Today, Jos is enveloped in a turbulent windstorm. As I gaze eastward, the sky takes on a dark hue, a clear sign of the impending monsoon winds. I find myself wandering through the town of Barikin Ladi, where I encounter people from diverse tribes like Birom, Hausa, Fulani, each speaking their distinct languages. Everyone is in a hurry to return home, fearing the impending rainfall. Some are unaccustomed to water and, at times, resort to eating Aruwa as a means to avoid the rain.

Barikin Ladi is situated in the lower part of Jos State and is particularly blessed with monsoons. It strikes me that the town might struggle to cope with the cold and rain this time. I quicken my pace as I hear the telltale signs of approaching rain, seeking shelter at a stall where I spot a young lady trying to kindle a fire. I approach her and greet, “Hello, Madam, is the market open?”

She responds with a polite “Good morning.” We strike up a conversation as we wait for the rain to subside. She shares some insights about her town, and I inquire about Masarar.

After the rain has passed, I bid her farewell and continue my journey. Yadubeni calls out, “Hajiya,” and we make our way through fields of corn, cultivated by the local White farmers who grow cabbage and vegetables, blessed by God’s grace. We eventually reach a slope leading to a small town where Muslims and Christians coexist, each with their distinct languages.

The town is adorned with the beauty of the rain, and conversations revolve around its impact. I stand still, observing the earthen structures of the houses. One particular house catches my eye; it’s well-kept, with an imposing iron door. I venture inside, finding a spacious layout with four interconnected rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. In one corner, I overhear a conversation among children.

One of the children exclaims, “By God, Father, if I don’t teach Nabeel a lesson today, he’ll keep getting away with his hypocrisy. Father, I’ll confront him today, and I’ll call him out. I don’t know why he always teases me, even though he’s the favored one.”

I quietly move to another corner of the room, where the soothing sound of Quranic recitation fills the air. It’s a mother’s gentle voice, imparting the first steps of knowledge to her child, the foundation of a child’s education.

The call to the afternoon prayer interrupts the children, and they obediently stand up, opening their doors and heading to the mosque as their mother had instructed.

Before long, Ila catches up with Nabeel, confronting him and resorting to violence. Nabeel returns home with a bleeding mouth and tears in his eyes. Their father arrives at the doorstep, returning from the farm with a chain on his shoulder. My curiosity intensifies as I overhear him asking, “Who did Nabeel provoke?”

I eagerly await Nabeel’s response, eager to uncover the reasons behind Ila’s anger and the unfolding drama of this family’s story.

Leave a Reply

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