It is said that a Fulani man will rather part with his son than part with his cattle. This I have heard on several occasions, but its validity was not clear to me until I had a personal experience I would like to talk about now.
During my Farm Practical Year programme in Iwoye-Ketu, Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State, a yoruba town that has a high percentage of Fulani cattle rearers; I was working alone on the fruit vegetable plot allocated to my group. The plot was located close to a swampy land that holds water whenever it rains, thereby turning the swampy land into a temporary lake. The water in this temporary lake served as irrigation water for our farm and as a source of water to nomadic cattle.
On this faithful day, I stayed longer on the farm to ensure that I completed the preparation of land for the planting of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and fluted Pumpkin (Telfaira occidentalis). While I was busy with my work, a herd of cattle came over to this temporary lake to drink water. The cattle were of large number that I could not count and they were of different sizes.
To my surprise, I saw the fulani man leading the cattle giving water to the fattest cattle of the herd. He would fill a eva bottle with water and put it in the mouth of the fattest cattle. He repeated this for about ten times. He was so passionate doing it.
After the cattle had drank to satisfaction, something that I would never had believed if anybody had told me happened. It was just like a dream, I was unbelievable but ‘oju koro ki n pa oju koro je’ (what you see with your eyes can never be a lie/false). This Fulani man filled the same bottle he had used for the cattle with the dirty water, put it in his own mouth and drank from it. He later resumed giving water to this cattle.
When I saw this, I was highly irritated, I could not fathom what I saw. Then I started worrying, ‘how will I tell people about this?’, ‘will they ever believe?’. I would not have believed if I was told too.
The following day when all other student were on the farm, the Fulani man and his herd of cattle came again and what I had seen the previous day was repeated. Swiftly, I called the attention of everyone to it which made some people surprised, some were not moved while some paid no attention.
I have learnt some things from animals this days that I had to sit back and ask myself, ‘if animals are the human of our world and human the animals, what would we have and how would our world be?’. I learnt a great lesson from my personal experience which I penned in one of my articles: ‘THE CARING DUCK’ (Read: https://mattydammy.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/the-caring-duck/).
The relationship between the cattle and any Fulani man is a bond that is glued by a strong adhesive.
Treat the animals right
Show love to the animals
We all own the world together.
We are inter-related.
SHOBANDE, Matthew Damilola