Home News Ya’Kolo Umar, The Landlady Who Lives In A Shanty

Ya’Kolo Umar, The Landlady Who Lives In A Shanty

by Good News

Ya’Kolo Umar’s refuge sits on a 25 by 50 field of land in Jiddari Polo, a densely populated residential space in Maiduguri.Biski is a Kanuri meals produced from beaten maize grains on the whole served with local soups. Supreme and proudly served in numerous variances on all events.

Here’s the largest assistance that Ya’Kolo Umar, a seventy-year-primitive Kanuri lady from Damboa local authorities of Borno Enlighten yearns for to assemble her joyful for the leisure of her lifestyles. At her age, Ya’Kolo once a prosperous farmer has considered all of it and utterly a few issues thrill her at the present time.

The harmattan season is environment in and even though the solar is lustrous brightly, the wintry hump is on the opposite hand fierce because it blows the honest Sahara sand round. You have to maybe presumably presumably be particular to procure a generous deposit in your eyes while you don’t squint or wear a conserving as you progress round. Ya’Kolo sits on her mattress in her small room this Friday morning, grateful for the refuge over her head and the blessing of meals to eat. Breakfast is boiled rice garnished with local peppery spices (yaji), portion of the proceeds of alms given to her by smartly-which technique folks. She has been living on alms for the previous four years reckoning on neighbours for her every day subsistence.

Fridays are her work-free days and she or he adorns stunning dresses additionally given to her by charitable folks. She proudly flaunts her knowing grey hair popping out of her crimson veil, with the weaving traces of her kla yasku coiffure lined by hair. But Ya’Kolo has no longer continuously been a beggar.

Ya’Kolo flaunts her knowing grey hair popping out of her crimson veil.“Ushe-Ushe” she calls out a welcome greeting in Kanuri language when this journalist visited her dwelling in Jiddari Polo, a densely populated residential space in Maiduguri. Dwelling is a low roofed shanty-styled refuge constructed with corrugated zinc sheets on a 25 by 50 field of land flanked by brick fenced buildings on every facet, providing a conserving for the septuagenarian.

The neighboring plots once belonged to Ya’Kolo at the inspiration 100 by 50 square in all, received in her heydays as a vivid farmer in a small village in Damboa local authorities.

A journalist and Borno NUJ chairman Bulama Talba had posted photos of the shanty on his Facebook internet page making public the living condition of the elderly lady.

Ya’Kolo and Bulama Talba“I are living excellent a few kilometers a ways flung from right here and right here is my same old route to work. After I first observed her I believed her living condition used to be pathetic and after I requested her a few questions she acknowledged her supreme discipline used to be that her pit bathroom had collapsed so I had it mounted and keep a slab on it. Then I took photos of her home and posted it on my wall encouraging folks to reinforce her.” Talba acknowledged.

“Here’s my home, and right here is my field of land. I purchased it a truly prolonged time within the past. I’m in a position to’t undergo in suggestions how great I purchased it, I reflect it used to be N10,000. It used to be through my brother that I purchased it. That time the whole of this space used to be a bush, there wasn’t a single home right here. We bought it from the Bulama. My brother bought portion of the land and left this small fragment for me. He spent the proceeds on my own and didn’t give me portion of it. He’s now uninteresting. I even like lived right here for four years.” Ya’Kolo recounts.

“Bulama Ba’Lai Abuye used to be the one who bought this space to me. That year I farmed Bambara and groundnuts then I transported it to Maiduguri and bought it, that’s the keep I received the money and gave it to my leisurely elder brother to take care of this field of land for me. My farm used to be in a village referred to as Ngazaman near Damboa.” She explains.

People within the neighborhood ascertain and give an explanation for that the Ba’Lai Abuye whom she makes reference to used to be the Bulama of Jiddari Polo when she bought the property. Bulama is the Kanuri parlance for village head and Ba’Lai Abuye’s reign used to be unless 1991 when he passed on, inserting the date of her take care of of the property at the leisurely eighties. When she made that investment, small did she know that it goes to changed into her lifeline a long time later.

After loads of failed marriages her rationale at that time used to be to are living shut to her supreme surviving brother who additionally lived there and took her in to are living alongside with his family. But upon his passing primarily based utterly on her, his young folks gave her a quit assume.

