On the other hand, Dada Zakiya continues to mentor me so that I can achieve my goal of a dignified life. At this point in my life, only her care and love keep me going. Even during Ramadan, while she fasts, she remembers to feed me, and even when her mouth is dry from thirst, she brings me a cold drink. “Go on, drink it. Don’t feel guilty,” she says.
I take a sip of cold water from a soda bottle. “I couldn’t fast like you. You have a strong will,” I say.
“I love the month of Ramadan,” she says. “It is a total cleansing as a being. It is not about not eating. It is about life, appreciation, thanking God, understanding your purpose.” She taps my hand softly. “You see, Juma, you may not know it, but you have a much stronger willpower. Don’t think I am not aware that this food I’ve brought for you might be your only meal for the day.”
Excerpt - The Beggar's Dance