MULKI Book 1 Complete Document Written By Ashanty Love


I moved so swiftly that I felt the impending collapse under the relentless pace of Mr. Halliru’s blows. Sam’s demeanor lacks all dignity, be it in any circumstance. Whether it’s addressing your own father or maintaining punctuality, failure to offer a proper apology, or even arriving a minute late, he deems it an insult. Ever since then, I’ve witnessed students kneeling before him, hands on their knees, enduring his punishments patiently, some shedding tears even before the first strike. The pressure of facing his wrath is so intense that it threatens my well-being. Whether it’s his hand or Baba Lantana’s, the beatings will continue until they’re satisfied. But I refuse to give him the satisfaction of seeing me cry or react. No excuse I offer can deter him from his relentless discipline. Each day I arrive early, yet he always manages to catch us off guard, ready to mete out punishment. With a sinister grin, he follows the footsteps of tardy students, ready to pounce.

“Today, what’s your excuse?” he taunts.

Though I know he won’t be swayed, I keep my gaze lowered and reply, “Baba Lantana sent me to the mill, but there was a queue.”

“Baba Lantana’s chickens. She’s clueless about timing, isn’t she? School hours?” he scoffs.

“Do you seek to shame me?” I remain silent, turning my head away. The punishment he inflicts is now doubled, yet I refuse to give him the satisfaction he craves. Once it’s over, I enter the classroom, arms folded, and proceed as usual. Sahiba is the only one I trust; she ensures I’m well-fed, even amidst adversity. At home, I find Baffa seated on his usual mat, a testament to his age and declining health. My father, Ridwan Mus’ab, hails from Abzuna, Niger, and his health is deteriorating with age. Baffa, my mother’s companion, hails from a prominent family and once served as a guard in Gombe state. Despite the challenges, he returned to care for us. Fateema Harun, my mother, passed away after giving birth to me. Baffa and Mama Lantana’s union altered our family dynamic, adding five more siblings to our household. Among them, Bilkisu stands out, facing Baba Lantana’s wrath for her unique beauty, a target for his abuse.

Upon arriving home, I greet Baffa warmly, receiving his blessings before heading inside. Baba Lantana’s cruelty knows no bounds, but I refuse to let it break me. Despite her attempts to assert dominance, I stand my ground, much to Bilkisu’s chagrin. Our grandmother, Sahla, mediates our disputes, vowing to take me in if necessary. Bilkisu, unable to withstand Baba Lantana’s cruelty, seeks solace in tears, feeling marginalized among her siblings. Our interactions with Baba Lantana are strained, yet I persevere, determined not to succumb to her tyranny.

As evening falls, I assist Bilkisu with chores, unfazed by Baba Lantana’s tirades. Though she denies me food as punishment, I remain resolute, refusing to let hunger weaken me. Outside, men gather, exchanging money for goods, while I discreetly observe their conversations. Talk of a royal scandal catches my attention, but I feign disinterest, focusing on my tasks.

The conversation shifts to King AJ, a notorious figure known for his violent antics. Despite his royal lineage, his behavior tarnishes his family’s reputation. His tumultuous relationship with his father and scandalous affairs dominate the gossip mill. Meanwhile, Bilkisu’s misfortune amuses her peers, reinforcing her status as an outcast.

Back home, I handle transactions with customers, unfazed by their gossip. A young boy interrupts, inquiring about leftover goods. I manage the situation calmly, ensuring his needs are met before retiring for the night. As I settle into bed, exhaustion overwhelms me, and I drift off, seeking solace in sleep amidst life’s trials and tribulations.

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