Busa language (Mande)

(Redirected from Bokobaru language)

Busa, or Bisã, is the Mande language of the former Borgu Emirate in northwestern Nigeria and northern Benin. It is called Busanci in Hausa, and has also been called Zugweya.

Native toNigeria, Benin
EthnicityBissa people
Native speakers
110,000 (2012)[1]
  • Mande
    • Eastern
      • Bisa–Busa
        • Samo–Busa
          • Busa languages
            • Busa–Boko
              • Busa
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
bqp – Busa
bus – Busa-Bokobaru
Glottologbusa1253  Busa
boko1267  Bokobaru


Busa language can be better known as Busa, but it is also known with the native name Bisã or with the Hausa name Busanci (also spelled Busanchi, Bussanci Or Bussanchi); This should not be confused with the Busa language of Papua New Guinea or the related Bissa language of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo and Ivory Coast.

One person or speaker is called a Busa and more persons/speakers are called Busano and the language of the Busano/Bussawa people is called Bisã.

The Busa people are one of two subgroups of the Bissa people, the other being the Boko people, who speak the Boko language. They are not a clan but a subgroup. They are related to the Bariba people, who speak the Bariba language, which is a Gur language. The Bissa people proper speak the Bissa language, which is closely related to Busa.

Geographic distributionEdit

In Nigeria, Busa is spoken in Borgu LGA of Niger State, in Bagudo LGA of Kebbi State, and in Baruten LGA of Kwara state. A number of Busa have migrated to other parts of Nigeria, including Abuja. The Busa people are referred to as Bussawa in Hausa.

The Bokobaru dialect also known as Bokhobaru is spoken mainly in Kayama and Baruten LGA's, Kwara state.

In Benin, Busa is spoken in Alibori and Borgou departments. The Bokobaru dialect is not spoken in Benin.

Busa language is spoken in cities like Bussa, New Bussa, Bagudo, Kosubosu, Kaiama, Segbana, and Kalalé, and Bokobaru is dominant in the city of Kaiama.

Bariba, which is a Gur language, is also spoken by the Bussawa.


Busa language is the most populous of the Mande languages of Nigeria. It is part of the Eastern Mande group, which also includes several other languages spoken across the Volta River and the Borgu Kingdom, including Boko, Bissa, and Samo.

Bokobaru is a dialect.

Usage as a second languageEdit

Speakers of Laru and Lopa, which are Kainji languages, are also speakers of Busa and are shifting and also speak it as a Second language along with the Hausa language, and some Laru/Lopa speak it as a native language.


Busa language has 32 letters (Aa, Ãã, Bb, Cc, Dd, Ee, Ɛɛ, Ɛ̃ɛ̃, Ff, Gg, Hh, Ii, Ĩĩ, Jj, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Oo, Ɔɔ, Ɔ̃ɔ̃, Pp, Rr, Ss, Tt, Uu, Ũũ, Vv, Ww, Yy, Zz) and 25 digraphs (Aa aa, Ãa ãa, Ee ee, Ẽe ẽe, Ɛɛ ɛɛ, Ɛ̃ɛ ɛ̃ɛ, Gb gb, Ii ii, Ĩi ĩi, Kp kp, Oo oo, Ɔ̃ɔ ɔ̃ɔ, Uu uu, Ũu ũu, gw, mb, mp, nd, ng, nk, ns, nt, nz).[3]

High tones are marked with an acute accent and low tones are marked with a grave accent.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Busa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Busa-Bokobaru at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Blench, Roger (2019). An Atlas of Nigerian Languages (4th ed.). Cambridge: Kay Williamson Educational Foundation.
  3. ^ a b "ScriptSource - Bisã written with Latin scrip".

External linksEdit