Sunday, December 9, 2018

the story of afam from eze kingdom

My name is Afamefuna, Afam as my friends always calls me, I am the only child of Eze Edoziem the mighty king of Amucha village and Eze Nwanyi the beautiful Lolo Agbonma of Amucha village, but I never got the chance to enjoy my cultural heritage as I was sent to the US (United States of America) to complete my education as an engineer, I was only four year old when I was taken from my family that I miss so much, I would have love to visit but I was forbidden by my father saying I needed to finish my education and come out with a flying colors because I had so much to offer to my community, it’s been 17 whole years and I have been able to graduate from the university with a first class result and have completed my masters degree now planning for my PhD, I could have loved to go for my PhD in Nigeria where I can be close to my family.
I am what you call the ladies man, with a good height, and a body well built, red lips and of course fine face, I am handsome and I don’t need you to tell me that, in as much as ladies find me attractive I just can’t say same for me, yes I have been with a couple of women but I just can’t be committed to one lady as there was always something missing when ever I am with them, I had everything working out for me, I am rice in other word money is never my problem, I know you guys are confused now wondering how can a prince talk about riches this much well yes my father is the king but he also has companies scattered all over the world, my father was already a rice man before ascending the throne which I intend to do before ascending the throne from him, now back to where I stopped. Now with my face fine, and am educated, you could say I had everything but to me I had nothing because my heart was missing something and I can’t tell what it is.
I woke up to the ringing of my phone, who the hell will be calling at this hour of the day, I curse under my breath, I didn’t look at the time but I knew it was pass midnight, I stretch my hand and grab the phone that was still ringing loudly, without looking at the caller I press the answer button.
AFAMEFUNA : hello
VOICE : hello Afamefuna how are you.
Hearing the voice from the other end i quickly got up from my bed and sleep totally left my eyes.
AFAMEFUNA: father.
EZE NWANYI: my son, how are doing.
AFAMEFUNA: am doing fine father, what about you and mother, hope everyone are doing fine
EZE NWANYI: yes of course everyone is doing perfectly okey, from your voice I could tell you must have been sleeping.
AFAMEFUNA: yes I was but am awake now, hearing your voice have brought me up to my feet.
I knew this will make him to laugh and as I expected he did and I also joined him, I wasn’t still sure why my father could call me knowing fully well that it was already night fall in US, he normally calls earlier then this.
AFAMEFUNA: father, I hope there is no problem.
EZE NWANYI: no there is not, or is it wrong now to call my son.
AFAMEFUNA: of course not but you never call at this hour, you know it passed midnight here.
EZE NWANYI : yes you are right, I called because of something, you are truly your father’s son.
This brought smile on my face, I always love it when he acknowledge me that way.
EZE NWANYI : Afamefuna.
AFAMEFUNA: yes father.
EZE NWANYI: it has been a long time you left to study in the US, and from all indications you have gotten what ever that made you went there.
I wanted to correct him because my PhD is all I needed so I can leave this place, but you know better than interrupting the king when he hasn’t end his speech.
EZE NWANYI : so I wanted to ask, when are you coming back.
His last sentence took me by surprise, for real, like this man was reading my mind, obviously I should be the one asking him the question but it’s like God answered my prayer but I still have to keep my cool.
AFAMEFUNA : father I would have love to come back home but my PhD is what is holding me, once I am done I will be home.
He was silent for some time maybe thinking about what I said.
EZE NWANYI: can’t you do your PhD some other time, you can come home now and learn a lot about your culture then you can go back to complete your PhD.
I was a little disappointed, thought he could suggest I do my PhD in Nigeria but hey I will go for this one.
AFAMEFUNA: sure it is fine by me.
EZE NWANYI: Good.
AFAMEFUNA: so are you telling me to come home.
EZE NWANYI: yes Afamefuna, your mother really misses you.
I couldn’t hold my joy that was inside of me this has been the greatest news I have heard for a long time.
AFAMEFUNA: I miss you all too, am really happy that am coming home I have always dreamt of this day, father I will love to come back home by next weekend, is that okey by you.
EZE NWANYI : when ever you are ready just let me know, that will be all, you go back to sleep now.
AFAMEFUNA: sure father, I will be looking forward to seeing you.
The line went dead, I started jumping on my bed happily, this is a good news for me.Through out that night I couldn’t sleep as I waited patiently for morning to come, I had to start making preparation.
The following days was tough on me as I started making my clearance and other things to get me prepared for my tourney, I broke the news to my friends some were happy for me while others were sad either way they were all going to miss me, my mother call also to share her excitement with me, well why won’t she. After I was done will all preparation I call my father informing him on the date I have decided to come home.
********************
AMARACHI POV
the days has been going on smoothly I had not seen Ada and her serpents after that day, it been a week now and I thank God for putting them behind me at least I enjoyed the few days without their faces.
I and chiamaka were coming from the farm, we have gone early in the morning to get some firewood, yes we do all our chores early hours of the day, we don’t go to school anymore, we have wrote our jamb so since our parents could not afford the university we decided to relax for the time been well I won’t say same for Ada she failed her jamb and looking forward to rewrite it again, dull brain. The Town Crier sound brought me out of my thought.
AMARACHI : what news has he brought from the palace again.
CHIAMAKA: no one knows, let’s hear what he has to say.
We stood where we were so we could hear the news he brought from the palace.
TOWN CRIER : Great people of Amucha I greet you all.
He started, shouting at the top of his voice.
TOWN CRIER: I am here to announce the coming arrival of our crowd prince, heir to the great throne of Amucha kingdom, crown Prince Afamefuna that went to the United States to study, he has decided to come home to his father’s land four days from now, the General republic both citizens and non citizens of Amucha kingdom are highly invited as there will enough to eat and drink, I have pass the messages it is left for you to keep the letter.
