I was the first to notice junior was stealing in the house. That day while i was doing his laundry because he was too young to do it himself i noticed something in his pocket. Confused and bewildered i became after seeing the huge amount of money he was in possession of. Junior, I called and he rushed out towards where i was helping him with his laundry as though he were being pursued. At the sight of the money in my hand he already knew why he was called. ‘brother mummy gave it to me’ he said afraid of his own words. I became short of words for a while. You mean mummy gave you this before traveling? A ten year old boy with five hundred naira note? Who knows if it was more than that, i sigh. Even though i didn’t believe him i didn’t tell anyone because dad could be volatile with anger. All i did was to warn him not to touch any money hence forth. That was how the case died until a week later when mum returned from their bank’s AGM at lagos. Mum was a banker and all efforts to make her quit her job by dad became fruitless. Dad hates the fact that she had no time for her house, her home, children and better put her family. It was a hot afternoon that saturday that everything unveiled itself. Mum didn’t not go to her so called saturday office that weekend and she was counting the money the meeting she usually attends entrusted to her. Out of suprise she shouted my name and i rushed into her room in response. Mum what is wrong? And the next thing was a terrible slap on my back. Where is the remaining one thousand five hundred naira? Where is it? Confused and fumbled at my own self because of the false accusation i smiled. Junior come in here i said as he stood by the door staring directly into my eyes. All effort to make him confess failed and mum didn’t believe me either. As days continue turning to months and months into years, junior’s stealing granted to next level. Yet i was the one to be blame for all of it. Years later i sat under the tree and saw junior coming back from school i knew something bad had occured. He was expelled from school after being caught severally stealing his mates items. And all i said to mum was i was still the one stealing those things he is sent off because of. Parent don’t groom another junior for us, for junior is now a local government chairman and the state money is not safe with him. Happy independence day Nigeria.
Jamila came from a village where people believed you must get married to someone from your village. Her paent got her married to a man from her village called Abdullahi. She never liked Abdullahi from the onset but she promised to make her parents happy because they have invested so much in her; they gave her all the basic necessities of life which a daughter deserve to have from her parents. It was because of this that she surrendered and succumbed to their wishes. She was indeed docile and submissive but Abdullah, was a cassanova. He never lowers his gaze on any lady he sees, be it an ugly or pretty lady. He was jobless so he took his new bride to Jigawa where his brother lived.
They managed to get a two roo apartment for them. Jamila was a very intelligent lady. She is a nurse by profession so she was fortunate to secure a job at near by hospital. Moreover, she goes to their in-laws house everyday to wash their dishes, sleep the house and fills the bowls with water. in fact, she did most of the household chores just to win the heart of her in-laws. They loved her so much that they treated her just like their own child. Abdullahi couldn’t give his wife helping hand but rather always pressuring her to give him money from her earning. She never complained but gave him.
Ten months after their wedding she had a baby boy. The child was named after Abdullah’s grand dad. A year later, his sister was diagnosed of appendix and he asked his wife to help his sister in the hospital where she works.
The bill was expensive but Jamila talked to the accountant so that it can be reduced. Her sister in-law Aisha had a successful operation. Aisha was married but was attending a school at Jigawa, so she brought her three children to stay with their uncle’s wife. For Jamila it was an added responsibility because she was the bread winner. She brought the attention of her husband to the issue that she can not take care of his sister and her children. He ignored her. Aisha felt that she wasn’t welcome in the family. She immediately called her mum and told her Jamila was a bad woman and had never liked her. The mother in-law became angry with Jamila and hated her. What baffled Jamila was that Abdullahi always traveled without telling her. He comes back home late, while girls always call him on phone to book appointement with him. He had a ‘’Sugar Mummy’’ who prevented him from attending to his wife. The sugar mummy bought him a car. Some months later the sugar mummy too discovered that he was flirting around with many ladies. She became perturbed and took away her car from him.
Jamila was into thrift contribution with her colleagues at the hospital where she worked and she was able to save N250,000. When she collected her share, she gave the money to Abdullah to help her buy a plot of land. He took the money and was never seen again. Months passed and soon it was sallah period. While he was away jamila the school fees, house rent, electricity bill, health bills and many more for her children. Like became difficult for her and her salary was like a drop of water in an ocean that couldn’t ease her problems.
She was so broke financially that she stole the hospital the hospital kerosene. She also stole medicine and sold them to be to feed her children. She struggled to buy a sallah ram. She gave the ram to one mallam to help her slaughter on sallah day. A day to sallah abdullahi cmae back home while jamila was out. He asked his children if their mum had bought sallah ram. They showed him where the ram was kept. When she came back, she saw him and never said a word to him. The next day, he collected the ram from the mallam and slaughter it. However he bought a new phone for her from his travel. She was so angry with him and she threw the phone on the ground. Out of annoyance, Abdullah grabbed her and slapped. She slapped him back and a fight ensued. He beat her to stupor. Her children called her neighbor who took her to hospital. When she regain consciousness, she asked of her husband’s whereabouts but instead was given a divorce later from one of his friend. She couldn’t believe what she saw and busted into tears and regrets.
Narrated by Fatima Abubakar
Story by: Amina Abdullahi
culled from Tambari