She was walking briskly, though her pace resembled that of an elderly person. I couldn’t help but remark to my grandmother, “You’re moving as if it’s early morning, yet you’re going so fast, like a plane about to take off.”

She turned to look at me while continuing her journey, advising me not to rush, or I might stumble. I playfully retorted, “You’re better than a plane. Planes have to wait and take off, but you’re like a storm, charging ahead without hesitation, the queen of the crowd.”

In my heart, I wondered, who is my grandmother, and where does she get all this energy? In her lively manner, she remarked, “It seems as though I know exactly what I’m doing. Today, we’re headed to Mambala.” Was she always like this? I gave her a list of things to bring along, and she began listing items to pack.

My grandmother is a descendant of Alhaji Muhammad Babayo, better known as MLM Babayo, the “king of cows.” He hailed from Taraba State in Mambila. He had two wives, two brothers, five sons, four daughters, and one stepdaughter. The matriarch of the family was Innay, who had Yaya, three sons, and two daughters. Their eldest son, Barrister Muhammad Bello Muhammad, was succeeded by Dr. Aliyu Muhammad. The youngest sister, Aysha Muhammad, completed the family.

The two brothers’ wives bore them only sons, except for Hermes. Barrister M.B.M., affectionately known as Baba Bello, had one wife, Nenne Aihuwarta, and 12 children, though only three sons remain. Dr. Aliyu, called Abba, and his wife Ummi, had four children. Aunt Aysha married Dr. Umar, her brother’s best friend and Dr. Aliyu Abba’s brother. They had three children: Adam, Hydar, and Maryam. Amadu, known as Father, and his wife have one son, Abdul, and a daughter, Amira. Father Hermes and his wife have one son, Sadiq.

The Kamanni Family, by God’s grace, enjoyed prosperity and blessings. They cherished education, beauty, wealth, happiness, love, sincerity, and compassion among themselves.

Although some of the brothers were not highly educated, they ventured into the Dangote business and established a large shopping area called Kanmani Family. Amadu and Hermes still lived with their parents in the town of Mambilan.

Baba Bello and Abba, in the midst of their growing families, made it a promise to visit their parents and relatives in Mambala every weekend.

The years of Adam, Yusuf, and Ahmad remain a cherished memory. They spent 40 years with Adam, celebrated Yusuf’s naming day, and marked Ahmad’s birth. They had a unique appearance, often mistaken as foreigners due to their striking features, beautiful hair akin to Arabs and Indians, and a familial bond that transcended imagination.

Despite their similarities, their personalities were distinct, just as some things set them apart. Adam was the conversationalist among them, always ready to engage with a smile.

Leave a Reply

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