He concluded his speech and went on his way, immediately many passerby started jubilating.
AMARACHI: I never knew this village had a prince.
CHIAMAKA: am shocked as you are, any way which one is our own, we will go there is eat and get to see the beauty of the palace.
AMARACHI: that is if I have nothing to do at home, biko (please) let us be going.
We both continue our journey home, I didn’t know what I felt in me by the sound of the prince coming back to Amucha village, it was weird to me so I decided to keep it to myself, what ever it is I pray it doesn’t come with danger.
I can’t believe finally I am in Nigeria, I felt the hot wind as it hits my face, wow never knew Nigeria was an oven well maybe because I have never experience the weather here but am here now, how was I going to find my way around here, well my father have told me there will be someone to pick me up but I can’t find anyone holding a paper with my name on it well I guess I have to figure it out myself, I proceed to the front door.
Murtala Muhammad International Airport was fill with people from all works of life, both Britishs, Americans, Africans and more, it was big and beautiful I must confess, I was still admiring the place when I felt the present of someone immediately I turned to see a young man probably my age mate smiling at me, I was a bit confused until he spoke.
MAN : you must be prince Afamefuna from Amucha kingdom.
AFAMEFUNA: yes I am and you are.
Almost immediately he bow his head down, this made me a little embarrassed as I start looking left and right.
MAN: my name is victor Enyinnaya, am a son of the soil, I was asked by the king to pick you up.
AFAMEFUNA: okey can you rise up now you are already causing a scene.
He did as I said and lead me to his car that was parked just few walk away from me, he took my two luggage’s from me, as soon as we got to his car he opened the back sit for me, like seriously.
AFAMEFUNA:
That you so much but I will love to sit at the front.
He looked confused but I had not time to say another word to him I moved to the front door, I gently opened it and went in, he stoop there for some time before putting my luggage’s in the car and took his position at the driver sit, he starts the car and we went on our way, we drove in silent as I envy the beauty of Lagos.
VICTOR : my prince.
I turned to face him.
AFAMEFUNA : yes
VICTOR: you will be lodging in an hotel for today, tomorrow your flight will be leaving for Imo state.
AFAMEFUNA: I thought we were heading to Amucha right now.
VICTOR: no we are not, it far from here so you will be taking a flight, you could have moved today but your flight was cancelled dew to some problem, your tickets has already been taken care of.
AFAMEFUNA : wow, ok no problem, thank you.
VICTOR: thank you my prince.
We continue our journey in silence, not long we drove into a massive building, after parking we both came down, almost immediately a man dress in a working uniform came to us, he greeted us warmly and took the luggage from victor, I was impressed with the services they offer here, well they have shown first impression.
We followed the man and got to the receptionist, she also with her beautiful face and chocolate skin welcomed us with a warm smile which we did same.
RECEPTIONIST : welcome to Grands hotel and suite, how may we be of help.
VICTOR: a reservation was made for prince Afamefuna Nwanyi.
RECEPTIONIST : oh of course, you are welcome, please one minute let me put a call through to the manager.
I was surprised at her response, do I need a manager just because I have a reservation here or is it how they welcome everyone with a reservation. Not long a man I think in his late 60s walked to us, he welcome us, mostly me warmly leading us to my room, the hotel matches with its name, Grand Hotel and suite, we took the elevator and in no time we were at my room, it was beautiful I most say, it was a suite with everything screaming wealth, if this is how the rest of the rooms are then this hotel needs to come out first in the Guinness book of records, the manager left after he showed and told me things I needed to know.
AFAMEFUNA : wow, like seriously what with all the formality.
VICTOR: you don’t know
That sound confusing.
AFAMEFUNA : know what.
VICTOR: your father is the owning of this hotel.
My mouth almost drop to the ground, whatttt, you must be kidding me, yes I knew my father had a lot of businesses but never knew hotel was included and one as big and luxury as this, now you can imagine my surprise.
VICTOR: I will leave you know so you can rest, I will be here tomorrow morning by 10am to take you to the airport.
I couldn’t respond because I was still lost in the surprise message I just got that I didn’t know when he left, it was the sound of the close door that brought me out of my thought.
I was indoor for the rest of the day, I wouldn’t want another episode of what happened hours ago to repeat itself, I easily feel embarrassed in things like that. Night gone and morning came, I checked the time and it says 8:39 am, I woke up so I could get prepare before victor comes, there was something different about this morning and I love the feeling, I just can’t wait to see my parents, I called room service for breakfast which arrived 10minutes after, I had already brushed my teeth, after eating my breakfast I had my bath and got dress, just as I locked my luggage the door bell rang, I went to opened the door and saw Victor standing with the manager, we exchanged pleasantries and in no time I was in the car with victor on my way to the airport.
VICTOR: you are humble for a prince.
I was taken back by his statement.
AFAMEFUNA: excuse me
VICTOR : most prince lack manners but you my prince don’t.
I didn’t know when I start laughing.
AFAMEFUNA: seriously, come on am only human.
VICTOR: that’s because you are saying that, most feel like a god, am proud to call you my prince.
AFAMEFUNA : you are not bad yourself, and please just call me Afam, it more better.
VICTOR: you see what I am saying.
And we both went into another round of laughter.
AFAMEFUNA:
It’s nice meeting you.
VICTOR: I should be the one saying that.
We continue our discussion and said our goodbyes but not without him exchanging his phone numbers to me, I had no Nigeria line for now, in no time I was in the plane heading to my home town, judging from the first day in Nigeria I knew the rest of my stay will be memorable.
