NI DA YAYA HABEEB Complete Document Written By Hauwa Shehu Aliyu


She was a young girl, perhaps 16 or 17, strolling slowly with a food flask in hand. Dressed in a navy blue dress adorned with touches of yellow and a matching yellow hijab, she made her way toward a shop labeled “Habeeb’s Tailoring Center.”

As she entered the shop, her face lit up like it had just been doused with rain. She stood there, surveying the four young men inside, her eyes ablaze with fury as she locked gazes with a young man stationed near the shop’s entrance. In a hushed voice, she extended the food flask toward him and spoke, “Salman, I’ve brought you some food.” As the one called Salman assumed a solemn expression, his face creased with displeasure. “No jokes with him,” he retorted. “You used to bring me food because of your house.”

One of the young men seated beside a beautiful young woman, engrossed in showing her designs on his phone, lowered his head and let out a cough. “Why is Salman always like this?”

With a dismissive gesture, Salman bid Habeeb farewell, expressing pity for the girl. “She twists you around like a cake in the oven until dawn. You’ll end up running after customers. Be careful, if you marry her, she’ll find a way to feed off your father. What are you waiting for? Pack up and go home. I’ve seen your feet in this shop every day. I don’t know what kind of trouble this is, claiming it’s love. I’m giving you this week. Either leave or I’ll wake up and give you a good slap.”

The girl ran out of the shop in tears and headed home.

Habeeb, infuriated, voiced his displeasure. “I don’t appreciate what you’re doing to me. You know better than anyone else in the world, I hate not anger, my dear, but it’s for the sake of humiliating me and breaking my heart. You’re driving her away.”

Salman shot him an angry glare and retorted, “Good luck. I didn’t force her out. I want her to feel utterly shattered.” As Salman spoke, Habeeb shot him a furious look. The tall man swiftly exited the shop, and the beautiful girl commented, “Habeeb will be fuming once we’re done talking.”

Harara gazed at her and asked, “Do you think it’s safe to speak to me?”

“Tell Salman about your situation,” she continued, and when she called out, he informed her they were done talking and departed. Salman flexed his muscles and labeled her a troublemaker.

She ran and wept, drawing the attention of passersby. Those who knew her inquired, “Haleesa, are you okay? Why are you crying?” But when they didn’t look her way, she cast her wish to the wind and made her way home. Upon entering the hall of their house, she encountered a large goat. Ammi chased the rest of the herd, swinging her hand as if wielding a whip, to drive the goat away. Haleesa stepped into the middle of the house, removed her shoes, donned her hijab, and let it drop onto a basin of water. She eventually entered Ammi’s room and collapsed onto her silver bed.

Alarmed, Ammi rushed into the room and berated her, “Are you alright? You’ve entered my house. Are you acting out to drive me crazy?”

The woman turned to Ammi, her voice soft and low, and said, “Ammi, I saw Habeeb with another woman at the shop. Ammi, each time I see Habeeb fooling around with a girl, my heart aches… hey!” Ammi’s furious outburst cut her off, leaving her to swallow the rest of her words. Frustrated, Ammi continued, “Haleesa, what kind of girl are you? What madness and foolishness have possessed you to act this way? This jealousy of yours isn’t jealousy; it’s absurdity and an attempt to secure a place for yourself. Open your ears and listen closely. I’m tired of this nonsense. Your mother, Haifa, won’t allow any girl to get between you, do you understand? Or do you think because Habeeb is your brother, you can do as you please and he’ll follow? Be a man and hold your tongue before I lose my temper and give you a good thrashing.”

Haleesa swallowed her tears, sensing that Ammi’s behavior was part of her responsibility. “Now she’ll mix her blood with my husband,” she thought, covering her head and stifling her sobs. Ammi strode out, muttering about the laundry waiting for her.

With a heavy heart, she rose and emerged, wiping away tears that streamed down her nose. She went straight to the faucet and approached the stack of dirty dishes, taking a seat on the chair. Her heart was heavy with pain.

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