I schooled in the north, lived there for more than 6 years, among the most kind-hearted people in the world…Muslims precisely…believe me, are kind!!!!

You go to the market to buy NGN100 fresh tomatoes, the jara that they add ehh, just because I managed to say inakwana (good morning in hausa)…is more than the tomato you even bought!! You take a motorcycle (achaba), and if he doesn’t have change, he smiles and allows you go with your money after saying “Allah ba de sa” Pardon me, but most of you can attest to the fact that they are very hospitable.

Sometimes in the past, when I had to pick up my NYSC call-up letter in school, I travelled to Yola and there was an 8:00am curfew I was not aware of, so I had to stay over in Jalingo because I arrived at Taraba State by 8:30pm, which is still 2hours away from Yola.

I was lost, alone in a strange city; I didn’t know anybody in the bus. When we alighted to look for accommodation, I was confused, the whole place was deserted.

 A YOUNG MUSLIM WOMAN, who I never spoke to in the bus all through the journey, who could barely construct a sentence in English, told me “follow me”. It was almost as if they jazzed me. I entered a keke with her and her little baby. Along the way, she stopped and bought suya, apples and drinks, which I innocently thought they were for her family at home…not knowing they were for me.

My mom was scared the whole night, she kept calling every second. This woman took me home, fed me, her family slept on the floor; they tidied the bed for me to sleep on. They put water in a bucket in the bathroom for me to freshen up.

In the morning, before I woke up, they had boiled hot water with firewood for my bath, prepared noodles (which I don’t eat)…and when she saw I didn’t like noodles; she rushed to prepare rice for me. My host even unpacked my bag, refolded my clothes and hid a gift under my clothes for me, and to crown it, she paid my fare to the park!!! Can u beat such kindness??? I was shocked!!! My mom kept calling her to say thanks.

Religion should never be a barrier. We should love with our heart and show kindness from the deepest part of your heart. I have a lot of Muslim friends and senior colleagues.

Andikan Inyang
As a Chemical Engineering graduate, former Immigration Officer and present day banker.....and most importantly, a foodie, I hide behind my pen.......therein lies my strength. I hope to pursue a career in writing and explore the world of poetry. So help me God.