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 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/gone) Ya Allah!. I didn’t believed what I heard from my sister Zainab M. Malami as she kept her phone down. We were outside and my phone’s battery has been down all day, for me to call Mummy and confirm the odd and 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 don’t know how or what. We were to travel from Gadau to Bauchi/Rinji at that instant; My first ever longest tears-filled journey excorted by my cousin Rabiu S. Bako.
I can still vividly remember my last contact and moments with ‘Yaya’. We grew up addressing him so, (Yaya mai Minti or Yaya mai Mota). Because he gives out minti (sweets) to close by Islamiya kids that duly come to our house after closing as Sadaka. I know in my heart he dearly loved me and all of us. He used to be firm and strict but deep down loving and calm most of the times. We were all over him and meant the world to him and vice versa. I tried hard to get used to being okay without him but I still have tears whenever I remembered him loving me exactly as I’m and his overly humanity lived life for others. Until you know his full story, this is not exaggerating at all!
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 then later became Toro local government secretary and chairman as well. He held many political positions in Bauchi state government. As he’s aging, he became a Diabetic patient which was managed for ten (10) years from diagnosis. He was on hospital admission for about three(3) months before death.
He was unarguably the philanthropist of his time in Rinji Gaini, Toro LGA of Bauchi state and even beyond. He distributes items especially foodstuff and money to many relatives and unrelated families. This is something forever attributed to his name even if we do not state or tell anyone. He was so down to earth that he eats together with all calibre and category of people and friends irrespective of age, clan, religion, region or tribe that always come to him. As diabetes sets 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 as advised by doctors 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 shike nan mun zama abin tausayi?’ amma Allah Bai bar mu haka nan ba, Allah SWT Ya tausaya mana ( Now, is it over because we become all alone, 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 achievements, 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 lived for, but I haven’t been able to wordsmiths that right to date. Maybe someday I can. For now, in my thoughts I’m proudly living his dream on me as it has been instilled in me right from teenage that he wants 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 says to me whenever we had a conversation about me then. Our eldest, Alhaji Hamza M. Malami (Kaigaman Bauchi the second) is backing up this dream as I know we’ve being on this trail and usually referred to my aligned dreams to our father’s dream then. We’re all very proud being from his lineage and truly enjoying the prestige that comes with his genes and name. And he will have been proud of us all if he was here.
On his Islamic way of life, our father was a steadfast worshipper, and always pray in congregation. My mother; Mummy 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 enjoys reading the Holy Quran and should you be in his presence during one of those moments, 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 borrowed Holy Quran with me which we both agreed then it was borrowed not given.
Meanwhile, I didn’t get to give it back but now holds and reads it dearly till my days too with the knowledge of my siblings to let me keep it. We had a family tradition of going to his side every morning for greetings, prayers and discussions then. Everyone is expected to have his/her tasbih (rosary) active and to give the total counts of each individual previous day’s given supplications for summation. Ya Allah. May Allah SWT forgive our dear Father.
Our father was a great leader per excellence and definition, he played his roles in honesty and integrity and with the fear of God Almighty across many positions and political posts he held. He was onced time the secretary and another time 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 tried his best to be fair and just to all under him even at the cost of his displeasure. His focus had always been in helping others to stand on their own through empowerments and working appointments. Muhammad Hamzat Malami is our true role model who taught us how to be respectful, humble, honest, prayerful, kind, endure and determined in the cause of our life journeys.
He left behind more than twenty (20) children and many grandchildren; We lost our brother DVM Abdulrahim M. Malami five(5) months (October, 2013) after our father’s demise by accident, Our father ‘Yaya’ 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 prayed to Almighty Allah to forgive them, have mercy on their souls and grant them Jannatul Firdaus. May Allah SWT give us the fortitude to continue to bear these irreplaceable losses. And may we live longer in peace, unity, love, wealth, health and happiness with our mothers and each other.
One of the things I will remember and ever thankful for during our trying moment and his ailing time (sickbay) was the visitations paid by his relatives, friends, government officials and classmates (Bauchi Teacher’s College, Class of 72) before his death at the hospital like Senator Alhaji Danjuma Goje’s, the former Gombe state governor and many numerous to mention.
Rest on dearest Mai Martaba Babanmu; Kaigaman Bauchi the First, Sardaunan Toro the first, Garkuwan Rinjin Gaini, Zannan Ribina, Jarman Jarawa, Dan malikin Tilden Fulani, Magayakin Wunti (Gumau), Magajin Garin Zakshi. These were his traditional titles given on the basis of his vast and selfless community services and also the wonderful relationships to/with others. Yet, he till the end uses his name plainly. How Humble!
Of some things I get to understand from early life that he likes includes; classy and shiny shoes, designer perfumes, well embroidered babban Riga, short plain white rawani on Borno caps and carried himself with charisma! He also likes to have long meaningful conversations with anyone present and to ask questions. By and large, He was a ‘perfect generous gentleman’ whom was very kindhearted and humane. Our father’s good reputation preceded him in life and in transition. May peace be with you wherever you are, Mai Saje! Amin Ya Rabb.
Aishatu can be reached;