I don’t know his real name. I never knew and never bother to ask. Chairman—as he’s called or rather, “Chairmo” as others fondly call him—was one of the greatest people I’ve ever come across. I don’t know what he do for a living but I know for sure, he herds cows before the Muslims’ Big sallah (which animals are sacrificed) and of course, make a great deal of money out of it.
He’s probably one of the richest people I’ll ever know and don’t get it twisted—not material rich which are likely to fade—wealthy as in richness of the soul. It doesn’t matter whether the property is his or not, be rest assured he’ll give it the maximum security and protection he can provide. He’s ever ready to stretch out a helping hand and you don’t have to be an adult or a friend to get the “Peace be upon you” or “how have you been?” or “Take care” from him. That one person that is reliable, responsible and highly contented.
He has 1 wife, 3 kids and all live in this kind of rented houses in which a renter is entitled to a single room (serving as both living and bedroom) and share one toilet and kitchen (with the rest of the renters). All housemates sleep in fear whenever the raining season matures because there’s every tendency at least one mud wall (most likely the one going round the compound or toilet) will collapse.
He is building a house. It has provision for his cattle and enough rooms to accommodate his family and visitors. He’s been so keen about moving out to his house. He’s been talking about “his house”. Who would have thought he was referring to his final abode? SubhaanAllah! Lord have mercy on us!!
31st January 2012, is one date many (if not all) of the people in Maikafi Crescent will not forget anytime soon. Aid was needed as a teenage boy–who entered a well to re-start a water pump engine–and another man (who was supposedly rescuing the boy) couldn’t come out of the well when Chairmo left what he was doing (actually, taking sugarcane) to their rescue. He brought out the boy but didn’t succeed with the man before collapsing back into the well (due to the presence of carbondioxide as well). Eye witnesses said he complained that his legs were being dragged (by God-knows-what) before he finally went mute. A youth who couldn’t stand losing them jumped into the well before he could be stopped and before the fire brigade could come to the rescue (Naija things). He succeeded in bringing out both bodies—yes, bodies—as chairmo too was already dead. This is a loss I doubt time will ever heal. From Allah we come, and to Him we shall return. The teenage boy passed away too yesterday in the morning that is leaving just the youth as survivor. May their soul rest in perfect peace (Amen).