Zumuncin Zamani Part 1 Complete Document Written By Nazeefa Sabo Nashe


Bent over the courtyard, I briskly washed the bowls, conscious that my Ummah would return before I finished, leaving the laundry possibly dry. Her exasperated greeting prompted me to hasten, snatching up the remaining bowls.

“Why is it that you haven’t completed the laundry since morning? Sauda, can’t you calm down and be attentive, despite having completed secondary school?” she chided sternly.

I spoke up, my voice strained, “Ummah, my head has been aching today.”

Glancing at me, she retorted, “All you do is complain about how you’re feeling unwell. You treat your body like it’s invincible. May God protect me.” With that, she drew the curtains and retreated to her room.

I heaved a sigh of relief. “That’s Ummah for you,” I thought to myself.

Meanwhile, a boy bid me farewell, and I responded absentmindedly, struggling to place his face. It then dawned on me that he was the son of the owner of Baba Hamza’s house. Consequently, I steeled myself and followed him, my resentment towards the entire household palpable. This was the story, all right.

“Where are you headed today?” he inquired.

Without so much as a glance or a response, I remained silent. Ummah emerged from her room, inquiring, “Who’s the one greeting us?” The boy quickly responded, seeking to avoid my gaze. “Oh! He greeted Ummah and handed her three sticks of chewing gum. “What’s this for?” she asked. Seating himself, he explained, “It’s for Munirat’s celebration tomorrow.” Ummah instructed him to arrive early, stating that there was work to be done in the house.

Ummah’s casual response aside, I couldn’t help but interject, “Whose house is Munirat’s going to? Have they returned what you packed in their bag? No one is searching for you until this happens. They know you’ll go and subject yourself to pointless, trivial work, toiling away needlessly…”

Ummah shot me a stern look, her expression one of disappointment. She shook her head and then turned to the boy, who appeared bewildered by the exchange. “Hey boy, what’s your name?” she inquired. “Najib,” he responded.

“Mr. Najibullahi, go in peace. May God grant you long life, and we’ll see you tomorrow, God willing,” she said as she handed him a twenty-naira note. “Take this, buy yourself something sweet, and head home.”

As he accepted the money, I exclaimed, “So you’re giving him twenty naira for these sticks of chewing gum?” My outburst angered Ummah, prompting her to yank me up from my bed, chiding me as she prayed, “Sauda, I forbid you from indulging in such behavior. Can’t you see it? Did you offer it to him, or shall I slap you, forever branding your cheek? Do you understand that your forever is at stake? Offer it to him, or keep it for yourself?”

Shamed and with tears welling up, I handed him the twenty naira, my eyes fixed on his face, as he leered at me, amused by my predicament. His chuckle seemed to reflect surprise at my misfortune.

As he departed, Ummah came to my bedside, expressing disappointment and sorrow, “You’re a stubborn girl with a bad attitude. If you don’t want to suffer, you must sever ties with those people you seem to be getting along with. I warned you last year, yet you insist on aligning yourself with them. What does it matter to you if the trouble befalls them? Is it your concern or mine? It’s a waste of time. And you must spend the night with your thoughts, to reflect on your actions. You’ll learn the hard way, but don’t let anger consume you. A mischievous girl with ill-mannered behavior, cutting ties with anyone is reprehensible.”

My heart ached with a pain that wasn’t provoked by our argument. It was the prospect of having to go to Munirat’s house if Ummah carried out her threat. Even if it was for family matters, she spent the night lecturing me. What would become of our family and the family’s distress and predicament?

Throughout the night, I pleaded with Ummah to divulge the location of Munirat’s house, but she dismissed me. Her stern and unyielding expression made her seem rigid and inflexible, leaving me to wonder who our true family was.

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