The Majestic Kano City Walls, known in Hausa as Kofar Na'isa, stand as a testament to the rich history and remarkable engineering prowess of ancient Kano. These awe-inspiring defensive walls were erected to safeguard the inhabitants of this venerable city. The foundation of this remarkable architectural feat was laid by Sarki Gijimasu (r. 1095–1134), the third king of the Kingdom of Kano as chronicled in the Kano Chronicle.
During the reign of Zamnagawa in the mid-14th century, the walls were completed and later expanded during the 16th century. The Ancient Kano City Walls' magnificence left an indelible impression on General-Governor Fredrick Lugard, who, in 1903, after the British forces captured the ancient city of Kano, proclaimed that he had "never seen anything like it in Africa."
Comprising Dala Hill, the historic Kurmi Market, and the Emir's Palace, the Ancient Kano City Walls possess an awe-inspiring grandeur. Originally towering between 30 to 50 feet in height and boasting an impressive thickness of approximately 40 feet at the base, the walls were fortified with fifteen gates strategically placed around its circumference. These gates served as crucial entry points to the city, allowing controlled access and fortification against potential threats.
The Ancient Kano City Walls stand as the most remarkable monument in West Africa, symbolizing the ingenuity and resilience of the people of Kano throughout history. They continue to inspire awe and fascination, serving as a tangible link to a glorious past that endures in the present day.