Alhaji Abubakar decided to take an evening stroll. His “boys” insisted they would accompany. He actually wanted them to come. His initial protest was mere pretense. He was afraid of going out alone, even in his hometown. But his boys did not need to know that.
The large expanse of land behind his house was so vast, it could be an entire village. He loved the space. His farm was his pride and joy. He had cultivated corn, millet, groundnuts and then yams. Labourers had toiled endlessly all through June and July and by August/September when the rains were at their peak, the farm truly flourished.
He had been walking around for a few minutes when he noticed movement among the corn stalks. He pretended to ignore it and kept walking with his boys behind him. His eyes however kept roving the farm but never totally leaving the spot. A couple of minutes later, he noticed movements again.
“Wa ne ne?” He yelled. His boys immediately became alert and as they followed the direction of his eyes, a young boy leapt out from the stalks and instantly began to run.
“Kama shi! Kama shi!” Alhaji Abubakar need not have barked out the orders. His boys were already on the move.
The young boy kept running, clutching four corn cobs to his chest in his left hand and desperately clinging to his over-sized shorts in his right. The shorts threatened to give way but each time he pulled them up, running ever so fiercely, panting heavily, eyes wide with fright, huge beads of sweat on his face and slippers forgotten behind.
It did not take too long for the “boys” to catch up with him. One of them tripped him and the lad fell smoothly to the ground.
Alhaji Abubakar hurriedly walked up to them. The lad had already received a number of gracious slaps on both cheeks. His head was spinning and he could hardly see clearly.
Alhaji Abubakar drew himself to his full height which was just about 5 ft. Then with as much grace and air of self-righteousness as he could muster, he said to the kid. “I’ll have you arrested by the police. I’ll tell them you stole my corn. This is robbery”
The young lad looked up with a defiant look on his face and replied.
“Abun da ka yin kuma. When you were commissioner of health in this village, you stole from us. Da kuma, mu na jin yinwa a gida…”
Alhaji Abubakar was speechless…
Wa ne ne?- who is that?
Kama shi! Kama shi!- catch him! Catch him!
Abun da ka yin kuma- it’s what you did also
Da kuma, mu na jin yinwa a gida- also, we’re hungry at home