LABARINSU  Complete Document Written By Salma Ahmad Isah


*Location:* Madalla neighborhood, Suleja, Niger state

*Time:* 06:00 AM

“RABI’A! I know that after I pass away, you will return to your father’s house… ADAWIYYA, I am certain that once you return to your relatives, life will present its challenges. I understand that you will face the trials of life, knowing that Habiba harbors no affection for me or my children. I am aware she will never afford you peace… But keep praying, endure whatever situation you find yourself in. Be patient, for I believe your destiny has only just unfolded. Now, YOUR STORY begins…”

Rabi’a was drawn from her contemplations by the sound of water filling the bucket beneath the tap. She lifted her head to observe the still-dark morning sky in Madalla. The town was engulfed in the heat of the mid-ten days of the last month of fasting, with just a few days remaining for prayers.

As she gazed at the full bucket, she crouched down to lift it. A voice interrupted her thoughts, “Ub*n, what are you saying Rabi?! The bucket is full, yet you hesitate? Is it because of the troubles you left at your u*n’s place? Then continue standing there. If the sound of the water wakes up my children, I swear I will eat uw*r ki by God!”

Rabi’a raised her head to see the woman standing there, illuminated by the Nepalese fire’s light—Habiba, her father’s wife, the woman who had always sought to disrupt her life.

Habiba had been working in Abuja and living in Rabi’a’s house for five years. After her mother’s death, Rabi’a’s father brought her back, transforming the house into a prison she despised. Her only solace was Saratu, Habiba’s second daughter, and even then, clashes with Habiba were frequent.

From her first year in the house, Rabi’a witnessed the mistreatment by her father’s wife, a situation she thought only happened in stories. Her plea to return to school was met with resistance, pushing her into a life of servitude. Habiba constantly claimed she wouldn’t feed her in vain, given her father’s unemployment.

Despite the challenges, Rabi’a agreed to work, guided by her mother’s last words. Now in Abuja, she cleaned schools, feeling aimless and despondent, as if her life had reached its conclusion. Embracing her fate, she accepted that some aspects of life were preordained.

A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts. Mom entered, Habiba’s third daughter. However, what surprised Rabi’a was not her presence but the realization that Mom had left the house. Despite sharing a room the previous night, her absence in the morning was not unexpected, given her nocturnal activities.

The derogatory term “whore” echoed in Rabi’a’s mind, a label Habiba often used. Unperturbed, Rabi’a turned away, continuing to fill the bucket. Habiba’s son concluded his tirade, and Rabi’a returned to her room, a silent witness to the proverb that Hausa people say, ‘Crime is a hill, if you keep your own, you see someone else’s,’ testifying to the complexities of their family dynamics.

Author Handles


Some of related Hausa Novels


with Us


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *