She stood by the window sill watching the beautiful scenery outside her room. A river was a bit far from their house. But she can still sight the river. She loves nature; the trees, plants,lush grasses, birds, insects, animals, etc. Birds were flying on the beaitiful blue sky. The water was blue. A fisherman was paddling a canoe. He held a rod in his hand, he threw it inside the river with the intension of catching fish. The riverside was serene only chirping of birds were heard. She was thinking of a way to end their problem. She wanted to help her patents. Her father is a retiree. He live on his pension which is not enough to take care of his family needs. Her mother is a housewife. And she has 4 younger ones. Two are in secondary and the other two are in primary. Her immediate sister is about to write het WAEC and JAMB. Unfortunately, they don't have money to pay for her sister. The rest were sent back home for school fees. And this morning, they managed to drink black tea and stale bread. Another dilemma was her mothet woke up sick, she was having a strong fever and they don't have money to take her to the hospital. She was lying in bed. Mariya had to do the house chores a lone. She has graduated from the University, but she couldn't get a job. She has tried and search so many places but couldn't get any.
"Hmm! what will I do? Where do I start from. Oh ! God help me." Mariya sobbed quietly. Hot tears rolled down her cheeks, she gently wiped them with the backnof her hand and gazed outside the window as if expecting a miracle to happen. Her mind was on the fisherman. This time around, she saw him lift a big fish and kept it in his canoe. She wished they could get the fish and have it as their lunch, because they don't have anything left at home. And the month is not up to middle. Her father has went out to see if he will get something for them to eat as lunch. She turned to leave the window, then stopped. An idea came to her mind. "yes!"she shouted delightly. Food is a good business. People earned a lot of money from it. Then she became sad. "where will I get the money to start the business?" she asked herself quietly. She thought for a while. I know what to do" she said happily. Why didn't this idea come to my mind since?"she asked herself. Her mother's cough interupted her. She quickly rushed to the room to check on her sick mother. Her mother was still lying on the bed coughing when she entered the room.
"Sorry, mother. How are you feeling now?" she asked as she sat down on the bed beside her mother looking worried.
"I'm better now," she responded in a weak voice. "Pls help me sit up, she added"
Mariya help her sat up on the bed. "Is your father back?"
"No, he's not yet back,"Mariya responded.
"What's the time now?"
"12:00pm"replied Mariya, as she checked her "torchlight" phone.
"We don't have anything left in the house to eat. And ypyr younger ones will soon be back from school. What do we do now?" the mother asked looking pensive.
Salam Alaikum," a voice said.
"Father is back," announced Mariya.
Her father came inside the bedroom holding some nylon bag in his hand. Mariya welcomed him and collected the nylon bags from his hands.
"How are you feeling?" he asked his wife showing concern.
"Alhamdulillah" she responded.
"I bought you some traditional medicines. I went to my friends house, Alhaji Sunusi and narrated my ordeal to him. He was so kind to give me ten thousand naira," Mallam Hassan said with a smile.He added, so I bought the traditional medicine and some food stuff at the market"
Mariya's mother Laraba smiled happily.
Mallam Hassan told Mariya to boil the medicine for their mother and cook lunch for them. Mariya responded and took the nylon bags to the kitchen. She was happy too that they have some food stuff. She opened the nylon bags, brought out the herbs, wash and boil them in a clean pot with some water. She fetch some in a cup and took it to her mother. Then she wash and cut tomatoes, bell peppers and onions andrond them in a motor. However, she cut some spinach, wash and strain. Also, peeled some irish potatoes and diced them. After the tidying the kitchen, she lit the stove and started to cook jollof rice with potatoes and spinach. Here is the recipe below.
1 measure rice
2 medium cups diced potatoes
1 medium cup ground tomatoes, bell peppers and onions
1 bunch spinach (sliced)
2 tbsp salt
8 stock cubes
2 tbsp curry
1 tbsp mixed spices
2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
1 cooking spoon oil
Place a pot on the fire. Add the oil, ginger and garlic paste. Fry for a minute. Add the ground tomatoes, bell peppers and onion. Fry for atleast 5 minutes. Pour some water enough to cook the rice and potatoes. Add easonings and spices. Bring to the boil. Wash the rice, strain and pour inside the pot with the potatoes. Cook on medium flame. When the rice and potatoes are almost cooked, wash the spinach and add it in the pot. When cooked. Remove from the fire and serve.
