The Ham people are an ethnic group found in the southern part of Kaduna State in the northwestern region of Nigeria, predominantly in Jaba Local Government Area and Kachia Local Government Area. They speak the Hyam language and refer to themselves as Ham. They are known as the ‘Jaba’ in Hausa, but a recent study by a linguist who is a native of the area (John 2017) has definitely proven that the label ‘Jaba’ was derogatory and should be rejected. Some estimates place the Ham as numbering 400,000.
The Ham people are believed to have created the Nok culture after archaeological discoveries in the Ham village of Nok.
Notable people of Ham origin include:
Martin Luther Agwai
Andrew Jonathan Nok
Audu Maikori, founder and group CEO of Chocolate City Entertainment record label
Yahaya Maikori, founder of Chocolate City Entertainment record label
Admiral Ishaya Iko Ibrahim, Former Chief of Naval Staff and Sarkin Yaki Ham
Felix Hassan Hyet, Former Minister of Aviation
Justice Danlami Sambo Former Justice Sokoto High Court
Ham rulers are called ‘Kpop Ham’. The current Kpop Ham is His Royal Highness the Kpop-Ham Dr Jonathan Danladi Gyet Maude (J.P.), OON.
The Tuk-Ham festival is celebrated each year at Kwain (basterdised as Kwoi by the Hausa), a town in the Local Government Area of Jaba. It is celebrated around the Easter season.
The majority of the Ham people are Christian, estimated at about 85%. About 75% of the population is defined by some sources as “Evangelical Christians”, with 10% fitting other definitions of Christians.