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Tribute to my grandmother Hajiya Anti (Antin Kaka), by Abubakar Hassan Gimba


Tribute to my grandmother Hajiya Anti (Antin Kaka), by Abubakar Hassan Gimba

My grandmother, Hajiya Anti (Antin Kaka), passed away in the early hours of January 8th, 2024, right before my eyes. Losing my mother in 2017 did not affect me as profoundly as Anti’s death did. Witnessing someone passing away firsthand is an experience I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.

Hajiya Anti became a mother to us after my mom passed away, she became our greatest supporter, cheerleader and I’ll never forget how that felt.

Hajiya Anti had been battling respiratory issues in the latter stages of her life. The attack that occurred around 4 am was the third one she had suffered in December alone, likely exacerbated by the cold weather in Potiskum and the foggy conditions in the town. This was also the reason why my father couldn’t attend his brother’s wedding, and why I found myself in Potiskum in the first place.

When we awoke to her wheezing during the third attack, we immediately retrieved her inhaler. However, it failed to stabilise her breathing. We then attempted to use the nebulizer my father had sent after her second attack, but unfortunately, we couldn’t get it to work. As her condition worsened, she began calling out the names of people who owed her money.

We contacted our uncle, Dr Mamman, the Shamaki of Fika, who usually administered Aminophylline injections to stabilize her. However, his car was out of commission. Despite his promise to find transportation, we realised we needed to act swiftly. I reached out to my aunt, Hasiya, to see if she could arrange transportation or send assistance to take Anti to the hospital. Additionally, I tried contacting my brother, Barrister Gimba, who was not at home that night.

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As Anti’s condition deteriorated, Zaharaddin began administering CPR. I urgently contacted my uncle Dr. Mamman again to inform him that she had lost consciousness. Determined to reach us quickly, he borrowed his son’s bicycle and made his way to our house. It was then that we realised our neighbor, Alhaji Umaru, was home. My uncle Ibrahim called him, and he promptly offered his car to transport Anti to the hospital.

We rushed Anti to Potiskum Medical Center, which was only a couple of minutes away. However, upon arrival, we were dismayed to find that there was no doctor present, nor were there any medications or equipment available to help revive her. Shortly after, my aunt Hasiya, her husband, and her son Al-amin arrived at the hospital. They found Dr. Mamman on his bicycle and brought him to Anti’s side. Meanwhile, my father had contacted his sister, Aunt Indo, for additional support.

Realising the severity of the situation, we swiftly transferred Anti to Potiskum General Hospital. However, upon arrival, she was pronounced dead.

It’s a stark reminder that when one’s time comes, it truly comes. From having multiple cars readily available at home to having none that morning, and then facing the unpreparedness of the medical centre, it’s evident that fate had its own plan.

It has been 40 days, and I hope you are finally resting in peace, Anti.

Abubakar Hassan Gimba is one of Hajiya Hafsat’s grandsons.

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