ALMAJIRI: THE HAUSA MALE by Theophilus ‘Femi Alawonde

Read Time:2 Minute, 17 Second

The very day that Audu was born,
his father said, ‘I will not raise a son!’
So the day he became five years,
he was sent out admist his sisters’ tears.
He was given a small hollow plate,
and was told not to return home for food.
He was to fend for himself as a man should,
so little Audu was sent out;
a boy of five was sent out!
He was sent out to face his fate.

When Audu got to the streets,
he found it hard to place his feet:
Wherever he finds a family on the mat,
there with his plate, he will squat,
and beg for food, and supplicate,
till he wins himself the left over plate.
Eating for him was difficult,
each day his meals went for soace and cot.
The little he gets and thinks of eating,
is robbed him, after serious beatings.
Then Audu thinks,’Shall I go on like this?
I need to be tough, or remain as thin as this!’

So determined was Audu of five,
that in the slums, he rose to position five.
He fights with whatever weapon at hand,
and soon he formed his own band.
New ones subjected to a atre like his,
pay him obesciance: they pay him fees.

Audu’sband got a rich sponsor,
and they soon became national terrors.
So deep into the business they went,
that they were feared everywhere they went.
The fame they could never have thought of,
they easily got by being tough;
for after each terrorist operation,
they would send a message to the nation,
and fear-stricken men and women will listen
as newscasters chant off the names of persons missing.
In their hideout, before the television,
they hear the news and sing in jubilation.

They boast of fighting for their God,
but know this, they are their own gods!
For Audu, just like any other kid,
had dreams, which he did breed;
to be a doctor, world renowned,
but then Audu was disowned!
And the very day he was disowned,
with tears, he vowed to be renowned.
No specifications as to whether by good or evil,
so when the opportunity came, though evil,
Audu grabbed it!
And held on to it!
Today the nation suffers terribly,
because Audu’s father acted foolishly.

To me cultural beliefs ought to be flexible,
so if one breeds Audus, so terrible,
why not jettison it?
All children have a right to parental care,
train them, or they turn a snare.
If all children enjoy parental care,
Almajiris won’t be easy preys to terrorist bands,
and there will be peace throughout the land.

ALMAJIRI: THE HAUSA MALE by Theophilus ‘Femi Alawonde

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