YA ZA A YI BOOK 1 Complete Document Written By Binta Umar Abbale


Since I overheard Tokar discussing his return home, a wave of shock engulfed me. I am already aware of the strained relationship between us, and I’m bewildered by the absence of mutual affection and happiness. It’s perplexing why he harbors such hatred towards me, even though we share blood ties. Our interactions resemble that of adversaries, with every encounter turning into a fierce battle. He has insulted me, even resorted to physical violence, resulting in the loss of two of my teeth, a constant reminder of his anger and my silent suffering.

As I sit, lost in my thoughts, a woman, presumably Tokar’s mother, enters the room making incessant noises, as if she is the sole speaker, with or without an audience. I glance at her, anticipating the biased love she shares with Tokar, preparing myself to reject any favor she might seek from me.

She raises her hand to stroke her hair, completely gray and thinning, concentrated mostly at the center of her head. Her appearance mirrors Audiga, with hair only at the crown, while the sides remain smooth as if untouched. Despite my hair being similar to hers, she insists on washing it weekly and applying a new type of fat each time.

Observing her, I sense her impending judgment and prejudices. She proceeds to voice her concerns about Tokar’s return, implying his involvement in our family issues. Her words are laced with a determination to confront him and defend her honor.

With a pick in her hand, neglecting the gaps in her teeth, she challenges me to see if I can endure what she perceives as challenges. My heart aches, tears well up in my eyes, and I respond, expressing my frustration at Tokar’s preference for Bahago over me, citing the violence I endured at his hands and the lack of intervention from his father.

Pouring out my emotions, tears streaming down my face, I question the discrimination I face based on skin color and plead for understanding. Despite my father’s love and efforts, I feel marginalized due to my mother’s complexion. My heartfelt words go unanswered as she continues to provoke me.

In the midst of this emotional turmoil, Baba Sammani, Tokar’s uncle, arrives and witnesses the chaos. He calmly inquires about the situation, and I calmly state that I didn’t do anything to provoke Tokar’s mother. She, however, insists on Tokar’s return causing trouble and dismisses any attempts at reconciliation.

Baba Sammani, aware of his mother’s condition, expresses his intention to make peace when Tokar returns. Tokar’s mother dismisses his efforts, portraying Tokar as stubborn and likening him to an unbeliever. The confrontation escalates, revealing a history of family conflicts fueled by her divisive attitudes.

As Baba Sammani leaves, I attempt to distance myself from the escalating tension by going to the bathroom. However, upon my return, I find Tokar’s mother attempting to humiliate me by offering me a contaminated bowl and insisting that I should marry Danjuma.

The altercation continues, and Tokar’s mother’s words intensify, highlighting her disdain for me and my family. Despite my attempts to seek solace in the bathroom, I am confronted with the ongoing turmoil in the household. The clashes between family members, fueled by prejudices and unresolved issues, paint a complex picture of the challenges I face in this tumultuous environment.

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