Early in the morning, after Nnenna and her children had taken their birth and had their break fast. Nnenna put Ada-ora to bed for siesta.
“Nne” Ndidi called her to the passage
“yes” Nnenna replied
“What did you say that happened in the village, that made you to come late in the night?” Ndidi asked.
“hmm… my sister, it is my husband again o”, Nnenna replied
“What happened to him?”
“You know I took in” “yes” Ndidi replied with kin interest.
“so I gave birth to a baby girl, Ndi was very mad and furious at the children, he said he needs a male child, granny tried all he could do to calm him down, but he insist I leave his house with my daughters and never return” Nnenna replied with tears
“eh! you don’t mean it” Ndidi snapped
“that was what happened my sister O”
“but what about the child?” Ndidi asked.
“ah! The child…… the child is dead
“Ewo….. Chimo…..” Ndidi screamed
“what kill the child?”
“Palm oil fruit struck her to death”
Nnnena Explained with hot tears
“oh! My goodness” Ndidi exclaimed
“but I told you before time not marry that man, all their family value only son.
“but it’s not my fault”
“then whose fault?” Ndidi asked
“Mama and papa insist that I marry Ndika, that they don’t want any of their children to be poor” Nnenna Explained.
“Well, I guess, where ever they are, they are happy to see you like this said Ndidi.
“Don’t talk like this Ndidi, they never knew it will be like this”
“oh! They never knew. Will they ever know, when they were blind folded with money. Said Ndidi.
“well, you are welcome, thank God no harm happened to your two daughters”.
Ah! Thank you my dear “said Nnenna.
Oh! I almost forgot” Ndidi exclaimed
“What is it? Nnenna asked
“Ulor came here last week”
“she came here for a visit?”
“so, where is she now?”
“hmm….. she has gone back to Lagos” “yes she has”
“I don’t know if she will be happy to see me”
“why not she will, Mama is there with her”, Ndidi explained.
“what about Obinna?” Nnenna asked ”he’s with Orma at Akpajo’ Ndidi replied
“alright, I will try all I could to visit Ulorma next week”
“if you say so… but I don’t think am coming with you” said Ndidi There was a knock on the door.
“yes! Na who?” Ndidi stood up to know who it was.
“ Na me, Ndi, person dey fine you for here” said the voice
“wait I dey come” Ndidi replied holding the door knob
“Nne, am coming, let me see the caller”
Ndidi replied and out went she to see the caller.
Nnenna adjust the position of her Children on the pink bed and layed beside them.
The thought of visiting Ulorma in Lagos filled Nnenna mind, as she stared at ceiling with her palm on her head.
“hope she will receive me” Nnenna thought aloud and heaved a sign.
Nnenna had three sisters and brother. Ever since Ndika pushed her out of her house, her sisters had scorned her, accept Ndidi who seem to be a kind with her. Orma and Ulorma are Nnenna major problem. To put salt on an injury, Nnenna’s mother.
Nje-Ego, never help matter, to her Nnenna is a course and shame to the family. Whenever Ulorma scorn Nnenna, she never said a word instead she shut Nnenna when ever she want defend herself.
Mr. Ikechukwu Obiora, Nnenna father, fell ill and died peacefully on his bed at an old age. He has been Nnenna’s hope, joy and resting place when he was still alive.
Mr. Ikechukwu never hurt Nnenna feeling although he treats all his kids equally but Nnenna seems to be his favorites of all the children he had.
When Nnenna had Ada and Ada-ora, he took it to himself as their grand father that they lacked nothing. He’s death took the two girls to bed for a whole week with nothing in their stomach. Nnenna felt the world had crashed before her when she heard her father was dead but that has been years ago.
Back in the village, the news of Nnenna misfortune had spread round the village ofUmu-Aku like wild fire during the hammatern season. It has become the latest news in the village, as rumor mongers twist and spice the story to make it sound interesting and sweet to every ear that cares to listen.
It’s a sunny afternoon, a huge thatched bacher could be seen in the market square. There’s a huge tree in the middle of the market. It’s Eke market day, so the market booming with people of which majority are women and children. Some people spread their goods while others decide to creat a little shade closeto the huge tree, children were sent to all their goods while strolling around the market calling out for buyers. Among the thatched bacher is one peculiar little palm joint were the worst drunk of village could be found.
Four drunk could be seen sitting round a wooden table, with a big dirty plastic jug filled with fresh palm. The four men seems to be in a hot argument.
“ What Ndika did was very wrong” Said Muna
“ How is it wrong, is Nnenna not a woman?”Ikenna asked
“ Abeg, help me ask am person wet go school” Emeka chipped in.
“ But Muna’s right, Ndika should have leave Nnenna with the child, perhaps when the right time comes Nnenna will give birth to a son” Mike advices.
“. Come pastor Mike, I no no wetin carry you come here I, no be your mate dey school dey read, you no go go join them” said Emeka looking at Mike who acted like it wasn’t him he was talking to.
“All right let’s face reality now” said Mike looking at everyone “I want to ask you all a question, will you Emeka send your wife packing simply because she didn’t give birth to make child” Mike asked “ No call that kind thing simple o “ Emeka corrected “ okay am sorry, but will you send your wife packing?” Emeka asked again but Emeka was calm “How about you Ikenna?” Mike asked
“ Hey if my wife try am, I go beat am then pushuam commit from my house, she dey craze no be woman she be and no be man I be, I don do my man work make she give me man” Ikenna replied
“ Idiot, na in make your life dey like this” said Mum’s looking at Ikenna
“ how my life dey? In no better pass your own?” Ikenna faced Muna ready to fight
“ Wait make I even ask you this question, between you and your wife’s birthday gift fit beat each other ,you wet be say your second name na Kai Kai” said Mum’s with a mischievious smile
“Na your name be ogogoro Muna, bongs fish wet never chop well” Emeka snapped
“ See this praying mantis like say the ogbonor soup wet your wife give you for house still dey worry your head” Said Mum’s with a fierce look.
“Its alright” Mike tried to calm them down “Its just clear that what Ndika did was wrong, Nnenna is not God who gives children both male and female, Ndika should have conceder that” said Mike adjusting his position he continued.
“Now all of you should listen, education has made our women wise and string. Gone are the days when women and female child are seen as week vessels, gone are the days when women works ends in kitchen, gone are the days when male child ate valued more than the female child,and gone are also the days when father’s force their wives give them male children who will work and till the ground for them. This is a modern erra, technology has changed the world, and in some parts if the world, women are the leading ones. Education has enlighten and has made the women wise” Mike explained.
“ Wetin Mike talk na true o. Yesterday I try call Ngi, Mazi Okon daughter, as I try touch her back side she also me” said Ikenna
“ so, unna don see am, girls don get sense now. The girl no say you want use am then dum am when you finish but she no gree you that’s why she slap you so that next time you go see road well . Said Muna
“ I Believe una, because Nazi Okene children na all girls but na den they feed now sonebuikd house finish get married” Emeka agreed with them.
“ Am glad you all have seen the benefit of a girl child. Girls are gift from God and are wise too. One thing that made me love them is this When they’re determined to do something they don’t rest until they get it done” Suad Mike and with this the four men end their argument.
Author: Ruth Lawrence
African Girl Child
The word I wished I said