]
that the Yan Tatsine (who are the muslim urban poor, known as Talakawa) experienced the downside of
capitalism in Nigeria. They lived in absolute poverty, yet they had social unity (imagination of
community). The Talakawa people went to informal Islamic schools, indicating that islam was a huge
part in their life. They lived by the Quran (capitalism contradicted everything Quranic). The Talakawa
were systematically excluded from access to the state, which they experienced as morally bankrupt and
illegitimate.
Watts suggests that the Maitatsine insurrection represented a powerful, counterhegemonic critique of
the Nigerian oil boom and ruling classes. /ou}}Z(]o]u}(E]P][}]o}}u and
modernization. Islam Á^]uovlv}Áv_XtZu}v]}vÁ^}uoÆU}]ÀU
vP}µv](µo_X
According to watts it is fast capitalism amidst Islam that provides the material and symbolic material
upon which matitsine and his followers drew. The oil boom created a period of space-time compression
in a singular way, which caused the movements in Northern Nigeria in 1980s.
Mainstream explanations of the Maitatsine insurrection contrast Watts perspective. The people
comprising the Yan Tatsine were portrayed as fanatics causing disturbances and as cult followers in
Western countries (especially because Western oil companies went to Nigeria to extract the oil which
caused the oil boom and they had to be against the muslim movement). Christian Nigerians were
terrified that the insurrection would lead to a drift towards Muslim fundamentalism in Nigeria. Northern
clerics denied that the Maitatsine insurrection was a Muslim movement. They were described as evil
]vvU^Á]Z(u]}vv]o]u_UvÀ]olv]X
Watts argues that the Maitatsine followers constituted a certain disenfranchised segment of the
Northern classes (Talakawa) who experienced, handled, and resisted particular form of capitalism
through counterhegemonic discourse in Islamic tradition. The movement was the product of the oil
boom.
YòX,}Á]u}vÇU}uu}](]]}vvDµo]u/v]Ç]v(}DÁD]]v[(}oo}Á
in Kano?
The insurrection was a result of the oil based modernization (fast capitalism). The yan tatsine were
uniformly poor, with 80% living below minimum wage. There was a social explosion between 1980-1985
when materially and status deprived yan tatsine recruits were scrambling to survive in a chaotic, urban
environment and the wealth and corruption of dominant classes.
Marwa was a long time resident of Kano. He recruited followers from the influx of migrants and
students into Kano and from the marginal underclass of Kano. His followers recruited people at truck
stops and railway stations.
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Description
3. According to Watts how should we understand the insurrections staged by Yan Tatsine (Marwa Maitatsine followers)? How is Watts explanation of insurrection different from that of mainstream explanations? Muslim inspired revolts in Northern Nigeria represent a particular political and cultural expression of changing economic geography in Nigerian capitalism. The rise of fast capitalism in Nigeria was very anarchic (chaotic). The Yan Tatsine movement was a result of the impacts of massive capitalist expansion (fast capitalism). Northern Nigeria is mostly muslims, who are anti-materialist. They also forbid payingreceiving interest payments and frown upon debt. The accumulation of capital was unevenly distributed (prebendalism). Capitalism was against Islamic beliefs. Certain people benefited majorly from the massive exporting economy of oil. But there was corruption, materialism, soaring debt, fast capitalism, growing gap between richpoor, chaotic urban development, etc. JZ[Z ]]Z that the Yan Tatsine (who are the muslim urban poor, known as Talakawa) experienced the downside of capitalism in Nigeria. They lived in absolute poverty, yet they had social unity (imagination of community). The Talakawa people went to informal Islamic schools, indicating that islam was a huge part in their life. They lived by the Quran (capitalism contradicted everything Quranic). The Talakawa were systematically excluded from access to the state, which they experienced as morally bankrupt and illegitimate. Watts suggests that the Maitatsine insurrection represented a powerful, counterhegemonic critique of the Nigerian oil boom and ruling classes. ZoK}}ZZZ ]o]ZK}-]2][Z}]o}}K and modernization. Islam Z^Z]KoLlL}L_:JZZK}L]]}LZ^ }Ko7}ZZ]7 L2}ZL ]o_: According to watts it is fast capitalism amidst Islam that provides the mate
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