Interview With Sallah Ram: “I Am Someone’s Child Too”

July 16, 2021

Interview With… is a Zikoko weekly series that explores the weird and interesting lives of inanimate objects and non-human entities.


During Sallah period, people are more concerned about the meat they will eat than the life of the actual animal. Today on Interview With, we decided to give a voice to the Sallah Ram community so we can understand things from their own perspective.

What’s it like being a Sallah ram? What goes through their minds as the big day approaches? This interview is an eye-opener.

Zikoko: Hello, it’s good to have you here.

Sallah Ram: Mehhh.

Ehn?

Thank you, thank you. As you have listened to me, may people listen to you too.

Er… Is that a prayer?

It’s a blessing. At this point, you should not disregard my words. If the words of a dying man are valuable, can you imagine how powerful the words of a dying Sallah ram will be?

Oh wow. You sound so cool about it.

What else do you want me to do? Should I get up and fight my owners? If my destiny is to end up inside a pot of stew or to become asun, let me just collect it and go. There is no point trying to change it.

Besides, recent events have shown that cows are more likely to end up in higher positions of power while rams remain forgotten, only to be brought out during Sallah.

Who put cows in positions of power?

If you are still asking me that question at this stage of your life, then something is wrong with you.

No, I was just

Oh, so you want to say you did not hear that the government is planning to create a database for cows? 

Wait a minute, I’ll be sharing NIN with cow?

Oho. The database will include information about who owns them, where they come from, what type of cows they are, etc.

Imagine hearing that kind of news when you are putting your life in order because the only news you are preparing for is what date Sallah falls on. That kind of thing will break your heart, I tell you. It’s like a confirmation that you are not rated at all. I mean, I know you only want me for Sallah and you want cows every other day. But can you not make it so obvious? I am trying to write my will before Sallah so I can know who will inherit my bed.

Ehya.

The whole thing is annoying. No animal is greater than the other, that’s what I believe. But recent events have shown me and my homegirls that cows are definitely greater than all of we rams.

Why were we not invited to Anambra this weekend, for instance? And yet cows got invitations.

What’s going on in Anambra this weekend?

Ah, it’s a whole party oh. Let me gist you. Obi Cubana’s mother died and—

Wait, wait, who is Obi Cubana?

Just focus on the gist. 

Okay, okay.

Ehen, so Obi Cubana’s mother died and they are doing the burial in Anambra. When we heard, we started preparing na, as per they will come and pick us to grace the occasion. Some of us were even happy that we would at least see Anambra before we die. The bus came oh, and we already lined up to enter. They just ignored us and started putting cows inside. Up to 246 cows, and no single ram. 

Not even one! We had to hide our heads in shame. If that is not partial treatment, then I don’t know what to call it. Anyway, we are back to focusing on Sallah. 

Wow. That’s a lot.

I tell you.

Can I ask you something personal?

Yes na.

What goes through your mind when you are about to be killed?

MY BROTHER, IT IS PLENTY! 

See, this is something I did not mention earlier. Life as a ram means that all I do with my life is based around Sallah. If I decide to fall in love, I do it bearing in mind that when Sallah comes, that romance will end in tears. This is why it’s better to not have emotional attachments. Just bump genitals and keep it moving.

Life advice from a Sallah Ram?

Take it or leave it.

Some readers would appreciate it. 

If I decide to bear children too, I know I’ll have to say goodbye to them by Sallah. Friendships, acquaintances, they all end when Sallah comes. All our lives, we spend it preparing for Sallah.

And are you always prepared when Sallah actually comes? 

Is anyone ever prepared for death? When they are about to put that knife to my neck, I think, “So this is the point of life? I’m just here to provide nutrition to other people? For real? Like, the whole point of my life is to be fried and added to Jollof rice? Wow, Auzu billahi. What a way to tell me you don’t rate me.”

Have you tried negotiating a better ending for yourself?

As what, please? Somebody’s groomsman?

No, no. I was asking if you have spoken to animal rights activists or something.

[Sallah Ram bursts out laughing]

In this Nigeria? Animal rights activists sef dey find nutrition. I’ll go there to state my case, next thing I know, they are petting me. In one minute, I have fallen asleep. The next time I open my eyes, I am in heaven. What is now my gain? Why not kuku wait till Sallah?

In fact, I doubt if animal rights activists exist in Nigeria. Have you people finished fighting for your human rights that you now want to carry animal rights on your head? Imagine you waking up one day and saying you want to start fighting for the rights of a ram. They will look at you and ask, “Right to do what, please?” 

Okay, okay, but what would you like to say to people?

I don’t have much to say. I just want to tell them that they should treat me decently. I am somebody’s child too. That I am providing you nutrition does not mean you will do me anyhow.

Do you anyhow as how?

See ehn, some people will buy me and tie me down before Sallah. Give me proper food, they won’t. Only grass. And I’m just there thinking, “Habeeb, if it was only grass they have been feeding me all this while, would you find any meat on my body? Would you be attracted to me enough to buy me and keep? Have you even seen the state of my body?”

As if that one is not enough, some people will carry me to go and fight someone else’s ram. I just look at them and think, “Tell me, Kazeem, what exactly is your problem in this life? If you want to fight, why not carry your siblings and ask them to start attacking each other? And if you don’t have siblings, please remove your jellabiya and enter Ojuelegba. Somebody will definitely give you that fight you are so desperate for.”

I—

Sorry for the long rant. I just figured I had to say it. If I’m going to be slaughtered in a few days time, I might as well get some things off my chest.

Anyway, I have to go now. I need to finish writing my will so I don’t leave my children desolate when I leave this world.

Ehya. May your soul rest in peace.

And you too.

No thanks.

Ahan, you don’t want to rest in peace?

Not now, please.

Okay, whenever you choose, may your soul rest in peace.

I rebuke you.

Okay, fine. May you not rest in peace.

You know what?

What?

You actually deserve to be slaughtered for Sallah.

[Zikoko and Sallah Ram attack each other] 

Check back every Friday by 9AM for new Interview With episodes. To read previous stories, click here.


Also read:

Interview With Food: “Are Nigerian Men Possessed By The Spirit Of Hunger?”

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