I arrived at Sam Mbakwe Airport, I was welcome with the shock of my life as I came out of the front door, I stood at my track not knowing what was going on, there were up to four cars all parked waiting for me, four maids dressed in yellow long gown and three others in a purple long gown and their hair all wrap in a ponytail type, two of the guards wore a yellow wrapper round their waist and a black multi patterned on top and five more guards wore purple wrapper and same black multi patterned, all the guards were putting on black caps on their heads, there on the floor was a long red rug that leads right directly to a car that is already open for me, before I could say a word the two guards putting on yellow wrapper came and collected my bags from me, they both greeted me in reunion and left, almost immediately the maids putting on the yellow gown stood at both sides of the rug, two at each side holding a little basket of roses, when I thought all was over the worst happened.
MAN: welcome home crown prince Afamefuna, heir to the throne of the great Amucha kingdom, son the the great Eze Nwanyi 1 of Amucha, the lion that is fearless……
Shouted the man wearing a white chief attire with red beads and a red cap, there were two of them, well I could tell they were chief because of the red cap on their heads, when the man was done they both walk to me bowing to greet me.
1 MAN: I am Mazi Okafor and this is Mazi Enyinnaya we are from the cabinet meeting, we are sent by the people of Amucha to welcome their prince home.
I was already feeling embarrassed as I was seeing people already taking photos or videoing, God I hate this.
AFAMEFUNA: thank you very much, so can we go now.
MAZI OKAFOR : of course after you my prince.
I quickly walked to the car while the four maiden were throwing flowers at my feet, the more I move fast the more the increase theirs.
If I said I wasn’t amazed then I am lying, it was few hours ride from the airport to my village, sited at the back sit I gaze out of the car window admiring the beauty of Imo state, I was lost in my own thoughts, thinking about the whole drama that have taken place some hours ago at the airport, I thought that was only done in the movies but here I am experience it at first class, I knew it will be hard to believe if I told my friends back in the states because all seem like a fairy tale.
GUARD : my prince.
Coming out of my thought I looked at the guard that had just called me, he was sited at the front sit while the other drove.
AFAMEFUNA : yes
GUARD: I want to inform you that we are about to enter Amucha kingdom.
Just as he said it, the guard driving turn the car to the another road following the car in front of us, there was a big pillar that the inscription WELCOME TO AMUCHA KINGDOM, THE HOME OF PEACE was boldly written on it. Just then I hear a sound like a trumpet, wondering where it was coming from, the guard told me it was to announce my arrival to the villagers, just as he finished his sentence I saw people going out of stores, houses and others places, many started jubilating while others just watch, the children even made it more fun running along side the cars, young boy followed suit as we drove deeper into the kingdom, that minutes I felt at home, never would I have imagined that the people of Amucha will welcome me this way, even if they don’t know me that didn’t stop them not to acknowledge and welcome me, I roll down the car window so I could see more clearly.
In no time we arrived at the palace, there were alot of people both outside and inside the palace, the car parked in front of the front door, there stood my father, my mother and some chiefs they were all putting on same attire that the two chiefs that came to pick me at the airport wore with red cap and beads, the maids from the airport came down from their cars immediately it stopped and stood at mine, positioning the way they did before, the door was opened and I ran into the arms of my mother, she was more beautiful than her photos and the video call we always have, I was so lost in her tight embrace that I forgot we were outside, she disengage from the embrace bringing back to reality, I did same to my dad and greeted the elders, I was them lead inside, my mother ordered the maids to take me to my room so I could take my bath and dress into something else, I did as I was told, my room was wide and was divided in two parts, it has a little sitting area with leather sofa all neatly arranged, on the wall was a plasma tv and a DvD to go with it, then at the right side lays a king size bed, there is a balcony at the other side with sets of two chairs and a table, at the other end of the room is the bathroom that is wide enough to contain two king size beds, the wall was painted white so is the curtain that has blue flowers drawing on it, the room was magnificent, but there was no wardrobe that I wondered when the clothes stays, on my bed lays an outfit, it was the same outfit as their but was more expensive, with my attire you don’t need anyone to tell you who I am, even I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror, at first I had rejected the clothes but one of the men servants begged me to try it on and if I don’t love it then I can take it off but to my greatest surprise I loved it, i was helped by two male servant that in no time I was outside with the rest of my family, it was a day of merriment that I was happy I came back home.
**************************
AMARACHI POV.
I was washing my clothes at the backyard, my mother has left some hours ago to welcome the prince home, I couldn’t go because I had a lot to do and I can’t skip it for just any prince, chiamaka came to call me earlier but I told her I was busy so she left without me, what will I be doing there anyway when almost all my enemies will be there, well I managed to see the cars that drove him into the kingdom, was coming from the farm where I went to get firewood, I could see how people were very happy to see him, that’s for them, the voice of my mother brought me out of my thought.
AMARACHI: mama you are back welcome.
NNEKA: yes am back.
AMARACHI: how was it.
NNEKA: it was wonderful, everyone was there, there were lot of food to eat and drink.
I sighted the black bag in her hand.
AMARACHI: and I see you dealt with the food.
She followed my eyes that landed at the bag, this cause her to laugh.
NNEKA : I couldn’t finish everything there, and besides they also gave us to take home, so I used that opportunity to also bring yours since you refused to come with me.
AMARACHI: ah mama if I had gone with you who would have done the cleaning, the fetching of firewood and who could have cooked now am washing the clothes.
NNEKA : I know it’s okey, you have really tried today, don’t worry finished with what you are doing so you can come and eat what I brought for you.
AMARACHI: okey mama I will soon be done.
With this my mother went inside, I quickly stood up to hang the clothes, anyway I was happy I didn’t go because it gave me enough time for me to fetch water without any disturbance from Ada and gangs.
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the danger of becoming a prince(truelife)

I opened my eyes to behold a new day, the sun has not yet raised so it was easy to tell that it was still very early in the morning, I looked out of the window that was just opposite my bed without moving, wasn’t ready to get up just yet, well that has been my routine for the pass four years that my father died, ever since I was a child I would wake up so early just to go with him to check his traps sometimes he took me along when ever the place is close by while other times he refuse saying he was going deep down into the forest, even after he was gone I still find myself waking up early at each passing day because waking up early was already used to me.
