Tribute to my mother: Rabiatu Usman Yunus, By Abdullahi Abubakar



On 17 May 2021 at about 4:10 pm, I was addressing two of my subordinates at work then my phone rang, a voice broke news that hit me like a barrel of salvos, left me broken, shattered and drenched in emotions. The information on demise of my mother invigorated the creeping thoughts of our final conversation through phone during the Eid Fitr celebration when she confirmed the improvement of her health condition after two sessions of dialysis. The fear of not been able to attend her burial rites due to distance further exacerbated my emotional trauma.

An ardent housewife who survived by ten children and nine grandchildren passed on at Sixty Two years, a week to my Ruby jubilee birthday anniversary. Mama was born in 1959 at FF 14 Jos Road Kaduna. She attended Abdullahi Gwandu Islamic School from 1966. She married my father at sixteen and remained a housewife till her end. She left when her presence in the polygamous family is highly sort after because of her unifying and motivation role which reinforce the string that bind us firm. Her wisdom, patience and piety formed bedrock of our upbringing as her children. Having endured “in-laws-problems” during the early period of her conjugal life which strengthened her to raise a bold and discipline family against all odds. Instilling in us a legacy of “respect all but fear none”.

Hajjaju as I fondly called her left an indelible legacy of perseverance, respect piety, knowledge and self-reliance. She exhibited all traits during her life time to our admiration. She persevere all adversities, forgive and come out stronger. Conscious of her primary spiritual needs, she is always punctual at observing her daily prayers, nawafils and azkar. Her persistent pursue of knowledge left us with no excuse to absent from school. When our mother dresses up and goes to school, what excuse do we have to remain at home?

At home, in addition to her chores, Mama indulged in petty buying and selling. She once sells pancakes, kolanut, fried groundnut, sugar and kerosene to mention but few. This trained us to understand the importance of self-reliance and time management. More so, her perseverance through adversity remains a powerful lesson for us. She remained a virtuous woman who teaches a lot through action rather than words. Growing up before her moulded me to be who I am today not through cane or yelling but through action and constant admonition. There was a time she observes minor issue within my family. She quietly admonished me “take care of this your wife, she is a virtuous girl”.

My mother’s unrivalled passion for admonition through wisdom, expressing gratitude and persistent thirst for Islamic knowledge were reflected in her last will when she told my sister/wife to extend her gratitude to me for all I have done to her. She also reserved part of her wealth to be used to support an Islamic school. Indeed, Mama’s life is laden with valuable lessons that if cling to, one will have a successful life. I will forever cherish the memories of forty years spent together with my mother. I pray to Allah to accept her soul among his righteous servants. Adieu, Mama Rabi, Allah ya gafarta miki, sai mun zo.

Major Abubakar ABDULLAHI is a serving military officer in Enugu

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