Tribute: In Nnagi Woro, We Lost a Loving Grandma
By Abdulsalam Mahmud
Just like there are memorable times which one so much cherishes and desire to luxuriate in them, there exist some people who are priceless and indispensable. Living without them, at times, hurts badly. They may be persons we meet—sometimes fortuitously–and leave only after etching their indelible footprints in our minds. This extraordinary class of people are so difficult to be forgotten. They are everything one could ever wish for in this transient world. Their milk of human kindness, uncommon humility, sheer honesty, genuine compassion and in fact everything about them leaves one in awe.
Like every other person, I have plenty loved ones, acquaintances and even kin who I passionately admire. But the pure veneration and loving affection I have for Nnagi Woro, my maternal grandmother, who recently transited to the great beyond after answering her creator’s call, is indescribable. Nnagi Woro is my grandma’s Nupe name translated as the ‘New Aunty’ in English. But Khadija Musa is her school name. She was a sister, mother, aunt and grandma of inestimable appeal. To boot, she was also a flawless breed of human being, and represented many impeccable things to different people.
Charity is perhaps the most profound virtue that she epitomizes. Nnagi Woro, who herself is not wealthy or affluent, gives naturally, selflessly and cheerfully. She doesn’t mind giving away mindboggling sum of cash to her relations and persons who visit her, in appreciation of their courtesy calls. I have seen instances where those she gave money expressed bewilderment while receiving money or other charitable items from her. Not a few of them, in hushed tones, thereafter speak about her exceptional knack for charity when she herself deserves to be given.
When people bring her meals, Nnagi Woro will habitually offer anyone seating with her the food. At periods when she is alone, she only eats little and spare the rest for little children or for indigent wives that lives in her neighbourhood.
“If you eat alone, you get zero reward in return. But if you share with others, the reward is immeasurable. Beside the fact that a giver attains personal joy whenever he gives, people who give her often remembered for their benevolent gestures, long after their demise,” she once told me, after asking her why she gives so much, even to her detriment, and doesn’t spare something for the rainy day.
This writer, who have insatiable appetite for meat, relish celebrating the Eid-il-Kabir (Feast of Sacrifice) known as Big Sallah in my country home, where I will eat, and Nnagi Woro will still give me extra meats from her slaughtered ram.
Piety is another trademark virtue of my revered grandma and inimitable Nnagi Woro. She was an insignia of spiritual-consciousness. A highly devoted Muslim woman, Nnagi Woro doesn’t joke with her Salawats (five daily prayers). Even while bedridden and at the twilight of her sojourn on earth, Nnagi Woro was very mindful of the time for prayers. She was quick to perform ablution and offer her prayers with absolute spiritual concentration on a sitting position. As a firm believer in supplication, she was steadfast in offering voluntary prayers and performing other rewarding acts for divine solutions to her problems.
It is to the perpetual credit of Nnagi Woro that relative peace and calmness never elude her extended family. She was quick to douse tension, calm frayed nerves and impartially mediate among the wives of her eldest son (who stay with her) and among her other relations. This made her to be regarded as the unofficial dispute arbitrator who resolves marital and other conflicts amicably.
Nnagi Woro was equally amiable, resilient, hospitable and soft-spoken. The fact that she was very welcoming explains why she never lacked people who fascinatingly treasure her company, hence they always surround her, both in daytime and at night. Her six surviving children are what I describe as the perfect chip of the old block. In several ways, they took after her outstanding behavioural qualities. They all radiate kindness, religiosity, sincerity, generosity, intelligence, modesty, to mention but few. Nnagi Woro, I learnt from my mother Hajiya Fatima Muhammad, was a highly disciplined woman. She was the type that never condone act of insolence to elders by her offsprings, when they were growing up. She was intrinsically endowed with sound moral values, which she inculcated in her progenies, making them models of uprightly-groomed children.
That her children have grown up to become accomplished personalities is one spectacular feat that instantly secured her place in the pantheon of legendary women. Though Nnagi Woro spent her last days at a Private hospital in Bida, surrounded by her three daughters namely Yajumai (my mum), Yawo-kwa, and Nna, the nurses and doctor who looked after her had a tough time controlling the sea of well-wishers who visited her daily. The condition I met Nnagi Woro when I went to see her few days to her death was frightening. As I bid my mum and aunts farewell to return to Abuja on Sunday, February 3rd, tears cascaded down my cheeks, knowing that I may not get to pay another visit to the hospital and meet her alive. And in the early morning of Wednesday, February 6th, Nnagi Woro, the doting albeit aged-woman of 50 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren breathe her last. She followed her husband, Mallam Musa Dauda (Babayadi), who departed this universe 36 years ago. Eminent personalities from different walks of life and the good people of Essa, a hamlet under Katcha Local Government Area of Niger State, massively attended her funeral prayer on the day she passed on. Right from the day she was interred and up till a week thereafter, it was tributes galore as sympathizers who came to commiserate with our bereaved extended family eulogized Nnagi Woro. They spoke glowingly about her purposeful and much fulfilled life. This writer and others she left behind are already comforted that Allah will (Insha Allah) repose her noble soul, and make Al-jannatul Firdaus her everlasting abode. But one thing that remains certain is that we may never be blessed with another Nnagi Woro. Yet, we are saying continue to rest in peace our devoted mother, and illustrious grandma.
Mahmud, a PRNigeria reporter wrote in from Abuja.