The sky was becoming clearer that also brighten up my room giving way to see how tidy my room is which consists of a mattress that is lay on the floor facing the window which is covered with a curtain and the door by my head side also covered with a curtain, my bags which we normally call Ghana must go four of them place at the ending of the bed very close to the window, a ceiling fan and a blue carpet which goes with the wall, it’s a small room but comfortable for me.
I was still waiting for the sun to fully rise while my mind went to the activities I had to take care of that morning trying to arrange the chores in my head because today being Saturday I have a lot to take care of , I rose up immediately as soon as the sun had fully risen putting on my clothes I left my room, I passed my mother’s room which was just close to my room heading to the backyard, I didn’t want to disturb my mother because I knew she will still be sleeping, I don’t need to described my house because it’s just a commonly villages house that has four rooms, a sitting room, a kitchen that is built at the backyard, then at the left side is the bathroom, there was enough space in the compound so most of the empty space we turned it into a farm.
I took some water with a small bowl from one of the water drum that was placed just close to the kitchen, using the water to wash my face, hands and feet, there wasn’t need to take my bath that morning as I had lot of house chores that needed to be done, I gently place the bowl back at it spot and I picked up my bucket and my wrapper that was hanging on the rope and headed to the public borehole.
Amucha is recognized as one of the peaceful community in Imo state, with good roads, standard education, steady lights and water and Of course good security, enriched with a lot of natural resources and cultural heritage, for this purpose both the rich and the poor acknowledge Amucha as a home to stay or visit making my village one of the richest in all of igbo land that you will mistake it for a little city, with constant borehole you don’t have to worry about having clean water.
I met Chiamaka few meters away from my house waiting for me, she was also holding a bucket and a small cloth, she looks beautiful in her blue dress, Chiamaka is what they call your black is so beautiful, she was not too tall but okey for a girl her age. Chiamaka and i are age mates, she is dark in complexion while am very fair in complexion, she is taller then I am because an average in height, but we both have same shape in fact we are both beautiful, as I approach her she let out a warm smile.
CHIAMAKA: Good morning Amarachi.
AMARACHI: Good morning, how was your night.
CHIAMAKA: my night was not bad, I won’t bother to ask about yours because I know it was good.
Both of us laugh it off.
AMARACHI: let’s us be going, you know I want us to quickly get there on time so we could also leave there on time before Ada and her bodyguards comes ohhh.
When I said bodyguards I meant her two serpents that are with her as a form of friends Oluchi and Ugoma.
CHIAMAKA: you are right, you know that girl is trouble.
We quickly set on our way not wanting to waste another time standing there, I was really avoiding Ada because she was trouble to me, Ada was a girl around my age I guess, she was one of the people that makes my life miserable in Amucha village, she is the only daughter of a very powerful chief and I heard that he is also good friend to the king (i don’t know his name) so that always gives her the power to do what she want, well to me obviously, I wasn’t scared of her but I was just trying to stay out of trouble since she is classed as one.
We arrived at the borehole on time thanks to God there was less people there, it got to our turn and we quickly fetch our water, helping each other we put the bucket on our heads and headed on our way, I thanked God that I passed this morning without facing Ada but my appreciation didn’t have the time to get to heaven because Ada decided to show her face, she and her two devils Oluchi and Ugoma walk majestically directly to us, I guess they have already seen us.
CHIAMAKA: ( in a whisper) talk of the she devil and her serpents.
I let out a loud sigh I already knew today is going to be another episode of war.
Just as I thought, the moment they came close to us they blocked our path, I and chiamaka glare at each other giving ourselves knowing looks, we tried to move to the other open space but yet again we were blocked by them, chiamaka was the first to voice out as I had nothing to say.
CHIAMAKA: what is all this, what do you want from us this time.
They stared at themselves and just as I expected they burst into laughter, I and chiamaka just looked at them waiting for them to finish with what ever that is amusing them.
ADA : oh please please please, what could we need from people like you, please give us some credit.
CHIAMAKA : if you need nothing from us then why are you blocking our path.
OLUCHI : who is blocking your path, oh you want us to give way for you when you should be the one that should run into the bush and hide your face when you see us passing.
UGOMA : tell them, maybe they don’t know that dogs and kings don’t eat in the same table.
CHIAMAKA: oh we should run into the bush for you as what.
We were still carrying our bucket of water and it was already telling on me, if not for the bucket of water I wouldn’t have said a word to them.
AMARACHI: Ada please I don’t have time for your trouble today, we can do this some other day but not today, as you can see there are heavy bucket of water on our heads, so please let us pass next time we will run into the bush when we see you.
I said as calmly as I can but instead I got another round of laughter, this was becoming frustrating.
ADA : oh the bucket is heavy and it’s on her head let us help her with that.
She said in a mockery sound talking to Oluchi and Ugoma, before I could put out of what she meant by that she pushed the bucket from my head and it fell causing some water to pour and me, and immediately they burst into another round of laughter, I couldn’t tell what I felt that minutes because I so wanted to strangle her to death, I looked at chiamaka who was looking so surprise.
CHIAMAKA: (shouting) why will you do that.
ADA: you better watch that tongue of yours before I also help you with your bucket.
AMARACHI: Ada, Ada, Ada how many times did I call you, Ada don’t push me, don’t push me.
ADA: and if I do what will you do, obviously nothing, the list you can do is to go running to your stupid mother.
I was shocked and angry at the same time, how dare she talk to my mother like that.
AMARACHI: my mother.
I looked at chiamaka who had already dropped her bucket of water, the anger that I was trying to control gave way, I send a resounding slap on her face, she looked shocked holding her cheek in which the slap has landed.
ADA: you slapped me.
