TA MIN KANKANTA   Complete Document Written By Surbajo


“Zahru, come out like this, come on, they’ve been waiting with open hands for you. I don’t want it to be all for nothing,” urged an old woman seated in the courtyard, her breasts supported by a hand-rolled cigarette.

From inside the nearby hut, Zahra’u responded, “Mother, please, let me wear my turban in peace. Do I have to always look good or wear makeup?”

“It’s just a waste. You’ve been wearing that scarf since last year, and you still won’t use it. It’s a waste of the money I spent on it,” the mother replied from her spot.

Zahra’u emerged, adjusting the belt around her waist, but her face was heavily made up. Her lips were painted in bright red, a stark contrast to her young age of fifteen.

“Are you ready, Mother? If you have any objections, keep them to yourself. If it’s criticism, I’ll just leave,” she remarked.

The mother sighed and adjusted her breast again. Handing her the viva leather pouch she had been holding, she turned to Hanne, who was waiting. Zahra’u’s lips parted in a smile, revealing her pearly white teeth, as she said, “I’m sorry for the delay. Let’s go and not waste any more time.”

They exchanged smiles, bid the old woman farewell, and departed.

During their stroll, they engaged in their usual banter. One of them inquired, “What’s the matter with them? All our friends are getting married, but we aren’t even wearing similar dresses, so what’s the use?”

Zahra’u chuckled and replied, “God willing, I’ll get married in Arad or the city. I won’t stop being friends with you, even if we all end up in the same place.”

Hanne added, “I’m not even scared of marriage. You told me that Rabi’u married Ma’u like a wealthy man, but look at how he’s treating her now.”

“That’s why I pursued my education. I refuse to believe a man can belittle me,” Zahra’u said with a smile.

After their conversation, they finally exited Falgore forest, where their camp was set, and began walking along the road towards the military barracks in the forest. They struggled to navigate through the crowd of soldiers.

Before long, they found themselves without food, the scarcity in the area leaving everyone famished. Hand in hand, they purchased all the available food.

At the bread stand, they each bought one and then turned, happily carrying the bread they would consume for the day.

As they walked, they bumped into a young man dressed in military pants, holding a gun, clad in an army green T-shirt and a military hat. Not a bad sight.

“Please bear with us, we’re newcomers here, and we’re hungry. We just arrived from Abuja, but we got lost,” Zahra’u said sharply, eyeing him.

He smiled, understanding the girl’s annoyance. Softly, he replied, “We’re not disregarding you, my sister. Please be patient.”

Zahra’u retorted, “What, are we now your food since we’re not edible? Come and eat us if you’re that hungry.”

Unfazed, her boldness evident, she continued, “If you’re here, please assist us. We’ll pay you to shop for us, cook for us, and bring us food, my friend.”

Hanne added, “Honestly, our homes are too far for us to go back and forth.”

“No problem, who will go home and come back for us?” Zahra’u added.

“Please help my friend overcome his ulcer and hunger. Please assist us before he starts feeling weak. We’ll pay you for your troubles, I swear,” the young man pleaded, almost tearfully.

Zahra’u’s heart softened for his friend, considering her own struggle with ulcers. She said, “Bring the money. I’ll cook for you. We’re far away, can you wait?”

The young man quickly shook his head, as if searching for someone he couldn’t find. His friend, Shegen Taurim, appeared to be on the brink of collapse due to hunger. He reached into his pocket but found the money insufficient. Surprised, he turned the money in his hand but didn’t take anything. “Where can I find you again?” he asked.

Gratefully, he said, “Let’s meet here, it’s easy. My name is Capt Jameel Ahmad. I’ll wait for you here.”

Zahra’u remained silent as they turned and walked past him and her friends, who seemed wholly displeased with her. Angrily, she muttered, “What’s wrong with you? You don’t even know the name of the barracks? Why did you accept the task without knowing where the garden is?”

Undeterred, she continued, “My friend is practically dying from an ulcer, and you feel sorry for them. I’ll help them for the sake of God.”



Be with Us

Leave a Reply

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