By: Inuwa Bwala
Sixteen years ago: precisely Wednesday 18th April, 2007 remains a sad day for me snd indeed many of his disciples.
Every anniversary of that day gives us cause to reminiscence. For me, everytime I think some events will make me overcome the nostalgia, every year brings back fresh memories of Mala Kachallah.
Not even having passed through many other hands, could erase the pains, as every encounter reminds me of a vacuum. With every passing year, the calls are getting fewer, from people who still remember him.
I am not surprised that so many people, who hitherto adore him, seldom remember him today, given the existential challenges everyone seems to be facing. But I am afraid that our quest for survival may swallow with it the history of our heroes who are not physically with us today.
Just as the grasses of time seem to overgrow our senses of remembrance, so is the cemetery getting congested, with so many tombs threatening to swallow my hero’s.
For two years now, I have not been to the Gwange cemetery for the usual homage, but that has not beclouded my fidelity for the man, whose real value, many people did not appreciate untill he was gone.
I woke up at 4:02 this morning and the first thought was for me to scribble a few lines, that will serve as a reminder to his disciples that seem to have dispersed, and as a wake up call that, Mala Kachallah should still be very much around in our minds, sixteen years after he closed his eyes in slumber.
Every time I recall my days with the sage, the thought of a few people come to my mind. Some are still around, while others have joined the world beyond.
Every time I think of Mala Kachallah some people readily come to mind: People like Ali Abubakar Jatau, Dr Shettima Mustapha, Alhaji Ashemi, Mala Alamai, Baba Dunoma, Maina Tar. Fati Kakeena, Bashir Dungus. Iliya Stephen, Halima Rabassa, Mohammed Monguno, Kolo Warne, Alibe Konduga, Abba Habib, Modu Ngobama, Kabiru and many more, are some of those I often recall having been with Kachallah.
Even if Mala Kachallah were to be physically around today, it is quite possible that he may not be in the right physical frame to do much, but his presence alone could have served as a reference point in political leadership.
He may not be able to hold court but he could have been the oracle around whom good students of leadership could converge.
Mala Kachallah may not be strong enough to make powerful public speeches, or visit others, but his elderly counsels, his calm and candour, could have been a take away for everyone that visit.
As for me, I still relish the rich tutelage and his fatherly guide. Some the things he used to tell me have tended to shape and reshape my outlook in life and forever I remain indebted to him even in death.