AMARACHI: that is what you get for opening that your gutter mouth to talk to my mother like that.
Oluchi raised her hand to slap me but I saw that coming as I moved back dodging the slap, almost immediately Ada rushed into me and we started another episode of war.
I was a good fighter, not even four girls can withstand me, some say I fight with evil powers as I had the strength of a man yet I wonder why will anyone wants to cross my path knowing fully well that thay will be defeated. As always I and chiamaka sent them running promising hell as they use to, I and chiamaka was breathing heavily challenging them to come for more, our clothes were a little bit stained but can’t say the same for them as we used the wet sand my water has fallen upon to paint them, we looked for our slippers, I would have loved to go back to the borehole to fetch another bucket of water but the force in which the bucket fell broke caused it to break, nevertheless I still picked it up, I helped chiamaka with hers and we went our way raining curses on them.
My mother was in the kitchen when I walked in, I greeted her placing the bucket angrily on the ground, she got up from the stool she was sitting on looking worried.
NNEKA : Amarachi, what is it, you didn’t fetch the water again.
AMARACHI: is it not Ada and her gangs.
NNEKA : Don’t tell you you got into another fight.
AMARACHI: it was them na, look ( picking the broken bucket from the ground and showing it to her) at what they did to my bucket, they broke it.
NNEKA: what is all this, why won’t this people let I and my daughter live in peace.( sign heavily) it’s okay don’t worry.
AMARACHI: I want to go inside and change so I can take another bucket to go and fetch water.
NNEKA : no no don’t worry, just go change and come to do other things, you will fetch water tomorrow, there is enough for us today.
AMARACHI : ok mama.
NNEKA: give me that (taking the bucket from my hand) go inside.
I smile at her and she did same, my mother always find a way to calm my anger well that’s why she is called my mother.
The day went by very fast and before we could know it evening came, we had just finished eating our dinner, I was in my room reading an interested story called The Abominable Act written by Joy Osamudiamen when I heard my mother voice calling my name, I quickly placed the book on my bed and rush out to answer her, she was in the sitting room with a bible on her hands which shows she has been going through the word of God like she always does, don’t get me wrong I am a strong believer but not just like my mother.
AMARACHI: mama you called me.
NNEKA: yes I did, please sit down.
I sat down opposite her, I knew I was in for her lectures but don’t really know what this is all about, I watched her as she placed her bible on top of the center table, she clear her throat before opening her mouth to speak.
NNEKA: do you know the meaning of your name.
AMARACHI: yes mama
NNEKA: good now if you know the meaning of your name you will not be concerned over what people do or say to you, do you know that.
AMARACHI: I think I do.
I was trying hard to understand where she was heading to but just couldn’t, for all I know I wasn’t bother about what others do or say to me well I do feel bad most times but today was not part of those days not even what happened today killed my happiness.
AMARACHI: mama, I don’t understand, do I look sad or hurt to you.
NNEKA : I know you don’t, Amarachi I will not ask you to explain to me what happened this morning because I already knows who is at fault.
AMARACHI : mama I know that you are not happy about the fight that happened between I and Ada this morning but you know me mama, if not for the fact that she disrespected you I would have held my peace, but I just needed to teach her a lesson not to involve my mother in any of our misunderstanding ever again.
This made my mother laugh, I didn’t think it was funny any way I joined her.
NNEKA: right from the first day I set my eyes on you I knew you were a strong warrior, if you weren’t you couldn’t have survived in your mother’s womb for five whole days without nothing, but still I want you to always learn how to tolerate okey, no matter what the case may be, now promise me that you will not involve yourself in fighting again.
I looked at my mother uncertain of what to say, how could she tell me to promise her, she knows I don’t break my promises.
NNEKA: Amarachi, promise me.
AMARACHI: okey, I promise.
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Friday, December 7, 2018

the story of the animal kingdom

Somewhere below the clouds there is an island called the United Kingdom. In the south of this island there is a city called London. In the south of this city there is a small village. And in this village there lives an eleven year old boy called Adem.
No, no. His name is not Adam. It is ‘Adem’. That’s right, there is an ‘e’ instead of an ‘a’ just before the last letter ‘m’. Adem is a Turkish name. Both Adam and Adem mean ‘the first man in the world.’
Adem is a curious boy who loves reading. He reads all kinds of story books. He also reads The Guinness Book of World Records. This is his favourite.
The young boy loves to talk about the things he reads in his Book of Records. If Adem were here now, he would already be talking about Sultan Kosen of Turkey who is eight feet and one inch tall. Sultan Kosen is the tallest living man in the Guinness Book of World Records!
Hey look! Here is Adem coming out from school with his two best friends, Ben and Jonathan. Adem is the one with dark hair, olive skin and beautiful blue eyes. You cannot miss him because Ben and Jonathan are both blonde boys with fair skin.
Adem’s father is Turkish and his mother is English. He got his looks from his father, but his eyes are the same colour as his mother’s.
Adem hears someone say ‘Merhaba.’ He turns around and waves at his Turkish friend, Metin. Then Adem replies by saying, ‘Merhaba!’ This word means hello in Turkish. The first Turkish word Adem ever learnt to say was ‘Baba’. It means Dad.
One day, when Adem was a little boy, he asked his Baba, ‘Am I English or Turkish, or am I half of each?’
His Baba thought about this question for a moment, then answered, ‘You are not half of anything, my son. You are both full Turkish and full English.’
Adem liked this answer very much.
Sometime later, Adem got his face painted with an English flag while he was at the carnival. When his Baba saw Adem’s face he was really quite shocked, but Adem said, ‘It is okay, Baba. Don’t you remember, I am full English as well as full Turkish.’
