Mar 17, 2009


Most people believe Hellen D.B. Zang, the widow of the late Wazirin Jos, Dalo Da D.B. Zang is one foreigner the man met somewhere abroad during one of his business or leisure trips. The News Tower Magazine had the privilege of hearing from the beautiful mother of five exactly who she is. She was born in Foron of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area. Her father was a mining engineer from England and worked with the Foron Extended arm of the Bisichi Mines. Her mum was a Shua Arab from Borno State. Beromland has never been strange to her. She is hence, a Nigerian to the marrow.

The fellowship of mining workers was the link that sparked off friendship between her father and the most prominent Berom man. At the time she met D.B. Zang for the first time, she was about five. They never met until after a long period of about fifteen years when she was already a woman. Her memory of that meeting is still fresh in her mind. It was on a Good Friday at the Standard Bank now First Bank. Her family had just returned from England and Da D.B. Zang was aware of that. The family companionship continued and two years later he proposed marriage to her. That was it.

Mama Hellen was partly a pupil of St. Lukes Primary School Jos and St. Lois Primary School Shendam where they were transferred to and which was known as the Lowlands at the time. From there she went to St. Lois College Bompai, Kano. A few days after the completion her West African School Certificate Examination in 1967, she became Mrs. D.B. Zang.

She comes from an enviable family background and birds of the same kind must inevitably belong to the same colony. The conversation that lasted for about twenty five minutes painted a photo of a woman who considers herself to have married a man who was, in the actual sense, a true salt of the earth. When her husband eventually lost the battle against cancer his body was placed at the morgue and it was time to go home and break the sad news to relatives and friends, her son James Kim who came to pick her thanked her for her patience for staying by his bedside throughout the almost two years period of the man’s battle against the ailment. For a moment she understood that Kim was still ignorant of the fact that it is a duty every loving wife owes her husband and which she is supposed to carry out with pride. In her own case she also considers herself lucky to have been by the sick bed of one of the most dignified, honoured and revered human beings. She never complained or showed any sign of weariness throughout the period.

Madam says that so much have been written about the virtuous qualities of her spouse since he passed on but that such commentaries have not been over flagged and will never be. She believes that such human beings are rare and that certain people may replicate aspects of his nobility but that it will be difficult to find one person who combines all these qualities. People come to her and stress the need for at least one of his children to live his kind of extra-ordinary life but she knows it will not be possible as she believes her husband was some sort of angel sent to help the needy. It is the reason why, she believes he lived to be an octogenarian so as to enable him to fully accomplish his primary mission on earth.

People still find if difficult to come to terms with the reality of his transition. Whenever they have problems they still come to the house and walk to the base of the stairs. Then suddenly they will stop as if struck by something. After sometime they will walk up the stairs and into the sitting room and burst into tears. Such expression of profound love according to mama goes to show that the pain of his absence transcends the borders of his family but the immediate community and the nation he worked to serve in his capacity as an individual. Her husband helped the indigent even on his sick bed in England through phone calls and as such they had every reason to reason to feel so sad about his sudden departure.

Mrs. Zang also talked about one of the most exclusive qualities of her late husband, the fact that he was a man with amazing meekness. Throughout more than forty years of her marriage she had never seen a furious Dalo. Rather he will be the one to apologize to his offender. This was a mark of his humility despite his towering status. He was a man of un-parallel level-headedness who was able to handle his wealth refusing to let the wealth to handle him. “We were blessed and could have built one of the most glamorous castles in the heart of the city and move in but he chose to remain in his ancestral home in Gyel Jos South throughout his life”, she says.

Madam also corroborated the image of a detribalized Nigerian with which he was held among the Muslims despite his Christian religious background. For many years her husband bought traditional Hausa attires, which he shared to his Moslem friends during the Sallah festivals. He often bought as much as thirty to forty with matching Zanna Bukar caps ordered from Borno State. He was a man who walked passed religious barriers with unsurpassed as though they never existed.

Thus Dalo D.B. Zang was an epitome of the awesomeness of God Almighty and madam counts herself lucky to have spent her life with him as a husband. Hence she played her role of a wife without compromise. Ever since she married him she never let him step into the market for the sake of buying something for himself even once. It was her responsibility to go to the market, buy the fabrics and sent for the tailors and she lived up to it.

His epitaph should have read, “D.B .Zang (1927-2008): the man who came to this world and lived for others”. Extra-ordinary men like her husband are rarely born into this world. Women who spend their life times with such men are among the luckiest. The possession of a rare gem inevitably makes you unique. This is apparently the message of Mama Hellen D.B. Zang.

Baba Paul Gindiri, Gofo Gunen (1935-1996)

Paul Gindiri. Source: ECWA Gist Nation Wide Paul Gindiri, as he was popularly known in northern Nigeria, was a confrontational prea...