Chronicles of Amaka. Vol. 1

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Written By: Sandra Nnah

There is a popular saying that when you wake up is actually your morning. Depending on your outlook on life, your greatest moments could be another person’s darkest moments. Sometimes we need a stroke of luck to get us inspired into new things.

Our story starts in the middle of a relatively unknown town in the southeastern part of Nigeria. It’s almost dawn at about 4:00 am. The village is quiet asides from the activity of midnight hunters coming back from the vigil. The market women are preparing to arrange foodstuff to be taken on a two-hour ride to the city central market. There is a horrible stench coming from the western wing of the village, it seems the local undertakers are preparing some strange concoction in preparation for the next set of bodies to be embalmed for burial. It is said that they have to do it early so as to appease the spirits of the dead still hovering around.

In the midst of all these, there seems to be a small house in the village in which the light has been lit all through the night. The light of the lantern has been intentionally left to burn as Amaka seemed unable to find sleep all through the night, this morning promises to be special to her, the morning she has anxiously been waiting for, the morning she would be leaving into the city.

Amaka is the eldest of six children in the family. Her father died five years ago from some complicated illness. He had spent most of his savings in the last months before his death. She and her siblings have been under the care of her mother. She had promised Amaka’s father on his dying bed that she would do everything within her means to ensure all the kids get a basic education. She has had to sell most of her expensive wrappers and jewelry to raise fund for their upkeep and supported with the little she makes from her petty trading business. The whole situation had led to a depreciation of her health. Every other day, looked like a long thread of hardship with no endpoint. The family needed a miracle before poverty tears them apart.

That morning, while Amaka was busy doing a last-minute check on her bags, her mother sat at the corner of the room looking at her daughter. There was this feeling that was worn all over her. One side of her face was cheerful and in gratitude to God that Amaka had grown into a beautiful young lady. She reminded her of herself when she was in her youth. All she could do was smile, though the other side of her face was reflecting a state of pity and pain as she fought about the news she was about to break to her daughter. As she tried to open her mouth, the tears became uncontrollable as it rolled out of her eyes and she burst out weeping.

Amaka turned to her mum, “mama mama please don’t cry she said. She put her hands around her neck and said, “Mama, everything is going to be ok, I promise to work hard in the city and make enough money to take care of you and my siblings”. These words made her mum cry more and she had to scream out and she told Amaka that there is something she has to tell her, which is very important. Amaka relaxed and told her to control herself and she would listen to her. She assured her that she was ready to do anything within her power to help take care of the family.

Her mother started by telling her that whatever happens, the spirit of her father will always follow her. She continued by saying that three weeks ago, on her way from the farm she met some of her uncles and kinsmen and they asked her to follow them to the mansion of Chief Ozokwa that he had requested for them to pay him a visit. Chief Ozokwa is the wealthiest man across the six villages that make up their town. He made his wealth from generational inheritance as it is believed that his ancestors where the ones that served the Europeans and acquired a lot of gold and diamonds from that relationship. Chief Ozokwa just celebrated his 80th birthday and already has four wives.

The purpose of the visit is to declare his interest in making Amaka his fifth wife to mark the special birthday. Her mother had asked them to give her a few weeks to discuss with Amaka even though the Kinsmen had already agreed to give her out mainly for selfish reasons.

For Amaka to marry Chief Ozokwa, it would end poverty in their family as Chief had promised to build her mum a house and open a big business for her with a new car and driver to honor her as a new in-law.

After her mother had finished narrating it all, Amaka could not help but burst out in tears. She had been up all night to start the new day with a new lease of life where she would go into the city and work very hard in her aunt’s business. She would save lots of money and go back to school. Her childhood dream is to become a Chartered accountant in one of the topmost firms in the city. Now she has to consider forfeiting that dream and marry Chief Ozokwa as a fifth wife and remain a housewife, bear children for him and also help her mother and siblings escape poverty.

While she and mama are still in thought of the next thing to say or do, they didn’t realize the arrival of Aunty Theresa in her new Mercedes Benz Suv as the driver drove into the compound. Also at the other entrance are Amaka’s Kinsmen, they had come very early to get information from mama as they had to report back to Chief Ozokwa

After the exchange of pleasantries with all parties, Amaka is left looking into the sky as she whispers to the spirit of her late Dad, please papa I need your direction now, what should I do?

Should Amaka head to the city or remain in the village and marry Chief Ozokwa?

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5 Comments
  1. Margaret says

    Remain in which village?? She should go to the city pls, 5th wife to an octogenarian? Naaa this is a no Brainer, kinsmen should park to one side and if her mother truly loves her she would let her go and build a life for herself and not be selfish.

  2. Cheedee says

    Follow your mind

  3. Chisom says

    Captivating story… looking forward to the sequels!

  4. Natasha says

    A very deep one, which ever way Amaka decides to go, it wont be an easy battle, city or chief, misunderstandings that are likely to threaten the peace of the family must arise…

  5. Yomz says

    She should go to the city abeg..even if its housegirl she will do, she will make connection

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