When Mariya finished cooking, she served everyone the food and took her parents own to their room. At this time, her younger ones came back from school. They changed their uniforms to house wears, say their prayers and eat. Before evening, her mother was getting much better. Mariya felt relief.
In the evening, Mariya went to see their neighbour, who own a shop, a container shop. She sells food stuff and provisions. Mariya knew her since when she was young. They have been living in that area for many years. Before the woman called Mama Talatu sell provisions on a table but now she has moved on. She owned a shop. She has been Laraba's good friend. That's Mariya's mother. On reaching the shop, Mariya saw her sitting down writing something in a book. On seeing Mariya, she smiled and welcomed her. Mariya greeted her and sat down on a wooden stool.
"How is your mother?" she asked.
"She is sick. She wole up with a fever. But she is getting better now."
"Subhanallah! I wish her quick recovery. I will come and greet her later in the day." Mama Talatu said showing concern.
"What do you want to buy?"she asked Mariya.
"I--I'm not here to buy something. I need your help. Mariya then narrated her ordeal to Mama Talatu. Who listened attentively. Then she sighed and looked at Mariya with concern and asked her,"How may I help you?"
"I want you to borrow me 1000 naira please. I want to start selling doughnuts. I want to use the money to buy the ingredients I need. When I sell my doughnuts, I will bring your money back In Sha Allah. I want to help my family. I hate seeing them suffering, I want to bring the end of our problems and I pray it will be the beginning of my success In Sha Allah."explained Mariya.
"Mama Talatu smiled and patted Mariya at the shoulder and said,"I'm very impressed Mariya. I always admire a person like you who care so much about your parents and have the zeal in helping them. It is people like you that God bless your lives and help you because of your good intensions. You have come to the right place, I will help you." She opened her purse and brought out 1000 naira note and gave Mariya who delightedly collected it and thanked her a lot.
"Is 1000 naira enough for you?"she asked.
"Yes, it will be enough. Thank you so much. I really appreciate this. I will never forget this,"said Mariya happily.Oh! I have forgotten. You sell everything I need."
Oh! That's true"
Mariya told her what she want and Mama Talatu gave her. Then she returned Mama Talatu her money.She went back home happily with the intension of starting the business the following day. She told her mother about it. At first her mother wanted to scold her because she collected loan from het friend. But she thought about it. She encouraged her daughter to go ahead with it.
The following morning, Mariya woke up early to make her doughnuts. Before 7:30am, she has finished frying the doughnuts. She put it in a white transparent bucket and took it to her neighbours. Who bought it for their children who were going to school. Mariya went round the neighbourhood, she was lucky to sell all her doughnuts. She got 2,500 naira. She came back home happily and showed her parents the money. They were also happy and prayed to God to bless her business. Without waste of time, she went to Mama Talatu's shop and gave her her 1000 naira.
"So fast?"Mama Talatu said as she collected the money.
Mariya told her how lucky she was to sell all her doughnuts. "Alhamdulillah! I'm happy for you. This is just the beginning, more success is coming your way In Sha Allah" Mama Talatu said with a smile.
Mariya thanked her and bought more of the doughnut ingredients.
The following morning, Mariya made doughnuts 50 pieces and took it to the neighbours house again. And luckily for her the same thing happened, she sold all her doughnuts. Some of her neighbours wanted more, but it has finished. Everyone enjoyed her doughnuts, they said it is soft and delicious. Mariya was so happy and tears of happiness roll down her cheeks on her way back home. She thanked Almighty Allah happily.
This time around she bought double of the ingredients and bought some foodstuff for her family. Her parents were proud of her and prayed for her.
The next morning, she made 120 pieces. Gave 20 pieces to her family. They ate the doughnuts with tea as breakfast. They all enjoyed it and praised her.
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