What is the cure for hunger?

Here is another short story from Daffo by Mafulul Lek.  The people of Mayyi ward were looking for a cure for hunger. They decided to eat all their food at once and get done with hunger for ever. Unfortunately, this didn’t work …

Tol ma Mayyi

„Shir ma lau a ti’ mi?“ – lul mma Mayyi si fwaak, si halai kwa nai.  Wa’ Mayyi ma we mi, ndee si ho’ hai ti halingyati shak; si har ca shak kat ti masuti, si ji ti tol. Wa’ safat mma mi ti – tamwash, aa, puryei, canan, ka randong – shak si salo la a ɓwei. Si cu, si kaaf, si sho, si fyaal, si jik dor, ɓura ti shar, vwyarash si mashat, si dash kinggangash, si ɓaak. Si nii: „Ca cu, ca kaf – lau a wal. Ca wan a matik a masai mi ti lungai, ka majwai?“ Si har, si bwaat la a ham kil.

Si wal la kong, ti ɗukis a hai, lau a manai a fwash. Si shit a fasa, si shit a ndik, si tik ti shaat ti. Si nii: „Wamai a sirai can ti kohi yo?“ Sani a nii sani. Si nii: „Lawa!“ Lau a cu, ti gofis la ɗam mma ti gofis. Si kat a fwal ca yo fwali. Naf si sisal, si gam kil ma mashit wet. Amwash findel sani a kat yo ɗam ma jam si Mayyi ma kwai.

Lul taa tu ti findel sani, yit mai:

  • Shir ma lau a ti’ mi?
  • Ɗandee kafaf a munis shir ma lau (mma a hyaak maɗafal), ɗakwai ta mun shir ma mi ndai ɗes?
  • Taa fa waatan tima fasa ti tul, ahun Mayyi ma we ndee si mun a gam shir ma lau mai, ɗak a hyaak maɗafal tihi?
  •  Mayyi ma we si halingyat ahun wet?
  • Naf ma we si ma kwai, minggi si wu halingyat?


The feast of the Mayyi

“What is the cure for hunger?” is a question the Mayyi people don’t like to hear. A story is told that a most foolish thought once came to their forefathers: they collected all their food – even the seeds – and prepared it for a big feast.

It is told that they slaughtered all their animals – sheep, goats, horses, fowls and cattle on one day.  They ate and become satisfied, they drunk and became drunk, they danced and the dust flew up, they blew flutes and beat drums till they broke.

They said: “We have eaten and become satisfied – hunger has gone forever. What do we need our mortars and pestles for now?” They collected them and threw them into the water.

When they became sober again, they were very hungry. They looked up heaven and earth and started mourning. They asked themselves: “Who gave us that stupid idea?”

They started passing the bag. But it was too late! Hunger had taught them a lesson. They had to beg for food. People laughed and they were very ashamed.

Today this story is told as a joke about the Mayyi people.


  • What is the cure for hunger?
  • If being fully satisfied had been a cure for hunger (which can kill a person), for what would it be a cure then, too?
  • Thinking of the tale about the collapse of heaven, could it be that the Mayyi were really looking for a cure for hunger, because it killed men?
  • Were the old Mayyi people really mad?
  • Who is more mad – the people of former times or those of today?

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