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A taste of starvation in Northern Nigeria


A taste of starvation in Northern Nigeria

About this time an almost dramatic feature of this particular adventure opened itself out.
Mohammed Karaiye, one of our drivers and a man well experienced in the country, halted by me and, shading his eyes, looked away over the rolling tree-tops to the south­ward. The prospect was one of ridge upon ridge, their lower slopes laden with trees and their shoulders bare.
Away at the south-west corner was what appeared to be a small knuckle of black rock.
Presently it caught Mohammed’s eye.
“ Aie ! Legita ! gashi ! “ (see it) he said to me, and he caught in his breath. “ Dushim Bogoi ! “
“Well?” I said, tentatively.
“ That rock, Dushim Bogoi, is many days’ journey from here “ (it was seventy-five miles, as a matter of fact). “ It is a rock of great size and it lies over the road that— if, Insa Alla, we get so far — we must pass.
Well, if we find enough food to take us to that rock, beyond it there is food in abun­dance. If Sariki-n-Soudan does not kill us before we get there he will not kill us at all. Wuri-n-Samami ya kari Bogoi “ (the coun­try he is raiding finishes at Bogoi).
We descended the ridge, and Dushim Bogoi was lost to our sight ; but during the week that elapsed before we saw it again that knuckle of rock began to be looked upon as a tower of hope, and “ When we get past Bogoi “ became a kind of term for happiness be­yond other expression.
[Some account of the march in 1895 of the Hausa Association’s Expedition across the Gwari Territory, while it was being raided for slaves by the King of Kwantagora, com­monly known as the King of the Soudan. This potentate has been, within the last few months, subdued by the British West Afri­can forces, and his capital taken as a punish­ment for gross misuse of power. This narra­tive deserves special attention as a faithful picture of West African travel.]
T. J. Tonkin (Late Medical Officer and Naturalist to the Hausa Association’s Cen­tral Sudan Expedition)
Wide World Magazine
November 1901 - April 1902

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