The Spread of Hausa language during the period before the colonial era was not a conscious attempt, rather it was due to the societal circumstances of the period.
Hausa is a Chadic language spoken by the Hausa people, the largest ethnic group in Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly within the territories of Southern Niger and Northern Nigeria. Historically, it has also developed into a lingual franca across much of Western Africa for purposes of trade.
The Hausa were famous throughout the Middle Ages for their cloth weaving and dyeing, cotton goods, leather sandals, metal locks, horse equipment and leather-working and export of such goods throughout the west African region as well as to north Africa .
The Hausa ethnic unit has shown itself as an assimilating ethnic group and the Hausa language a colonising one. To the extent that many people who were not originally Hausa and did not use the Hausa language as their first language later became Hausa’s through assimilation.
The continue internecine warfare among the Habe kingdoms and the search for slaves encourage the spread of Hausa language.
At first the Hausa themselves were not a colonising tribe rather, raiders who raided areas known as the Kasheshu Bauchi for slaves this raids encouraged slave settlements.
This settlement letter serves as transit point for slave to major slave market in Kano, onward to market in North Africa and the Arabia through the trans-Sahara trade route.
Another factor that aided the spread of Hausa language were the travel groups. Early Hausa traders use to travel in group known as Fatake. the Fatake were merchant accompany by musical bands and dancers. the use packed animals to carry their wares from place to place. they would travel to distant land and setup temporary settlement.
There were also another group of traders called Yan koli, these traders carry their wares on their head and travel in large band. the thrid group of travellers that helped spread the Hausa language where the Yawo Almajiranci.
The Yawo Almajiranci were a group of Muslim clerics who offers Quranic teachings and performs healing
By the turn of the 19th century, the Uthman Dan Fodio Fulani led jihad usurp powers from the Habe kings and gave power to the Fulani’s as the rulers of the Hausa kingdoms which where now emerge into various Emirates.
Many Hausa speaking people who had fled the onslaught by the Fulani jihadists came down south and further help in the spread of the Hausa language.
The final and the most modern factor that help in the spread of Hausa language, is the British colonial administration.
Starting from the late 19th century, the British wanted to solidify its power hold on the area known today as Nigeria. but a major obstacle was the Islamic emirates in the norther part of the Niger area.
A series of battle ensure between the Emirates and the British royal armies. after the defeat of the Emirates, the British merged the administration of the central Nigeria with the north.
The Hausa language was adopted as the language to administer this vast area and this aided the spread of Hausa language, forcing many none Hausa speaking norther tribes to adopt the language.