By Muhsin Ibrahim
Religion is one single thing Nigerians of whatever dispensations take in high esteem. Religion is often viewed as the opium of the subjugation of the masses or as their Achilles’ heel. To Rahama, the story is different; religion means nothing to her. It is simply an identifier that she’s a Muslim lady. One might think having grown up in a multi-religious house would intuitively teach her to have respect of some sort for religion, wrong. Her Imams and pastors do not use Qur’an or Bible.
A 28-year-old, stout Rahama Tsoho belongs to a disreputable family of three. Her father, an ex-serviceman, divorced their mother when she was only two. She stays with the father, and her sister with the mother. She had longed to marry since her teenage, but she couldn’t. She always attributes this to her look and family. So, she vows to live a better life in the future by hook or crook and begins to use highly effective and expensive bleaching creams to brighten her skin. She also hunts for a suitor via dubious ways such as flaunting her bosoms and derrière at the workplace and visiting the so-called Malamai, fortune-tellers and sorcerers.
After long and tedious trials and retrials, she meets a fine young man in their office, a newly transferred staff from another state. Without a doubt, she knows he’s beyond her league, but she believes it’s worth a try. But, as feared, the fine-looking new staff turned down her offer right away.
“I swear I will marry that guy by all means”, she declares. Soon after that, she starts consulting her fixers for the aid of whatever nature. “All I want”, she confesses to one of them, a mighty sorcerer who lives atop a high mountain, “is to marry him”.
“That’s easy for us as drinking water”, he assured her. “There are, however, rules, as you well know”.
“I am more than ready to abide by them. All of them, provided my wish will be granted”.
For a start, she’s instructed to visit their family house, which is far away, which is uncommon in the culture of that locality. She unhesitatingly goes. She introduces herself as his colleague. Simple. She, throughout her stay, behaves the most innocent girl-type and spreads greetings to his stepmother and siblings and everyone who cares to respond.
“Oga Rabiu has been very helpful”, she warily announces. “I, therefore, felt duty-bound to visit his family as I am here for another reason, actually a relative’s wedding”.
In the evening of the same day, I saw Rabiu looking bothered and lonely. I was about to ask him what was up when he told me about Rahama. He said she was a magic-savvy lady who shamelessly told him their marriage would yield many blessings. When he asked her how she knew that, she said her Mallam told her.
I was bewildered. I quite well know that she’s neither fit for him nor his scholastic family. He halts my busy mind, which is trying hard to dissect the whole scenario: “Muhammad”, he calls my name, “marrying Rahama would be the greatest mistake in my life”. That relieved my besieged mind, for I was contemplating whether or not I should tell him not to accept her proposal. “So, rest assured; I will avoid it like the plague”.
A few days or weeks, I can’t recall exactly, passed by, and I heard nothing from my dear neighbour cum friend, Rabiu or about Rahama’s blunt, in fact, unheard-of proposal. I had just started thinking the issue was dead and buried for good when he came to me with a bombshell.
“I am getting married next week”.
Wow! I said. I know he and his younger brother have been searching for a fitting life partner for him in the neighbourhoods. I also know he’s rich enough to solemnise his marriage within a few days if both parties agree. Thus, I ask:
“Who’s the lucky girl?”
His look changed from thrilled to timidity in a split second. I wish I could retract my question. But, in this deportment, he managed to respond: “Rahama”.
After calculating the atmosphere, I feel convinced that there is no need for any further explanation on how it comes to that. Her magic, shameless pursuit and insincere insistence have ultimately worked out. Therefore, I pray for the Almighty to bless the union and call it a day.
A few years later, I began to think that we all, who earlier condemned her, were proven wrong. She seems a wife everyone would want to have: caring, loving, dutiful, and generous towards him and his family. Yet, her significant frailty remains in how she handles religion. That too, we reason that she’s from a different background. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect her to behave the way we do or as we want.
Unbeknown to us, she’s simply buying time to portray her authentic self. She’s a wolf in sheep’s cloth. She is now doing the unthinkable; Rabiu has literally been her “yes man”. He worships her; he does everything to please her and parts with everyone she doesn’t like, including his brothers and sisters. He’s, to sum it up, blanketed in her world.
Rabiu is known for much discretion, but not any longer. You dare to tell him your undisclosed secret; you would hear it spoken of in the neighbourhoods. If you ask who told them, they would say Rahama.
Uncharacteristically enough and against Islam, Rabiu has, on several instances, bequeathed his wealth to be given to her should he die, as they don’t have any children yet. He cannot even reflect or recall that his father, who should rightly get the lion’s share, is still alive.
There is a single path to get to Rabiu now, and that’s through Rahama. Rabiu is for Rahama, and Rahama is for her family and pocket. He sees, but he cannot decipher. So everyone believes that he’s conjured. And that doesn’t last forever.
Muhsin Ibrahim is a student and staff at the Institute of African Studies, University of Cologne. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s a lot wowing to yelled on top this story. I’m so much delight with the story. Perhaps, it’s giving a plausible morals of which one can be able to see clearly. More Ink to your pen, Sir. May our hearts never deviate from being dutiful to our Lord and May we not fall in Satan evils plot.
This is interesting sir. We look forward to hearing how Rahma’s magic will be put to an end by the ultimate fight between truth against evil. It’s a new development for Daily Reality and I hope they will give it a special consideration. Literature is life through stories we come to learn the hard-to-learn facts easily.
This story is very interested and loving, and also knowledgeable one, thanks for this piece of writing sir, we really appreciated it.
Nice story from the great teacher. May I use it to teach my students?
This is interesting sir, more ink in your pen.
More ink to your pen bro
An incredible piece with full of wisdom and moral lessons. I can’t wait to read the continuation Sir!
A gobsmacking piece. Sihr in indeed, real. May the Almighty protect us and our family from those who nonchalantly practice it. Amin
Wow! This is interesting. I really like it. While we await to read how Rahama and her magic will be humiliated, I pray that your pen stays blooming aways, Dr.
This is interesting sir, more ink in your pen.