Naija Type

The Rowbory/Nigeria Family Blog

An Android Keyboard you can use to type in many languages in Nigeria. (Built with KeyMan and Keyboard App Builder.)

Press and hold to show alternative letters then move to the letter you like and release.


There are 2 ways to install this. The easiest is to browse to this page on your Android handset/tablet then click on the download link to Install the app (say Yes or Install past all the scary warnings) and activate the keyboard, then press and hold to show variations of certain letters. Slide over to the relevant key. Don’t lift your finger between pressing the key and moving to the one you want. Whatever is highlighted when you lift your finger will be entered.

Alternatively, on iOS or Android, install KeyMan from an App Store, then download the kmp file above and use KeyMan to install the keyboard from those files. Add the dictionary files you want from above.

How to type

On touch devices (tablets, phones) get special letters by holding down a long time on a key then slide over to the symbol you want (don’t lift your finger). The q key contains some combining characters to go above or below whatever you previously typed.

On desktop/laptop type a letter similar to what you want and then type the semicolon key to change its shape. Keep pressing semicolon for more options. Add marks above vowels and some consonants by typing the top left key (`) in a similar way, and add a ~ over a letter by typing the base letter first then typing shift-~.

Get in touch

I can’t guarantee a response, but if you have observations and suggestions please write to me at

Could someone help me explain this helpfully in Hausa? I’m not meaning a direct translation from the English here but think through how you would help explain to a Hausa reader what to do. Get in touch if you have ideas.

Known issues

  • Email and Web address typing isn’t great – the full stop makes the next letter capital. Really we should only activate the shift layer when we get ? space ! space or . space. (Actually it’s only an aesthetic issue because case doesn’t matter in email addresses.)
  • The @ key isn’t too accessible.

Ideas for future development

  • Suggest or supply apostrophes automatically in English and Hausa?

Release notes

  • 1.5 (Naija Type Keyboard 16, English 1.0, Pangu 1.1, Ishɛ 1.2, Hausa 1.2)
    [28 April 2021]
    • Better punctuation handling:
      • Double space to do period/full-stop + space.
      • Space + ! turns into ! + space and same with comma and ? because a space is added at the end of a suggested word. This allows us to type the punctuation without ending up with spaces in the wrong place.
    • Moved the long-press space bar close option to the middle.
  • 1.4.1 (Naija Type Keyboard 15, English 1.0, Pangu 1.1, Ishɛ 1.2, Hausa 1.2)
    [26 April 2021]
    • Added English. Now predictive text includes Ishɛ, Pangu, Hausa and English.
    • Changed the menu button (long press on space bar)
  • 1.4
    [26 April 2021]
    • Predictive text includes Ishɛ, Pangu, Hausa.
    • Numerous corrections (thanks, James M)
    • Emoji
  • 1.3
    • Removed the globe icon and moved it to a long press on space bar option.
  • 1.2
    [22 April 2021]
    • Moved comma to left of keyboard.
  • 1.1
    [21 April 2021]

Older versions