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A tribute to our beloved father, ‘Malami’ of Rinji

By Aishatu Muhammad Malami (Ummi) At 4pm or thereabout on the 19th of May, 2013 equivalent to 9 Rajb. 1434 AH – Islamic calendar was…

By Aishatu Muhammad Malami (Ummi)

At 4pm or thereabout on the 19th of May, 2013 equivalent to 9 Rajb. 1434 AH – Islamic calendar was the very first time in life that I lost consciousness, yes I lost myself and didn’t know what I was doing or where I was exactly! It echoed “Ummi, Baban mu ya rasu” (Ummi, our dad is dead) Ya Allah!. I didn’t believe what I heard from my sister, Zainab M. Malami, as she kept her phone down. We were outside and my phone’s battery had been down all day, for me to call Mummy and confirm the unpleasant news myself. I ran back to my hostel room in the campus to pick up my handbag in attempt to proceed to the Amenity wardroom in ATBUTH, Bauchi instantly. It was a very quiet Sunday evening. I didn’t know that I woke up others on siesta in the hostel as I was shouting “innalillahi wa inna illaihi rajiun“ (We belong to Allah, and to Him we return) at the very top of my voice.

I found myself crying profusely as I was being held and consoled by many ladies outside. I didn’t know how or what. We were to travel tears-filled from Gadau to Bauchi/Rinji at that instant. I can still vividly remember my last moments with ‘Yaya’. We grew up addressing him so, (Yaya mai Minti or Yaya mai Mota). Because he gives out minti (sweets) to closeby Islamiya kids. I know in my heart he dearly loved me and all of us. He was firm and strict but deep down loving and calm. I still have tears whenever I remembered him loving me exactly as I’m and his overly humanity lived life for others. This is not exaggeration!

Muhammad Hamzat Malami a.k.a ‘Kaigama/Sakatare’ was born in Rinjin Gaini, Toro local government area of Bauchi state. He attended his primary school in Ribina/Gyamzo after memorizing the Holy Quran first in Rinji’s ‘Makarantan Allo’- Quranic School, and to then Bauchi Teacher’s college (BTC) and later to BUK for a B. Ed and ABU Zaria for a PGD afterwards. He did his NYSC in Rivers state and started his career as a Teacher. He held many political positions in the state. He became a Diabetic patient with age which was managed for like ten (10) years from diagnosis. He was on admission for about three(3) months before death took him from us.

He was unarguably the philanthropist of his time in Rinji Gaini and even beyond. He distributed foodstuff and money to many . This is forever attributed to his name, even without us stating. He was so simple that he ate together with all category of people and friends irrespective of clan, religion or tribe. As diabetes set in the later years, he was still considering people that were already used to eating with him. He then later had his separate tray of selected foods for his insulin management and they too got theirs with our normal household meals. How Considerate!

First thing that came to my mind after his demise was ‘yanzu shikenan mun zama abin tausayi?’ amma Allah Bai barmu haka nan ba, Allah SWT Ya tausaya mana ( Now, is it over, we’re piteous?, but God never left us all alone) Surely, God is with us over the years and continuously in sha Allahu.

It’s exactly 10 years now but his legacies and tributes are still in all of us and even in many others. We bound to spend our lives living his history through keeping our bonds with each other tight, his families’ and friends’ ties on too, various Sadaqah jariyah and daily prayer over his departed soul. His love, care and respect to his Mother when she was alive is worth adapting by all of us. Indeed, the plain truth about our role model!

I have for long been trying to write purely and straight from my heart on our father’s attributes and his life, but I haven’t been able to. Maybe someday I can. For now, in my thoughts I’m proudly living his dream on me as it has been instilled right from teenage days that he wanted me to be on the western education lane and I shall continue to live to that passionately in the cause of my religion and serving Allah SWT through it In Sha Allahu. There’s this ‘certain prayer’ he always said to me whenever we had a conversation about me then. Our eldest, Alhaji Hamza M. Malami, (Kaigaman Bauchi the second) is backing me up on this our father’s dream also. We’re all very proud being from his lineage and truly enjoying the prestige that comes with his genes and name.

On his Islamic way of life, our father was a steadfast worshipper, and prayed in congregation. My mother told me his nickname during his school days was ‘Kwana Sallah’ meaning someone that spends the nights praying. He had a library in his parlor of many Islamic books collections and others. He enjoyed reading the Holy Quran and should you be in his presence then, you definitely should be ready to be asked many questions or given a book to read there and then or to take it with you. I still have his Holy Quran with me which we both agreed then that I borrowed. Meanwhile, I didn’t get to give it back but now hold and read it dearly till my days too and my siblings let me keep it. We had a family tradition of going to his side every morning for greetings, prayers and discussions. Everyone is expected to have his/her tasbih (rosary) active and to give the total counts of previous day’s given supplications for summation. Allahu Akbar!.

Our father was a great leader per excellence and definition, he played his roles in honesty and with fear of the Almighty. He was one time the secretary and another the chairman of Toro LGA, Commissioner of Bauchi state pension board, Chairman of the Bauchi state Hospitals Management Board, Chairman, Bauchi state Internal Revenue Service amongst others. He retired as a state permanent secretary in 1999. He tried his best to be fair and just to all under him. His focus on the youths has been empowerments and working appointments. Muhammad Hamzat Malami is our true role model who taught us to be respectful, humble, honest, prayerful, kind and determineed in the cause of our life journeys. He held many traditional titles yet, he till the end used his name plainly. How Humble!

He left behind more than twenty (20) children and grandchildren; We lost our brother DVM Abdulrahim M. Malami five(5) months (October, 2013) after our father’s demise by accident. He also left behind many adopted children and four lovely wives; We lost one of our mothers, Baba, last year (March, 2022) after an illness too. I pray to Almighty Allah to forgive, have mercy on their souls and grant them Jannatul Firdaus.

Of the things I will remember and ever be thankful for during his ailing time was the visitations paid by his relatives, friends, government officials and classmates (BTC, Class of 72) like his classmate Senator Alhaji Danjuma Goje’s and many numerous to mention.

May Allah have mercy on the departed souls.

Aishatu can be reached via [email protected]

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