“They acknowledged since I even like my field I ought to restful hotfoot and forestall in it so I got right here and started staying right here. So the Ba Bulama gave me ten zinc sheets with which I constructed this building. And I went round begging folks who donated zincs to me with which this building used to be keep collectively.”

Over the years, Jiddari Polo has been a handy entry point for insurgents throughout the southern flit of Maiduguri and it has had its honest a part of attacks, the closing occurring in Would possibly presumably also this year. Ya’Kolo is lucky to outlive all and her map is easy. “When they near we bustle a ways flung from dwelling, and when the wretchedness subsides we near wait on.” She says with a proud smile. The insecurity has slice her off from her two organic young folks who’re living in Damboa, some 88 kilometers away.

“They are in Damboa, the female is married and lives alongside with her husband, the male is a farmer. When Boko Haram crawl them from the farm they bustle away, after they’re completed with their operation and retreat, they return to the farm. So I even like extra peace of suggestions living right here even though there’s nobody to wait on me right here.” She says.

Ya’Kolo has no map how primitive she is, but recollects that she had excellent had her first toddler “when Igbos began combating and the toddler’s naming ceremony which on the whole happens on the seventh day used to be yet to be conducted.” She is doubtlessly relating to the civil battle which broke out in July 1967. Historically at that time girls are married off between the age of 14-15 and if Ya’Kolo used to be 15 in 1967, she is estimated to be about 70 this year.

She used to be an completed farmer but she never received as lucky alongside with her marriage which told her resolution to are living alongside with her leisurely brother.

“I even like married as a lot as ten men in all, but all of them despatched me away. I ragged to be unnerved by base spirits and so I will continuously hasten out when it starts and it scares them in philosophize that they divorce me. I procure married, they divorce. I procure married, they divorce me. It endured esteem that unless I married ten times after which I made a decision I was completed. Even when I will the market I don’t assume anything else I supreme assume a red fragment of cloth and issues esteem that. However the chief imam of Maiduguri at that time helped me and gave me some therapies and now I am honest I no longer like that discipline all all over again Alhamdulillahi,” she says.

Pots for ingesting water interior Ya’Kolo’s shelterThese days Ya’Kolo is no longer any longer sturdy enough and doesn’t like procure admission to to farmlands esteem she did in her youthful days. Her fortune has nosedived from shopping for a property from the proceeds of her farm to harvesting supreme three bowls of beans on this year’s farming season for which she says she is restful grateful to God.

“I cook my meals by myself. I exit to beg for alms. The day outdated to this I went out and I received biski and rice which I cooked. I didn’t exit this day because it’s a Friday that’s why I took my tub and wore these good dresses, that used to be given to me as sadaka.”

Rain and Spring“I suffer loads throughout moist season. Twice the rain had blown off this home before it used to be mounted wait on and the rain enters my home. For the wintry season, they additionally gave me a blanket as sadaka one in every of the times when I went out to beg; so I duvet my physique properly with it and I don’t feel the wintry that great.” She says.

On at the present time and age she is no longer in a space to glide prolonged distances because her knees are beginning to damage. She additionally says it’s continuously very laborious to rep water from the nearby community borehole and carry it dwelling for her use. These, are the categorical concerns she is responsive to.

When requested if she would esteem to are living in a brick home she says “I’d fancy it, it goes to be good.” Ya’Kolo is joyful in her skin and her small world that contains her shanty, two young folks, and two grandkids whom she speaks with every different day on her cell telephone. She can no longer be afflicted by the hustle and bustle of the easier world.

Ya’Kolo sits on her mattress in her small room.When requested if she is aware of who Governor Zulum is and what message she has for him, her response is noble: “I hear tales about him, they bid he is the governor but I’ve never met him. I hear that he shares money nonetheless it has never reached my hand. My message to him is he ought to restful send me some money to take care of biski!”

Contentment is doubtlessly the reason that Ya’Kolo has thrived this prolonged in factual smartly being within the midst of the whole challenges lifestyles has thrown at her. She enjoys the charity of neighbours and strangers and left to her all she needs honest now could maybe presumably presumably be meals, and it should be biski, namely.


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