Musa the madman was more popular than the governor of the state. The story of his madness has been peddled like cheap china from house to house, street to street.
Some people believed that Musa’s madness started when he was a student at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria.
According to them, Musa was a very bright young man who, in his first year, was already solving math problems for the students who had preceded him in his department, the Department of Mathematics. His brilliance, they said, shone like a million stars, so much so that even professors in his department consulted him on mathematical problems they could not solve, which earned him the nickname “Professor Musa Emeritus.” .
Musa’s fame therefore traveled all over campus, so many other students from other departments like civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and physics brought him all kinds of mathematical equations for him to solve. It didn’t take long for the University Senate to notice it. In his second year, the Senate sat and decided that since Musa was very bright and already taught professors, the university should award him a first class degree without fulfilling the mandatory requirement of passing four years of studying – but only on condition that he solved a mathematical problem that university professors, dead or alive, had never been able to solve.
When given the equation, Musa set out to solve it with a military dispatch. For days he stayed in his room trying to solve the equation. Word spread around campus that “Professor Musa Emeritus” was trying to solve a mathematical equation that no professor dead or alive had been able to unravel. Many students watched outside his room; some have set up tents in front of his hostel. No one wanted to miss the historic moment when Musa announced to school officials and the world that he had found an answer to their question. Campus entrepreneurs made successful business from the event: they printed Musa’s face on t-shirts and caps, and sold the merchandise to students. Holding their breath, they all waited for Musa to come out of his room with the answer.
After forty days and forty nights, Musa came out. He stared at the mass of people in front of him for a moment, then burst into hysterical laughter. The crowd cheered, believing Musa’s laughter was an indication of his success in solving the mathematical equation.
âLong live Professor Musa Emeritus! Some came from the crowd. Musa’s next move took the crowd by surprise. He took off his clothes until he was completely naked and started screaming, âYou can’t have me! You can’t have me! I’m like Mandela, triumphant over Robben Island. Yes, I am Chaka the Zulu, with many vassal states under my rule. I am Mai Idris Alooma, visionary leader of the Kanem-Bornu Empire. I am Jaja d’Opobo, resistant to colonialism. I reign like Mansa Musa of the Empire of Mali in splendor and wealth. Yes, I am a mighty African warrior, you cannot have me! ”
It took a while for the crowd to realize that Musa had gone mad. The pandemonium erupted, school security officers were alerted, and he flew to the school’s teaching hospital, where medics certified him insane. The general opinion was that the mathematical problem drove Musa around the turn.
Another story goes that before going insane, Musa was a high security man for the late dictator of my country who died of food poisoning after eating an exotic fruit from the East. Musa did despicable acts for the late dictator. The late dictator loved him for his bravery and loyalty. In no time at all he became the envy of his colleagues and they agreed to deal with him.
Musa’s Story is a fictional tale and excerpt from my book Once Upon A Monday available on Amazon. Please allow me to use this week to “sell the market” to borrow a phrase from my brothers in Alaba. In the meantime, if you want to read the full story, you know what to do buddy!