Don’t spend all you have for yourself

The following story from Daffo was recorded by Mr. Mafulul Lek in 1992. It warns people not to spend all they have just for themselves, but to think of the generations that follow them. In the time of global climate change and exploitation of natural resources, we should listen carefully.

A mwaan mawan a mamot, a wang fo’, a ku a ras kwa!  

Findel a nii: “A mwaan mawan a mamot, a wang fo’, a ku a ras kwa!” Findeli so’ ma findel mai. Wang fo’ a ku a ras mu yo ndek masut la ti gbum. Naaf mma a masai sai masut ma ɗamani, a mot ka sumi ndai. Ɗes, ɓur ti mgbang ti, a tuk. A fa ɗakwai naaf ma ka mar gbaak, mma a mot, ɗeng a kaatai wasi. Andai ti ɗes, findel a nii: “Ca cwaai fe ti shuhi kwa!” Halingyat ti ɗes, maɗafal ta masai sai masut a ɗamani.

Bees kong, si nii, Maɗafo ɗiin ma sum Mander Matabwi ndee a masai sai ɗamani. Wa’ ndee a kwis ka han ti a wili. Ta lak han, ta nii, wa’ a sun, ma wis a mot ti a wili. Nai ta nii, mmis a mawalan, ma wan a matik a han yis wa? Ta tek shita’, ta ragot la. Ta nii, ɗam mma ma ti, mma a wal a cwayi, ta ku ta mot, a palang. Nai ta ndulai ɗaam ka ca tima ma tihi, ta rumum la rahap! Naf si nii, mi laki, ta mbi’ mayir, ta nii: “Yaa ti Usar ahun Ukusum? Hoo, a fenshash ma cwai was, ka lwyat, hu cu, hu kaf kwa fwet-a?” Ta zut re, ta tof a hai, ta nii: “Ɗafo si mawal, kawa si kat na yo!” Ta nyai yir mgbi’, naf si katis mbaa.

Wil nai ti masir, Mander yit a gyok mamoti, ta shitet kwa. Ta katis kpokolok fat kusum ma nga. Ti furis mashar hai. Ti gofis la, ti tar shash, ti kiris a fo. Ta shit a fasa, ta shit a ndik, ti ndushet! Ta lifit, ta lang a fwal. Naf si shitai shumi, si faris cahi.

Taa tei, ta tek nggatur ma shita’ mma ndiya a hwyan ti lahi, ta lang a har rus a ɗangat. Ta wal a han koros mama ndee a kosayi, ta han ɓakash, ta al. Ca ti nii mgbi’, ti kiisai, ti tyaakai hai.

Wil ti masir, Mander Matabwi ta har ca a wur yo rus. Taa tei, Mander ta sisal, ko ta tik a tu. Mma a sisal, naf si niyis: “Lo a ji!”, ta tik a sisal. Taa, shak was mai, Mander Matabwi a han, a har ti a wur! Ta lang wa kpas, ta motis! Ɗamani ta katis ɗam ma mayor. Naf si nii, mi shaati, yir si kwis ka mashu, si kat a mashyaatan. Si nii: “Ca ɓur sis ti ka was mmis ha?” Si nii: “Wawa’, ca mbaahan masai sai ɗamani kwa. Ca ɓur sisi fat ɗafali kek. Can ɗafal mi, fat Manderi, ca tyaak ɓuri, hayai mi kwa.” Ɓur tima Mander Matabwi a tek, yit findel a nii: “A mwaan a wan a mamot, a wang fo’, a ku a ras kwa.”

Don’t fry your acca seeds before sowing them – even if you have to die!

There is a saying: “Don’t fry your acca seeds before you sow them – even  if you have to die!” This saying is a proverb. If you fry an acca seed before you sow it, you will destroy it. Someone who does this type of thing is a useless person. In fact, he has committed a great offence. Since even though a person died without a male offspring, someone would  inherit what he left. There is another saying: “We don’t give birth to children in order to exploit them.” To do that would also be an act of foolishness.

Nevertheless, there once was a Daffo man called Mander Atabwi who did just  that. People tell that one year he refused to go to farm. He told the people that he knew he would die that year. So, if he was going to die anyway, for whom should he go to farm? He took his hoe and threw it away. He said that if he would be able to eat all the food he had before he  died, he would be grateful. So he just went on using up all the things and food he had to finish them completely. People wanted to talk to him about it, but he refused to listen. He  would even abuse them, telling them that they were only after his inheritance. He would start mourning, saying that all the good Daffo people have  died. He would start crying, leaving people dumbfound.

When the year was over, Mander was still alive. Now he was as poor as a church rat. He began to suffer. He had a very hard time indeed. He looked up heavens and earth, but there was no help! He went to beg for food. People felt pity and gave him food.

Then he took up the hoe he had thrown away and started to work very  hard. He cleared the farms he had allowed to lie in fallow and farmed on them. The field yielded a very good harvest.

When the year was over, Mander Atabwi could harvest a lot of food. He could finally cheer up and be happy again. People would greet him “Hello, rich man!” and he would laugh. But alas, all he had harvested was to become an inheritance. All of a sudden he died. What had happened was really a great surprise. People wanted to mourn for the deceased, but the tears refused to flow. They discussed whether they should bury him with his inheritance. But they decided that they wouldn’t do what they had never done before.  They would bury him as an ordinary man. Even if he had done wrong, after all to err is human. What Mander Atabwi had done was an example for the proverb cited above:  Don’t fry your acca seeds before sowing them – even if you have to die!

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