Tribute to My Dear Uncle (Balarabe Musa Kallah) – Fahad Garba Aliyu
“Every soul shall have taste of death; In the end to us shall ye be brought back” (29:57)
Do you have a day in your life that you would like to erase from your memory? I do – May 23rd May was the day I long to forget. I lost my dearest Uncle that day, who was very special to me and all our family members. He was such a great human being – so strong, bold, jovial, a rare larger-than-life kind of character – a pillar that supported our whole family! Such a huge loss has definitely created a vacuum, one that suffocates me every time I think of him. We remember him daily and pray to Almighty Allah to have mercy on his soul and to reward him with the highest of Jannahs .
I received the phone call that I wished I never did, my cousin called to tell me that he had an accident on his way to Abuja and that people are saying that he has passed away. I didn’t believe it at first, I thought it was just a bad dream that I will wake up from it and all will be well. Life will go back to how it was, but that wasn’t the case. I finally came to agree that he isn’t coming back when I heard siren of the ambulance that brought his body to Kano a day after, that was when everything sunk it, that was when I saw my dad crying for the first time. I saw people that aren’t his family by blood crying because they have lost someone that’s part of their family by love. They have lost a man that they can always count on for advice and guidance.
His real name is Auwalu Musa Kallah but he is known as Balarabe Musa Kallah. He was born on 22nd September 1976 to Musa Kalah and Rahama. He attended Gandun Albasa Special Primary School from 1981 to 1987; from there he proceeded to Government Secondary School Sharada from 1988 to 1993 where he did his secondary school. He obtained his bachelors from Bayero University Kano in 2000 where he studied Geography. He has two master’s degree both from Bayero University, one in Land Resource Development and the other Masters in Business Administration.
He loves community work from a young age which is why he formed, headed and participated in a number of NGOs. He was the president of National Association of Geography Students Bayero University from 1999-200, he was the Chairman and Founder of Kumbotso Local Government Students Association. He served as the Financial Secretary of National Youth Caucus Kano State Chapter from 2001-2006. He is a Co-Founder of National Association of Kano State Students (NAKSS National Body). He served as Acting Chairman of Northern Youth Congress from 2000 to 2001. He is a Member of Youth Consultative Forum Kano. He was the Acting Secretary General of Women Trafficking & Child Labor Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) Kano State Chapter from 2004 to 2006. He was also the Secretary General of Tudun Maliki Youth Advancement from 2006 until he passed away in 2011. He was a Member Youth Partnership for MDGs from 2004 till his death in 2011.
We as a family found out lots of good things he was doing when alive that we didn’t know until he passed away. He goes and donates blood monthly at the hospital, he went to surrounding private school in his community to negotiate and plead with them on the need to help the community the schools agree to give scholarship to two less privilege students each and he took the responsibility of paying for their books, uniforms and any other expense. He does that by sponsoring the students he can and getting people willing to sponsor some students to pay.
He was special to me as he was the third person I go to always for advice after my parents. The last time I saw him was when I was chosen to be part of our then Governor-elect’s ICT transition committee. Went to show him my appointment letter and to get advice from him but had to leave early because he was busy and too many people where waiting for him, told him I will come back. That was the last time I saw this remarkable human being that am also fortunate to call an uncle. He left a vacuum that’s yet to be filled and cannot be filled by anyone in our family. He is someone that everybody loved, and if you hate him you definitely haven’t meet him. My mum and grandma both get emotional every time we talk about him so I try not to engage them in any conversation about him for more than few minutes. Losing a loved one is hard, we love him but Allah loves him more. He left a wife (Rahima) and three wonderful children (Sultan, Ihsan and Mahmud). We find comfort in verses of the Holy Quran.
Be sure We shall test you with something of fear, and hunger, some loss in goods, or lives, or the fruits (of your toil); but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. (2:155)
On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. (2-286)
He (Allah) created death and life that He may test you, to see which of you is the best in deeds. (67:2)
May Allah in His infinite mercy grant him rest, may his grave be a part of Jannatul Firdaus and an abode of light. May Allah make him pass successfully in all the stages of the life after death. May Allah have mercy on the souls of innocent Nigerians we have lost over the past few years to terror attacks and May Allah return our Chibok sisters that were kidnapped over a month ago safe and sound. Amin.
Fahad Garba Aliyu
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