ZUMUNCINMU A YAU Complete Document Written By Aisha Ya’u Kura


“Peace be upon you,” she said softly for the third time, but then she exclaimed loudly, “Who does she think she is, telling us how to greet each other?!” Her body trembled as she meekly answered, “It’s me.” “Well then! Hello, ‘I’m me,’ what brings you here?” she quivered.

“In a trembling voice, she explained, “My mother sent me to bring you food.”

From within the room, the voice of the old man resonated, confirming his presence. “Alright, say thank you, fetch twenty naira from the windowsill in my room, and off you go.” She unhurriedly untied the package containing the meal, placing it down carefully. With fresh vegetables and soup, she set aside the potatoes and expressed her gratitude. “Thank you, Baffa, may God bless you.” She took the money and swiftly left.

On her way, she encountered Husna struggling with heavy loads, their paths converging as they exchanged quick greetings. “Nadia rubber-rubber,” Badariyya remarked, examining Nadiya’s clothes closely. “Oh my, this isn’t rubber, it’s silk.” They exchanged a puzzled look and chuckled, “Things have changed this year, Nadiya, from rubber clothing to rubber shoes.”

Continuing her walk, she mused about the modern resurgence of friendships. Since childhood, she had witnessed her mother endure such humiliations due to their poverty, often questioning her mother whether Baffa was truly her father.

Inside the house, Husna entered without a greeting. Baffa emerged from bed, offering his customary greeting to his wife, and Badariyya collapsed onto his body, prompting a playful rebuke. She gingerly retrieved five hundred naira from his pocket, counting it and lamenting her loss. “Oh my, how about you give me five thousand? I just bought a pizza. I was just speaking with them,” she exclaimed. “Alright, that’s enough, Lele,” he retorted, playfully nudging her. “Kaifa, I should leave you now,” he added.

Husna approached him, stating, “I’m the only one left.” An additional ten thousand was also lost, as he dismissed the message of greetings and prayers, knowing it was worth no more than a penny. “Where are your brothers? Did you come together?” Baffa inquired, adjusting his pockets.

Badariyya relayed, “You heard a knock at the door, but we missed him. He was leaving as we arrived. Nadiya had already left.” Surprised, he responded, “Aiko didn’t come in.” Goggo closed her opened bag and speculated, “I wonder if he forgot something?” “Likely,” he concurred.

Engrossed in conversation, they forgot about the tuwon samira that Nadiya had brought, aware that it held no significant luxury.

She sat, awaiting Nadiya’s return, hoping to find at least five hundred naira left for them. Zainab appeared with a rubber band, expressing her desire for more food. Janyota straightened up, gently refusing and promising to provide milk, leading to Gyaďa’s excitement as she waited at the doorstep.

When tired, she entered the house, seeking a place to rest and catch her breath. Zainab hurriedly fetched water, and as she took it, she asked, “Have you eaten?” Looking up, she replied, “Yes, I have, but I’m not full. Mamma said you’d bring money for me to buy milk.”

Raising her reddened eyes and bowing her head, they shared a gaze, quickly averting their eyes. In a hoarse voice, Nadiya confessed, “Mamma, I handed it over to them. Dad gave me twenty naira. Please take it from me. Thank you, son, for helping me. I’ll head home soon.” Mamma, masking her sadness, whispered, “May God reward you with paradise. Come, let’s get up and pray.”

Struggling to rise, she overheard a greeting and turned to respond. They exchanged a welcome, quickly breaking eye contact. Mamma beamed and exclaimed, “Welcome, Musaddiq! Are you coming now?” “Yes, Mamma, I’m here today.” “Oh, did you just arrive?” she asked, warmly embracing him.

He settled down, bidding farewell. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out about two hundred thousand coins and said, “Mummy sent this for your hair.” Not waiting for a response, he left swiftly, aware that lingering could unveil his secret.

Despite her fear, the nation did not cry out. Did Musaddiq hear where he was instructed to go? This generous gift meant that the difference between her and her sister was no more than five thousand.

“Nadia, give me the phone,” she requested, showing the phone to Nadia. She swiftly handed it over. With trembling hands, she started searching for her sister’s number, about to dial it when she suddenly straightened up. “Mom said, ‘I’m going on Hajj.'”

Laughing, she acknowledged her mother’s words.

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