Bashir Mohammed rolled the tuwo with the tip of his fingers and dipped it into the bowl of egusi soup before throwing it into his mouth.
In his three years and seven odd months in Nigeria, tuwo and egusi had become one of his preferred meals. Tuwo was made with finely ground corn flour and turned solid with the mixture of hot water and a little professional stirring. It wasn't as easy to make as it looked, any mistake and the meal was left with inedible lumps - something Bashir had learned the hard way. The Egusi soup was made with melon seeds, cray fish, palm oil and a lot of other things one didn't easily find on grocery shelves in the United States.
Musa watched as Bashir swallowed what was left of his meal and smiled. He was pleased at how Bashir had easily fallen in love with the local delicacy. He was more pleased at how Bashir had easily adapted to the Nigerian - Islamic way of life. So pleased that today he was going to introduce Bashir to some important Islamic fundamentalists, people he told Bashir would change the face of Nigeria and eventually the world. Bashir couldn't have been more excited.
Bashir Mohammed was born Emmanuel Einstein Lite in Michigan, Detroit to an African American father who worked in a factory and a Caucasian mother who taught grade school.
When he was seven, his father after winning a small price in an office raffle draw became a gambler with probably the unluckiest streak in human history. It started with small bets here and there and eventually, gambling cost him his job, two fingers, his house, his family, his left leg and then his life all within six months.
Emmanuel's mother moved in with her parents. Her dad was a racist who could barely tolerate his grandson and her mom was a recovering alcoholic with no opinion of her own. Her dad believed blacks were good for nothing leeches who eventually died of a drug overdose or a gunshot wound.
By the time he was 15, Emmanuel could speak French and Spanish fluently and at 20, he graduated from Grand Valley State University, Allendale where he majored in International Relations. He never indulged in drugs, owned a gun or got shot by one.
After college, he started a Masters in International and Global Affairs in The John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University but dropped out five months into the course to travel to Nigeria to read a Masters in Hausa Language and Islam History in the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.
Emmanuel was one of numerous Americans that had suddenly taken an interest in Hausa Language and Islam history and that year was joined by five other Americans in the University. Unlike the other five Americans who had come in to read Hausa and Islamic History, Emmanuel was the only one who chose the stay behind once the course was over.
In the process of the course, he had learned to speak Hausa fluently and had grown a beard that completely covered his jowls. As Emmanuel E. Lite, he was a handsome clean shaven athletic built man. He had deep piercing brown eyes and a slightly pointed nose. He had black silky hair and full brows. As Bashir Mohammed, all his fine features seemed to disappear. His full beard gave him a menacing, radical Islamic look. Something that completely pleased Musa.
Once they were done with the meal, Aishat, Musa's oldest daughter walked over and cleared the space they had eaten. Bashir regarded Aishat like he always did. She was draped in a long black gown that reached her feet, referred to as a burka and completely covered her face, revealing nothing but her eyes, he thought she looked like a black ninja.
Bashir found himself curious about the young girl. She had beautiful eyes and from the little that the black gown revealed, he assumed she had flawless skin and a great figure.
Hafsat, Musa's second child walked into the room also clad in a burka but Bashir was not curious about her, not since he saw what she looked like. She had been washing dishes in the kitchen where she was allowed to remove all veils but no man was allowed to enter and Bashir claimed to have lost his way trying to find the bathroom.
She was smaller than her older sister but had her eyes. She was beautiful so Bashir assumed the older one was also beautiful.
Musa had three daughters, Aishat, the oldest had just turned twenty-two, she had also just graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where she majored in History and was betrothed to be married to Alhaji Waziri a fifty-five-year-old millionaire textile merchant as his third wife.
Aishat was initially meant to be his second wife and they were supposed to have been married years earlier but she had insisted on going to and finishing University, in the process, Alhaji Waziri had met and married his second wife. This did not change anything; she was still going to marry the Alhaji in four months.
Her sisters were both in school, also betrothed to different men, Musa had agreed that they'd all finish school before they were married off.
The girls stayed home always. They had their special corner where they ate, prayed, watched American movies and read American books. Only men in the family were allowed into that corner. Bashir had also wandered into the corner once claiming to be looking for ablution water. Only the youngest of the girls was in the corner at the time. She was wearing a light blouse, a long skirt, and reading a Harry Potter novel. Bashir had hoped he would meet Aishat or even see a picture where she wasn't all wrapped up.
Musa Bako was a professor at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University. He was in his mid-fifties and was a staunch advocate for the implementation of Sharia law in northern Nigeria. Bashir had met him shortly after he had enrolled in the University and had approached him about converting to Islam. Musa had mentored him and had become a father figure. He often joked that if he had another daughter, he would have betrothed her to Bashir.
Once it was time for the Asr prayers, both men walked to a nearby mosque, performed their ablution and joined about thirty-five men as they bowed, rose and lifted their hands in worship to Allah.
After the fourth raka'ah and a brief sit down session, most of the men left the mosque. Musa, Bashir and another six men stayed behind. Once it was just the eight of them, Musa led the recitation of a suraa. After the suraa, he spoke, in Hausa. "Brothers, today we have a new member with us."
Bashir assumed now that these were the fundamentalists Musa had promised to introduce him to. Six scrawny old men who didn't seem capable of much.
"Is he the American you spoke to us about?" One of the men asked.
Musa nodded. The men smiled as they took turns to shake Bashir's hand and welcome him.
"So does he speak any Hausa?" Another asked.
"Yes," Bashir answered in Hausa. "In fact I'm fluent enough to woo your daughters." His Hausa accent was almost perfect.
The men laughed and clapped.
The meeting began.
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Dan Abubakar started writing at the age of nine and for years writing remained
just a hobby. After University and working in the I.T industry as a
Web Developer/Consultant for almost ten years, Dan decided to give writing a real
chance. His debut novel is the political thriller The Galadima Conspiracy.
When not writing, Dan is an avid reader, a movie buff and sometimes a music enthusiast. His favorite movies include The Usual Suspects, Con Air, L.A Confidential, The Shawshank Redemption, 50 First Dates, Inception, The Dark Knight and Casino Royale.
Dan's influences include Sidney Sheldon, James Patterson, Vince Flynn, Dean Koontz and Lee Child. More recently, writers like Rachel Abbott and Simon Wood have also inspired him.
Dan loves thrillers and mysteries but is open to all genres.He is currently working on his second and third books simultaneously. They are Hersassin and Yahooligans.