Adem gives a high five to Ben and Jonathan and then approaches us and walks beside us along the pavement. He smiles up at us. ‘Did you know that in June 2003 a Turkish man called Muhammed Rashid entered the Guinness Book of World Records with his moustache that was over five feet long! That is a very long moustache,’ says Adem, his smile becoming even bigger. ‘My Baba has a big moustache too, and bushy eyebrows. But his moustache is not as big as five feet, thank Allah!’
Adem says ‘Allah’ instead of God, because Adem is a Muslim boy.
Adem notices a man walking in the street with a dark blue velvet Kippah. ‘A Kippah is a Jewish hat,’ says Adem, just so we know.
Then the young boy notices a Sikh man wearing a traditional Turban. Adem loves this variety of different cultures walking along the same street.
‘My Baba owns a restaurant,’ Adem tells us. He looks at us directly with his serious eyes, as if he is teaching us something very important. ‘It is not a kebab restaurant. In my Baba’s restaurant they make vegetarian stew and serve it with special bread called Pide bread. It is very tasty.’
Adem’s Baba has a favourite food. It is called Okra. Okra is a vegetable that tastes a bit like a pickle. Adem’s Baba puts lemon on the Okra because he says it makes the vegetable taste extra special!
‘I really like Kebab,’ Adem tells us. ‘I know it is not very healthy, but it tastes really good.’
Suddenly, the young boy looks a little uncomfortable, as if there is something he wants to tell us. He seems to concentrate, formulating the words inside his head. ‘Every Thursday,’ he says after a moment’s silence, ‘my Baba comes and picks me up. I don’t like Thursdays anymore. There is something about my Baba that embarrasses me. I want to talk to him about it, but I love him and don’t want to hurt his feelings.
It’s not always easy to talk to parents, you know. For example, last Saturday after we had been swimming, I bought a really nice chocolate cake and my friend Ben and my Baba were with me in a café. I was eating my cake when my Baba whispers in my ear that I have to give some of my cake to my friend Ben. Baba said that this is a custom in Turkish culture. It took me ages to whisper back and explain to my Baba that in English culture it is rude to offer my friend half eaten cake as I know he has some money in his pocket, and if he wanted to have some cake he would buy some for himself.’
Adem explains to us that his Baba has lived in England for a very long time, but he still does not have many English friends. The young boy says it is as if his father still lives as he used to live in Turkey. ‘That is okay,’ Adem tells us, ‘but it is sometimes difficult for me to understand some of the Turkish traditions, and there are so many of them to remember.’
Adem has almost arrived at the meeting point where his Baba has told him to wait to be picked up after school.
Today is a Thursday.
He looks a little bit nervous as he scans the street. ‘I have tried to do something about this embarrassment,’ he informs us earnestly, ‘but it has not worked yet. I do not know how to talk to my Baba about the way he acts when we are with my friends.’
Adem stops on the corner. He still looks a bit nervous. ‘This is where my Baba picks me up,’ he says.
There are lots of children from Adem’s school standing about on the corner: some waiting to be picked up by their parents, some heading for the bus or walking home in pairs. Adem pretends to read his book. He doesn’t want any of his friends to be near him when his Baba picks him up.
This is when Adem notices Emily. Emily is beautiful. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and Adem has fancied her ever since they were both in year five.
One day, Adem’s history teacher placed all of the children in pairs for a school project. Adem was placed with Emily. The children had to make a Motte and Bailey castle. The best castle would win a prize.
So Adem and Emily spent a lot of time together and worked really hard on their castle. Then, when the judging day came, THEY WON! And that’s when the fancying began, because Emily had hugged Adem. From that moment to this, whenever Adem sees Emily, he feels a warm feeling inside.
Emily is approaching the corner where Adem is waiting for his Baba to come pick him up. Adem looks very uncomfortable all of a sudden. ‘Oh no! Here is my Baba’s jeep coming around the corner. Baba is coming! Emily is coming! Baba is coming! Emily is coming!’
Adem quickly sits on the floor and pretends to tie his shoelaces while attempting to hide from his Baba and from Emily. But it is no use; the young boy can tell that his Baba has spotted him. The jeep pulls up to the kerb and Adem’s Baba steps out. Meanwhile, Emily is getting closer and closer, and now she can see Adem and his Baba together next to the jeep.
Adem’s Baba throws a smile. ‘Are you OK, my big boy?’
Adem stands up now and his Baba grabs a hold of him and gives him a big cuddle and a kiss. ‘Come on Adem,’ says his Baba in a cheerful voice, ‘won’t you give me a kiss!’
Adem looks around, then quickly kisses his father on the cheek and jumps inside the jeep before Emily gets any closer and laughs at him for kissing and hugging his father when Adem is a big boy now and should be more grownup.
Father and son do not talk to each other for a couple of minutes as they drive through the busy streets heading for home. Baba looks at Adem and asks again, ‘Are you OK, my son?’
‘Yes,’ says Adem, but his voice is not very convincing.
Adem’s Baba knows that his son is not happy because he knows him very well and they are very close. ‘Come on,’ he says, ‘why don’t you tell me what is wrong.’
Adem thinks for a little while. He knows what to say, but he does not want to hurt his Baba’s feelings. Eventually, the young boy summons up the courage to speak his mind. ‘Baba, there is something I need to tell you, something that upsets me. There is a person who upsets me. That person is…’ Adem pauses for a moment, unsure how to continue.
‘Someone has upset you! Tell me who it is.’ Baba says to his son.
‘Well it is…’
‘Yes …Come on!’
‘Well…’
‘Is it someone at school, a teacher, a friend, a bully?’ asks Baba, clearly concerned for his son
‘No, Baba.’
‘Who then?’
There is another long silence as Baba steers the jeep through the village towards home.
Adem takes a deep breath, then says, ‘It is you, Baba. You upset me.’
‘Me?’ asks his Baba. ‘What have I done, my son?’
Adem does not say anything, so Baba pulls the jeep into the kerb and switches off the engine so that he can properly talk to his son. ‘Tell me what did I do, Adem?’
