The Almajirai syndrome and Covid-19

THE unlucky invasion of our world area by coronavirus aka Covid-19 has introduced into sharp focus the agelong risk the Almajirai tradition the north which many, particularly from the north have been pretending doesn’t exist. In truth, lots of our compatriots usually suppose these of us from this different a part of the nation have been crying greater than the bereaved, anytime you increase the problem and the risk it poses.

The Almajiri (file Credit: The Omega S)

However, with Covid-19, the knowledge within the Yoruba adage that, “When your neighbour is swallowing a difficult insect and you fail to warning him, his discomfort at evening can be shared by you.” The price at which these almajirai are being tossed amongst states within the north is one thing that should concern all residents of goodwill who need to dwell their lives in peace. The downside is now regularly being was an “inter regional” downside. I exploit that phrase in the hunt for a greater one. How is it being “inter regionalized”? chances are you’ll ask. Well, we’re all witnesses to how the police and safety companies have been intercepting truck-loads of people who find themselves suspected to be almajirai being transported from one a part of the nation to different areas. The query to ask is why?

I’m writing about this syndrome as somebody who has some deep data of the system having being born and bred within the north the place I lived and for over three a long time. The acquainted picture of the almajiri is that of just a little boy (they’re primarily boys, anyway) with a dilapidated and badly climate overwhelmed bowl who strikes from one road to a different in the hunt for meals and typically finishing up menial jobs for folks for token rewards of remnant meals, unfastened change and so on. A go to to any college within the north would give any researcher a transparent image of what I’m writing about. They are all the time all over the place close to college students’ hostels prepared to assist fetch water, if public water provide within the hostels fail, run errands, wash garments, and plates and so on.

Their major concern is to dwell for the day and not the subsequent. Food is an important factor they’re after, shelter is secondary as a result of they’re just like the raven within the Bible who construct no shelter however are supplied for by God when it’s nightfall. They lay right down to sleep the place ever darkness falls to satisfy them! That is why you possibly can get up early within the morning or come again from all evening studying and meet them sleeping at hostel corridors and verandahs! They don’t care, it might even be within the coldest of the harmattan of the north, it takes nothing off them. They sleep wherever; motor parks, roadsides, mosques patios – wherever is residence.


They get up the subsequent morning and life begins afresh. There isn’t any any urgent must have a shower, a couple of that cares and will get entry to water takes a couple of handful and washes his face and then the battle for one more day begins. It is subsequently widespread to see patches of dry saliva pasted on their faces or residue of oil from yesterday’s remnant of meals. The patches of saliva are a results of yesterday’s sleep displaying such an almajiri sleeps together with his mouth open drooling saliva. It isn’t unusual to go to an area restaurant and see the group of them ready within the wings so that you can end your meals and depart the remnants for them. It as soon as occurred {that a} man as soon as ordered for a plate of luxurious meal, set it down on the desk and went to scrub his fingers to demolish his meals. On his return the meals had been taken by a hungry almajiri considering he was finished with the meals!!


This author a couple of years again visited the north and went with a pal who needed to choose up his youngsters from faculty, as we stepped out of the college premises; I used to be shocked to see a crowd of almajirai. They approached mother and father and their wards supplicating for leftover meals of their wards. At some extent I noticed a scramble and I used to be alarmed. My pal was not. I referred to as his consideration to it and he merely shrugged his shoulders and mentioned it was a well-recognized spectacle as they have been solely in the hunt for meals. I noticed it as a time bomb. He by no means did. With Covid-19 now, I’m not positive my pal would enable such urchins to maneuver close to his wards once more for worry of being contaminated.


The madrassa is nice for the almajirai whereas the youngsters of the elite go to regular faculties and have mallams that come residence to provide them Islamic schooling. These and different ills of this tradition we see in Dantala, the almajiri in Elnathan John’s novel Born on a Tuesday. Go and learn the e-book if in case you have not.

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