Shedding crocodile tears

me_and_amos

Daffo 1994: Amos Emmanuel Mabur and me in front of the car I used when I worked for the Frankfurt-Maiduguri Joint Research Project

About a year ago, I have published The woman who stole oil, the first of a set of stories written by Amos Emmanuel Mabur, a young man from Daffo. I came to know Amos in 1994, when I did research in Ron country for the Frankfurt-Maiduguri Joint Research Project. I was then collecting word lists and texts – most of them still unpublished. Amos came by with a notebook of handwritten stories in Ron. I typed them up, but unfortunately I later lost the English translations and I also didn’t tape-record them. Still, I think it will be nice to publish them here. So here is another of Amos’s stories:

Hwash ma ahwak ma Manggai

Ndee naf ɗiin a mun na a Ɗafo yo Manggai Aduru, ta mun ti mwis yo Mawulyang ma Rundong.

Ren sani, Mawulyangi a mot; Manggai ta kwis ka mma ta yu ta shurai nafi. Mar ma Mawulyangi ta yu, ta niyis Manggai, mwis a mot. Manggai ta langis wo kyahap mawan a wur ta Wulyangi, ta ɗusis naf a hwash. Ta mun a ndik wo rubuk, ta nang rus, ta but a hai, ta wetai mashit nzis la a sakwar kil. Ta was lulya a dyar fat yir, ta furai shi’ shi’ wa’ yia ma hwash, yo ma sutet, ta nii: “Lawa! Lawa! Ɗakwai … Ɗakwai … Ɗakwai fulal ahun yuhun-e …” Yis a niyai ɗakwai Wulyangi ful mi ahun yuhun mi si mot andai!

Wulyangi si nii, ahun ma shitai shum nzis ti. Si nii: “Hu shitai naaf sani yis a hwash fiyang a fa mamot ti mwisi. Hu shitai yis a niyai, ɗakwai si mot akul, sin ful ahun sin yuhun, ɓa si mwaan akul!” Si kulis ca. Si har ɗaam ma hweni, si fut ka canan, si faris.

Ɗak Manggai a wal mat ɗaam kyani, ta tik a taɗas hwash ti manjeng. Ta lwaak a fasa, ta fwaar a ndik wo bwop, fat ma wan a twaakan a fa yangga’at a tu. Wulyangi si shitai andai, shum ti kai sis ti, si tik a harai ɗaam, ɓa ko mmis ta kon a kon. Ɗak ti ndokis ti, ta mun a wis a wur, Wulyang si niyis fe, ɓa si har ɗaam mma si farisi, si kulis a wur. Ɗak a wal palang fe ma Wulyang mama si kulis ɗaami, Manggai ta mun a mun, ta taɗas sisal, ta nii: “I dangan halyang ma ɗaami. Tisyo’, tahun ti mgbang!”

Ɗaam ma fwash mma naf si masaahai, si kwaal fai nzis, findel a lak andai.

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