The Hausa Hero

Here is another story from Daffo by Mr. Mafulul Lek. I have no idea whether it really happened, but it may well have. Leopards are nowhere to be found in Plateau State these days, but there was a time when they were threatening people. A boastful Hausa man went out to hunt a leopard. Listen to what happened to him …


A haalai dem ma Ɗafo ha? A mbaahan halai, si gu’ ra a fo ti rafan kwaa? Ye, demi a mun: “Ɗafo ma Manggai, rafan ma tagun!” Mma a halai ra ti mat fo ahun dem sai, mma aa yo naafara kwa, a hera la! Mma andai kwa, aa wan a matik a masai ma ndee ma Mawulyang ɗiin, wa’ yit Alhaji.

Rafan mai, wa’ si nii, a dum la ta ti a kima, nai ra ti mat fo, si nii, mgbi’ mawan a tokayi. Alhajihi, wa’ itii ɗes naafara mai, nai a dum mawan a kil ma rafani ɗes. Wa’ a no’ rawan nzis a hai nggik, a har shishirai “Laya” ka “Guru”, a no’ a nggong, a tek gugwin ti mgbang, a re’ai hai, a tek ndar, a har nvyash mmis. A mun a alang, a lal nyaas Wulyang ɓiil, a niyis wa’: “Hu can, hu kulen rafani!” Sisal a kai sis, shak ta andai, si no’ yish, si niyis: “A can!” Si mun a wan, sin a cwai a fo, wa’ naf si her la, naafara Alhaji man a ayes, ma wis a kayi rafani ti ra, fat kusum.

Ti mandok ti a jing a ram, ha rafan a nii halam ta ti a ton, a mashwa ti a gugwin ti mgbang ta Alhaji, si lang shutulu’, sa ashu a ndik. Alhaji a niyisai gugwini swalak ka rawani, a wakis nvyash ka ndari a hai, rafan a mun a alawat tikil, Alhaji a nii: “A sakur, i cwaai mi, i shaai ha?” Nyaas Wulyang mma kwai si yes akul si shitai andai, sin ɗes, mi al?

Washash Ɗafo ma Anggai nai wa’ sin wa cwat si kai Al-Hajihi, si furai heki, wa’ yis mai, a yes a cwai sis ti rafani, nai a re’an tikil, a tikis la yo maɗafal, a wakis gugwin ka rawan ka nvyash fo, ma yis a tutok. Alhaji a kabok, a niyis, andai ti kwa, si niyis, andai ti! Mma andai ti kwa, ta kulis rafan mmis, ahun yit ta mun yo rafani. Si shitai shishirai “Laya” ka “Guru” mma Alhaji a har a yish, si niyis: “Mi mani?” A niyis: “Ɗaam mmican ma re kek kwa, ɗaman yo mi?” Si niyis: “Haang! Awei ti, Mawulyangi a yes a cwai can ti rafani ti!” Alhaji a shit a fasa, a shit a ndik, a shitai nyaas Wulyang mma kwai si mun akul mi al?

Sin a hai ta dashi, si mamaati, Alhaji a shitai gugwin ti mgbang nzis, ka rawan, ka ndar, ka nvyash sin a mandikit ti a ndik, a niyis: “Kabok, hu sor ɗong! Ahun rafani nai a langis ti a gugwin kili, ma alawat ti, ma mandikit tikil yo?” Si shitai gugwin a mandikit ka ndurum ma rafan, si nii: “Haang! Yit na yis a matik a re’ tikil, ɓa ta nzekis ta na a ra, ta wis. Hu kai gbanjeng, ca yu, ca shitai ɗaman mma ma andikit ti a gugwin kil; mma rafani mai, hu hek, ca shitai tawe, ca ku ca wak sis!”

Nai ra ti mat fo, si shwai rafan dwan yish ti a gugwin kil, si hek. Si tu’ la, si shitai rafani mai awei, si cu a fo, si nii: “Hu wak a ra kong, ta yu! Lwa’ tima a yes a cwai can ti mwani ca hekan. Shak ɓat a lo ti fe ma Anggai a Daas ti!” Si shitai rafan umbor ti, si niyis Alhaji: “A mani kwa?” A niyis: “Ei!” Si niyis: Nafu ti mashir ɗiin, mmish a mawalan!” Si har ndar si nvyash ka madishash ma gugwin ta Alhaji mma si hek rafan tikil ka washi, si niyis: “A kai, a shu a yish, lo mma nai, a cwan! Aa tik a gyok mi?” Si niyis fe: “Mma a yu ti tutok kwa, hu harai ɗaami, ta yu a mburit!” Alhaji a nii ɗanggaat ti ful …, yit ma al?