Adem looks at his Baba, at his big bushy eyebrows and the lines that crease his forehead and make him look like he is angry. Adem knows that his father is not angry but upset. He feels bad that he has made his Baba sad, but he plucks up all of his courage and tries to explain himself. ‘You know that I am eleven now,’ he tells his Baba. ‘and that I am very grownup.’
‘Yes definitely,’ says his Baba with a touch of pride in his voice.
‘You know it was OK to cuddle me and kiss me in front of my friends when I was at primary school, but I do not want you to do that in front of my friends anymore.’ ‘So… you do not want me to kiss and cuddle you anymore, is that it?’
‘No, no, Baba. I like it when you cuddle me, but I don’t want you to kiss and cuddle me in front of my friends at school because I am too old for that now and they will laugh at me.’
‘It is a very Turkish thing to do, I suppose,’ admits Baba as he starts up the jeep and steers into the evening traffic. He looks a little sad and Adem wants to cheer him up.
‘Baba?’
‘Yes, my son?’
‘Shall I make a cup of tea for you and mummy when we get home?’
Baba smiles at his precious son. ‘That would be lovely, Adem. But please do not put any milk in my tea. You know that I like it black. This is the Turkish way to have tea and the Turkish way is best for me.’ His Baba winks at Adem as he says these words.
Adem smiles because he knows that his Baba understands why he was embarrassed, and he also knows that his Baba loves him very much.
‘Can we play a game tonight?’ asks Adem as the jeep rounds the final bend towards home.
Baba does not look upset anymore and reaches over and ruffles Adem’s hair and waves a finger at his son. ‘We can play a game as long as you don’t cheat again like you did last night.’
‘I didn’t cheat,’ Adem laughs. ‘You cheated.’
Baba and Adem both laugh at this and continue talking about Adem’s day at school and all of the things he did and all the facts he has memorised from his Guinness Book of World Records.
And that was the last time that Baba embarrassed Adem in front of his friends.
But whenever they are playing together at home, Baba will often grab his son and wrap his big arms around him and tease him that he is never be too big for a cuddle.
One upon a time, in a small village in Turkey, there lived a mother and her loyal son. The son was known by all as Bald Boy because even though he was still quite young he had no hair on his head at all.
Bald Boy and his mother were very poor indeed and so each day Bald Boy would take up his basket and venture out into the woods in search of food.
‘Good luck, my son,’ the old woman would call out as Bald Boy waved goodbye and set out on his daily journey.
One day, as he was searching the forest floor for the juicy mushrooms that could often be found growing in the shadows of the tall trees, Bald Boy was sure that he could hear a young girl crying. When he looked up he noticed a little squirrel sitting on the branch of the tree above his head. The squirrel was crying inconsolably and so Bald Boy reached out to comfort the little creature. He took the squirrel in his arms and stroked her and sang to her and assured her that everything was going to be okay.
When at last the squirrel stopped crying, the two friends got to talking and Bald Boy explained how he lived with his mother and how they were very poor.
‘I need to come into this forest each day in search of food because we have no money,’ he told the squirrel.
It was then that the little squirrel said, ‘You have been very kind to me today so I am going to help you in return.’
Then the little squirrel jumped out of Bald Boy’s hands and said, ‘Follow me, follow me.’
The young boy followed the squirrel through the forest for many hours until they reached a cliff edge that overlooked the lush green valley below.
‘You must climb down this cliff,’ said the squirrel. ‘When you reach the bottom you will find the Grouse Queen. She will ask you three questions and you must answer them all correctly to receive the prize.’
The squirrel climbed up onto Bald Boy’s shoulder and whispered the answers to the three questions in his ear. And once she had done so she jumped down and scampered back into the forest without another word.
Bald Boy made himself a rope out of twine and lowered himself down the cliff edge and made his way to where the squirrel had told him the Grouse Queen lived. When she saw him approaching, the Queen stopped Bald Boy in his tracks and demanded that he answer three questions. ‘If you do not answer correctly,’ she said in her stern voice, ‘then you will lose your head.’
Bald Boy was very nervous but he nodded all the same and awaited the first question. The Queen indicated to a cherry tree nearby.
‘How many cherries are growing on this cherry tree?’ she asked.
‘There are as many cherries on that tree as there are feathers on your back,’ replied Bald Boy without hesitation.
The Queen nodded approvingly and then asked, ‘Where is the middle of the earth?’
‘You are standing on the middle of the earth,’ said Bald Boy with just a hint of doubt in his voice.
Once again the Queen nodded approvingly. Then she cleared her throat and prepared for her third and final question. She presented Bald Boy with two identical looking walnuts and asked, ‘Which is the heavier of these two walnuts?’
Bald Boy looked at both nuts and then tossed them into a nearby stream. One of the nuts stayed afloat but the other disappeared beneath the surface.
‘The one which has sunk beneath the water is the heavier of the two, Your Majesty.’
The Queen could not deny that all three answers were correct and so she reluctantly handed Bald Boy the large pot of gold that was his rightful prize.
The young boy climbed back up the cliff face with his pot of gold strapped to his back and ran into the forest to thank the little squirrel for her kindness. But when Bald Boy eventually found the squirrel she was crying once more, her head resting in her tiny front paws as the tears fell to the ground all around her.
‘Why are you so sad?’ asked Bald Boy.
‘I used to be a beautiful Princess until the Grouse Queen cast a spell on me and turned me into a squirrel. Now the only thing that will set me free is a single drop of Emerald Water from the lake in the dragon’s cave.’
Bald Boy was so very grateful to the little squirrel for saving him and his mother from a life of poverty that he instantly promised to fetch a drop of the Emerald Water. He marched into town and used some of his gold to buy the sharpest sword from the blacksmith. Then he climbed the Mountain of Kaf towards the dragon’s cave.
