Shaihu Umar, By Alhaji Balewe

Decent Essays

Shaihu Umar, a novel written by Alhaji Balewe. The introduction of the story captivated my attention as it starts off with a student of Shaihu Umar asking questions about Shaihu Umar. That is how Shaihu Umar starts to talk about his life story. Most of the stories revolves around Shaihu’s childhood. Shaihu had traveled from the town he was born to Egypt. During all the time, he met with many misfortunes. He was first kidnapped by a man, leading to the separation from his mother. Then, he was snatched by the head slaves, and lastly became a son of Arabs. All of them are nice to him, even when he was a slave. Many people regard slavery as evil because of how the slave owners treat the slaves. However, most slave owners in this book are portrayed as kind, except the owners and Cadi whom appeared at the end of Umar’s mother’s story. Alhaji did not clearly depicts the institution of slavery in this book. But according to my reading, I realize that slaves could be any one who was raided by the raiders. They could be pagans, famers or anybody who the raiders snatch. When raiders return from a raid, they will gain cattle and slave. But the Chief of the country will take partial slaves from them, “Thus if a man were to capture three slaves, the Chief would take two of them, and he would be allowed to keep one” (22). Slaves ultimately still belong to Chief as raiders could only keep some of them for themselves. What would Chief do with all the slaves he had then? Chief will send

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