Taa tei, si tek rafan mmis, ra ti mat fo, si cu a fo, nahwai ti matai, sin a wur! Alhaji a ndok a wur, si lulis ɗam mma a furis a lani, a mba laki wet ti ndohi. Si yes, si halai ɗam mma a furi, nyaas Wulyang a shamgbareng nzis tindai si gaasai Alhaji, si syaar ti, wa’ ma yo nafu ta ashir ti. Ti Mawulyang si niyis wa’: “Ayya! Arna sun kashe kurwan Alhaji – na shi ya riga ya k’are! Wayyo duniya! Ga shi kuwa mutum mai arziki! Allahu akbar!” Ɗam mma si lak shaat mai, wa’: “Naf a ɗam si kaai lwa’ ta Alhaji, si hekan, mmis a awalan! Uyoo! Male’ ma safat mma ma ti shak a katan yo was ndai. Caa wan a yinde? Waroowa!” Si nii, Alhaji ndee ti niyis hai fat ta twaak ti findelashi, nai ta pak ta ti a rami, ta fot ti a kima fat tarau ti we.

The Hausa hero

Did you ever hear the war-cry of the Daffo? Have you never heard how they send an alarm when a leopard has been sighted? Well it is: “Daffo of Mangai, the leopard of tail!” When you hear that people cry out an alarm or that war-cry, if you are not a man, you better move aside! If you don’t you may have it the way a man called “Alhaji” had it.

A leopard was spotted and an alarm was sent out for a fight with it. Alhaji, claiming that he was also a man, also dashed to the place where it had been seen. He armed himself with charms, put on his big gown and turban, took his bow and arrow and set out. As he was going out, he called some fellow Hausa men: “Come, bring me the leopard!” They laughed, but all the same, they got ready and followed him. As they went, they boasted that everyone should give way, here comes Alhaji who would catch the leopard with his hands like a rat.

As they arrived at the bottom of a hill, the leopard suddenly leaped out of a cave, straight into Alhaji’s big gown. They fell down and rolled on the ground together. Alhaji managed to pull off his big gown and turban and left it with the rolling beast, together with his bow and arrows. He quickly took to his heals. His fellow Hausa men who had come with him had already disappeared.

Then Alhaji was soon seized by some Daffo people and almost beaten to death for allegedly trying to play a trick on them. They held him to be the very leopard, who had come to kill them, but had turned into human form. Alhaji swore that this was not true, but they insisted. If he wasn’t the leopard, he should show them where it was. They saw the charms he was wearing and asked him what they were. He answered: “But these are normal outfit of men, aren’t they?” They yelled that the charms were the proof that their accusations were true. Alhaji looked up heaven and earth for help, but his fellow Hausa men had disappeared.

They started beating him again, pushing him around from one to another. Alhaji saw his big gown still rolling on the ground with the leopard inside. He begged the Daffo men: “Please, stop for a while! Couldn’t it be the leopard that is rolling in the big gown there?” They saw the big gown and heard the leopard roaring, but still maintained that Alhaji should be held tightly until they had killed and brought out the leopard from the gown.

With their war-cry they battered the leopard inside the gown with spears. They untied it and saw that it was really the leopard. They cheered up, saying that the leopard was Alhaji’s second self, and he was now soon to follow. After all, he was their game. They saw that the leopard was a female and ridiculed Alhaji: “That is you, isn’t it?” Humiliated, he answered: “Yes!” They shouted at him: “Poor woman, you are finished!” They ordered him to collect his bow and arrows and dress up again in his torn bloody gown. He was then dismissed with a rude laughter: “You have eaten your meat. What else do you wait for?” They told some children: “If he doesn’t leave immediately, you will seize the things from him and he will go naked.” Alhaji ran away as fast as his feet could carry him..

After that, they took their game and went home, crying out their war-cry and singing a victory song. Back home, Alhaji was asked what had happened to him in the bush, but he was unable to tell the story, because of his shame. When the news was finally told, his fellow Hausamen called Alhaji all sorts of names, humiliating him even more. The abuses showered on him summed up to an obituary: Oh no! The pagans have killed Alhaji’s second self! What will now happen to the wealth that is with him? What shall we do now?” Alhaji nearly went mad with all this talk. In the end he moved to another place and was never seen again.

One response to “The Hausa Hero

  1. This is a story that is worth repeating itself.

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