When he reached the cave, Bald Boy raised his sword and did battle with the two giant snakes that guarded the entrance to the cave.  the fight was fierce and bloody but Bald Boy eventually cut the heads from the evil snakes and threw them from the edge of the mountain.
Deep inside the cave the evil dragon stirred. He stretched his wings and took flight to see what was happening with his snake guards. It was then that Bald Boy crept unnoticed into the dragon’s lair and filled his glass bottle with the precious Emerald Water. When he was sure it was safe he ran from the lair and climbed back down the mountain and disappeared  into the forest to find the little squirrel.
‘I have returned,’ he told his friend as he raised the bottle triumphantly into the air, ‘and I have the Emerald Water for you.’
Bald Boy poured some of the water into his open palm and watched it run between his fingers into the forest floor. The last drop he saved for the squirrel who jumped down from the tree to drink from Bald Boy’s palm
As soon as she had taken the drop of Emerald Water there was a blinding flash of white light that illuminated the gloomy forest for miles and miles. When the light eventually faded a beautiful Princess stood before Bald Boy with tears of gratitude in her eyes.
Bald Boy escorted the Princess back to the Royal Palace and when the Sultan saw his beautiful daughter he was overjoyed.
‘You are a brave man and you shall never again want for anything,’ he assured Bald Boy as he embraced the youth fondly.
That was when Bald Boy remembered his poor mother waiting back home for her mushrooms. He thanked the Princess and the Sultan and he took his pot of gold and returned home to his mother after shopping for gifts and food at the local market.
The old woman could not believe the story that Bald Boy told her over dinner that night, but one thing was for sure… her brave son would never again have to enter the forest in search of food. The old woman smiled to herself then as she dipped her silver spoon into a nice big bowl of mushroom soup.     
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the carniva night at hallcity

A section of
us were picked and distributed to supervise
different voting centres.
We got there, everything was going on well
until a set of young men
tried to cause a riot. On like what other
military personnels will do,
myself and lanre calmed them down in a short
while without any
violence. The people there were surprised and
all they could do was
just to greet us, some even gave us money
saying they loved the way we
handled the case and they left. Voting for that
day was over and in no
time we got back to the camp. Lanre and I
were in our tent when we
were summoned by the Major. “Oh God! What
is it this time?” I asked
myself. On getting there we knew already that
he was angry, “give me
100 push-ups in one minute” he commanded
with all anger. “Who taught
you to behave like bloody civilians. Are you
foolish? Who asked you to
say any word to anybody? If anybody is trying
to prove stubborn, why
can you shoot?” He asked all these angrily.
“Shoot to kill sir?” Lanre
asked. “Yes, shoot to kill I said” the Major
replied. He ordered us
out of his tent when he was through ranting
on us. The hatred of man
began to grow in my heart. I was beginning to
suspect something about
him. what I was suspecting, I don’t really
know but I knew something
must be wrong about the man. But will a
soldier do than to obey
orders. I didn’t know what to do.
Training continued, vote supervision continued
also for about one
week. Until another when we were all alerted
that this time, the
terrorists were coming with war thugs (military
vehicles). This time
there was no fear. Apart from handling
ammunitions, we were also
trained to be military intelligence. That day
was great, col. Yaro
shot just one bazuka (missile launcher) and
all of their vehicles were
destroyed, all other surviving terrorists were
shot dead in no time.
That particular operation took us about one
hour. As the normal
tradition, we celebrated in the evening of that
day as usual but this
time the Major was not present. “Go and call
the Major to join us in
this celebration, he should be in his tent” col.
Yaro ordered. As I
was approaching his tent, I was hearing a
different language. I peeped
to check who it was, it was definitely the
Major. That language is
never a Hausa language, it sounds like a
foreign language. While I was
thinking about all this, I suddenly heard “who
is that?” That was the
Major. “I was asked to call…….” He didn’t
allow me to finish my
statement. “Shut up! I’m coming! Now go
away.” Now I’m really
convinced that there is something wrong
about him. We continued our
celebration and ended when we were all tired.
In my tent, I couldn’t sleep and I don’t know
why. So I was just
surfing the internet, checking facebook,
instagram and other social
media to while away time and to know what is
happening in the outside
world, after being in the camp for more than
three months. After doing
all these I couldn’t sleep still, my mind went
straight to search
about Major Musa Yusuf. Google brought out
some interesting thing
about him but there was a part of my screen
that redirected me to
another page. Surprisingly, I saw a change of
name, origin and
nationality attached to his profile. That was a
convincing proof to me
that he is not among us. But who is he really?
I woke up the following morning, something
strange happened. There
was no one in the tent with me. At first I was
terrified until I heard
the sound of marching men, then I knew those
were my colleagues. “I
did not join the drill this morning, I’m in
trouble” I was thinking
about this on my mat when I notice someone
was standing in the tent
with me. I got up quickly and to my surprise it
was the Major.
“Morning sir” I greeted him. “Go back to your
mat and continue your
rest, I purposely told them not to disturb you
because I know you were
the mastermind of yesterday’s attack against
the terrorists. I know
you will be very tired. But my boy, don’t go
beyond your capability.
You are just a young soldier”. He said all
these without allowing me
say a word. He left. I didn’t understand what
he was talking about. I
was thinking that day was a bonus day for me
but that day was the
start of trouble. I was about going back to my
sleep when I notice my
phone has been operated by someone else.
And that was the time I
understood what he was talking about. He
saw all I did about him on my
phone. What will a spoon do when a hungry
man is ready to eat than to
obey to direction of the mouth. What can a
young soldier like me do to
a Major? I knew already that I was in a mess.
How can I clean it up?
Our superb work in that area became a
worldwide story,
congratulatory and encouraging words were
coming from everywhere. I
personally receive more than one hundred
messages daily.
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