It was around this time (May/June) in 1976, after the Common Entrance Examinations, that I qualified to be admitted to a Federal College of my choice. I chose to go to King’s College, Lagos.
Shortly after, my late father Alhaji Hussaini Adamu (May Allah bless his soul), who had just been retired from the State civil service, upon learning of my choice, asked me to go back and change my first choice to FGC Sokoto. He said in Hausa “ka koma ka zaɓi FGC Sokoto, zan yi maka uba a can, kuma za ka ji daɗin shi”. Without question, I did as I was told. The rest is what makes me write this short historical piece.
In September of the same year, two days to the beginning of my first secondary school term – 8th September to be exact – he travelled with me to Sokoto, straight to the home of late Marafan Sokoto Alhaji Ahmad Danbaba, whom I later got to know was his close friend and “amini”. A friendship that was “joined” by the late Premier Ahmadu Bello.
On the 10th of September, they both took me to the school, and handed me to Bello Maccido (now Wakilin Sokoto) who was then in his 3rd year. Marafa simply told him “ga ƙanen ka nan. Je ka yi ma shi komai da ya kamata”. They then simply drove off.
For all my years in Sokoto and beyond, I became the son of Marafa Danbaba and Goggo A’i (his wife). On top of that, Hajiya Aisha Maccido, Bello’s mother (may Allah bless her soul) also adopted me as her son. I therefore had 2 Hajiya A’is as mothers in Sokoto, and two prominent fathers – Marafa Ahmad Danbaba and Sarkin Kudu (later Sultan) Muhammad Maccido in the city. I also had a grandfather figure in the person of late Sultan Abubakar III, to whom I was introduced on arrival in Sokoto, and whom we visited occasionally.
Nearer to FGC, I had another illustrious father, Prof Shehu Galadanci – a friend and brother to Sarki Hussaini; and a 3rd mother, Umma Galadanci, who was a friend and sister to my biological mother of blessed memory – both of whom I knew and considered family since childhood.
These are memories I cherish, but there isn’t space to fully narrate here. The words of late Sarki Hussaini to me have come to pass. I really did enjoy my sojourn in Sokoto, and have acquired and maintained many friends, and most of all a loving family for life.
Most of the principal people mentioned in this small memoire (except the Galadancis who, happily, are my neighbours now) have since passed on to the Lord – May Allah grant them Jannah.
Marafa Danbaba departed in May of 1983 – 38 years ago. Sadly Goggo A’i passed on exactly 2 weeks ago on Friday 23rd April 2021. She was only 38 when Marafa died, but she devoted all her remaining life to the care and nurturing of the children, immediate and extended family, servants, legacies and even associates left behind by her husband, as well her father Ahmadu Bello Sardauna. She died at the age of 76. I have lost another mother all over again, and my children a loving and caring grandmother. May Allah grant her Rahma. May Allah grant all our departed parents Rahma, and aljanna firdaus.
For the remaining mothers and fathers we have left, may Allah give them long life and excellent health. Ameen.
Mr Adamu is the Danburam of Kazaure.