Farmer Overpowers Bandits with Language Skills

Muhammad Arabi Umar
Department of Languages and Cultures, FUGUS

In the heart of Zamfara State, a farmer was cultivating his farm when two bandits appeared with a gun in hand. The farmer was a tall, muscular man. The bandits tried to nab him, but it was no easy feat. They fought with him for a while before finally succeeded in forcing him onto their motorcycle.
As they raced away, the gang leader asked the others if they had nabbed a good catch. (Mun farauto wani babban raƙumi, sai da muka kai ruwa rana da shi kafin muka samu ɗauko shi, da a ce, fitilarmu na da butur, da mun hasko shi) They replied that they had hunted a big camel who had given them quite an ordeal. They lamented that had their touchlight not run out of batteries, they could have lit him up. The camel they referred to was the farmer, and the touchlight was their gun. To be lit up meant to be shot. But the farmer knew their language and overheard their conversation.

He suddenly elbowed the bandit at the back, who tumbled off the motorbike, unconscious. Then he choked the neck of the one driving, who struggled to breathe. The farmer left them both in pain as he fled into the bushes. Eventually, he made it home and told about his terrifying experience. He was immediately rushed to the hospital.

This story teaches us many lessons. One of them is the importance of not just knowing a language but also understanding its use among different classes of people. As the popular African proverb goes, "When the music changes, so does the dance." One must always be aware of the changes in the rhythm to remain in sync with the moves of the dance.


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