Living conditions in Kano

I would want to find out about dress code for woman (expatriates) living and working in Kano.

So many stories are doing the round, so I thought it best to ask people who stay in Kano directly.

I am a caucasian male from South Africa, married to an African lady from Kenya, we intend to move to Kano but we need to understand the "rules" so to speak for woman (expatriates) in Kano, what are they allowed to wear etc, we are both Christians but we are aware that Kano is a Muslim dominated city.

Without being disrespectful towards peoples beliefs, we just want to know what would be appropriate or not.

Is there anyone that can shed some light on this matter for us.

Hello Gert Kriek.

Welcome to! :)

So as to make it more visible, your post has been moved to the Nigeria forum.

Thank you,


Am sure you have heard a lot about Kano state but it all depends on where in Kano state you stay (talking about the dress code). But why don't you move to Lagos? More fun to live in Lagos.

With the Boko Haram thing going on, it is not the safest place. South western Nigeria is.

Hi Dapson

I was offered a position in Kano, so that dictates where I saty, I will be living in Kano itself.

The dress code is for my wife, we wanted to understand what she may and may not wear, if you get what I'm saying.

Where are you from?



I live and work in Lagos. I will advise you go there first and see things for yourself before inviting your wife over. You know kano contains more muslims so i will advise she takes it easy with the dressing and study her environment.
As said earlier, it depends on where in kano. Try and stay in an environment that contains more learned/literate people.

Gert Kriek, I do not advise you to go to Kano. pls

Hi Chris

Could you ellaborate on your advice on not go to Kano? I went there in March 2013 and I found it to be ok, maybe you can tell me more.

I am aware of the current issues thus I am not totally ignorant when it comes to safety.....where in the world is it totally safe?

Good Question Gert. Chris have you ever being to Nigeria? If yes, where? Kano is still ok to live but you just have to security conscious.

Last two year i was in nigeria - benincity- I never felt any security problem in Nigeria.. But in Kano, some issues are reporting in news . But i hope it is not all over Kano.


Hello Gert Kriek -> Please, lower your caps when writing so as to ease the reading! ;)

Thank you,

Hello Gert, I came across your post and I am very interested to find out from you if your move to Kano was trouble free and the reaction you received. Like you, my husband is white and I am black. We are planning to move to Kano and I just want to know your experiences. We would be grateful for your advice.

I was born in northern nigeria (kaduna) and spent over two decades in the region.
Kano is a large city. However it is conservative. They respect the Islamic religion a lot, hence it dictates most of their culture and behaviour.
With regards to dressing, males don't have much problems as do females.
Women need to try to stay away from "revealing clothing". Chests should be covered and dresses shouldn't be too tight.
For now, avoid too crowded places.
The Hausa people are nice and hospitable.
If you need info about northern nigeria you can contact me. Though I'm currently in lagos, however I do shuttle the north every now and then.

Hi Guys,

For your information : maybe you should know that this thread here is a bit old :)

Do not hesitate to start a new topic with all the information you might want to share or your questions you might want to ask on the NIgeria Forum for better visibility and more interaction please :)

Thank you


I have read a couple of posts about living in Kano. Out of interest, did anyone move to Kano recently? What was your experience?
Just a bit of info....Kano is a big city. Most expats that live in kano sometimes end up settling there. The hausa people are very hospitable. There are a number of good schools, three that come to my mind are Prime college, Sunflower and Lebanon school. These are international schools with a very good curriculum. There are a number of places to eat.... if u are adventurous the local food is very nice...make sure u try masa. Otherwise u can find everything from Italian to Indian.
Dresscode: u xan wear anything as long as its not too revealing. For ladies dont have to cover ur hair, u xan wear ur jeans, skirts anything u want. The only place i would suggest u wear something long when visiting is the city.... out of respect for tradition of the locals. The markets are very interesting...get ready to improve ur bargaining skills if u dont have any....
Overall, Kano is a very nice city to live. Forget the media and if anyone tells u otherwise, ask em if they have been or lived there.
No where is safe in this world anymore, so just be security conscious where ever u are and wnjoy life to the fullest. I live in England currently and trust me, a lot is happening there too!