300 years old, Baobab tree that lives among the dead in Kano
By Abdulgafar Oladimeji
Adansonia digitata, the African baobab, is the most widespread tree species of the genus Adansonia, the baobabs, and is native to the African continent.
The long-lived pachycauls are typically found in dry, hot savannas of sub-Saharan Africa, where they dominate the landscape, and reveal the presence of a water course from afar.
Their growth rate is determined by ground water or rainfall and their maximum age, which is subject to much conjecture, seems to be in the order of 1,500 years.
They have traditionally been valued as sources of food, water, health remedies or places of shelter and are steeped in legend and superstition.
Known in local parlance as Kuka, it is famous with Hausa adages and idioms,. It lives well across northern Nigeria, it has rich historical, herbal and cultural relationship with the people of Kano.
Investigations have unveiled the existence of a Baobab tree that has existed for three centuries , standing alive inside a graveyard located in the heart of Ningawa village in Madobi local government, Kano state.
Ibrahim Danmalomalo is a fisherman, traditional healer and sarkin magani( king of herbalists) narrating the history of the tree said “ the tree you are seeing has a physical, spiritual and cultural history with the people of our village.”
“our great grand parents have a relationship with this tree, stories from generation to generation have told to us about how the tree lived with our great grand parents, about how they use to assemble under the tree, for communal meetings and social interactions , in their days.
“ it later became the final resting place of our grandparents.
“ till today, the tree is standing inside the grace yard ground, where our great grand parents were buried, also we all know that Kuka tree serves so many purposes, till today after over 280 years, this tree still lives with us and serves as source of food, even schoolchildren , on their way back from school, stop to pick and savor the fruit.
“almost three hundred years history , we have with this three and we also pass its story to our children, for them to pass it to their children , the story continues and the chain remains, this tree has a long and mysterious history with our community.”