By Amie Sillah
Maga dreamt about his elder brother’s family. A wealthy convoy of posh cars drove into their compound and a rich young man alerted from one of them and was ushered onto his seat. A lot of people were around in a festive air of pomp and show.
In the midst of all Jaa came out tall, proud, beautiful and expensively dressed. She greeted the visitors and Magi asked her to call her daughter who came out radiant and flashily dressed in flamboyant robes as if in a white wedding.
Maga woke up in cold sweat shivering and shaking. He woke Sap up.
“Sap! Sap! Wake up!”
“What is it my husband? Is it malaria? You are shivering and shaking as a leaf.”
“No! No! It is not malaria but a bad dream about my brother and his family.”
“What sort of dream is it?” Sap asked.
“I saw a royal wedding for I.J married to the upper class with attendant pomp and show at the wedding ceremony.”
“Happiness in dream is not a good sign it spells the opposite which is sadness for them,” Sap posited.
“You are in cold sweat and need malaria drugs.”
At the Farm
Magi is at the farm with Tenneng his younger daughter. He is tired and stopped to drink water, sat down and play his flute. T.J stopped work came to him.
“Baaba! There is so much sadness in your song; why are you so sad?” T.J asked.
“You would not understand my daughter, life is with pain but people you love do add value to your life and you must live for them.”
“Do you ever regret life?” T.J asked.
“No! Not at all; you siblings and your mother are my strength and you make life sweet and beautiful for me.”
Magi with Maga
At night he knocked his brother.
“I hope everything is fine O knocking at my door this night?”
“Sort of, it is about the WAEC, I.J and T.J are to sit to the exam, I.J should have sat to it last year but it was postponed due to financial constraint, I don’t want that to happen this year again,” Magi explained.
“That is good news time flies,” Maga posited.
“I want you to lend me some money to that effect when I sell my farm produce I’ll pay you back; I have run around but what I have is not enough, can you help me please?”
“I don’t have fuel for my truck the money I have been spent on it, please stop begging me what I don’t have, even if I have don’t you think these children’ education is enough? They can read and write, go the nearest town and married them off to young men. No need for hypertension bro, good night,” Maga argued.
Magi started to leave.
“Okay! It is alright.”
“Are you angry with me? You should try to understand me.”
“Angry! Why should I? Isn’t it your money and you the right to give it to whoever you want?”
“Sleep well O!” Maga said and he frowned behind his brother.
She too is running around to find the fund for her girls’ education. She visited Yaa Baajen her best friend.
“These are the ‘Hollandish’ original ones they don’t fade and embroidery clothes which my husband gave me when he married me; you can buy them or take them as collateral for you to lend me money to pay for my girls’ WAEC. What used are they to me when I can’t pay for my girls’ education?”
“I am sorry I don’t need them,” Yaa explained.
Jaa stooped in front of her.
“Please! Don’t stoop for me, get up! I’ll help you.” She got into her room and came out with D3000. 00.
“It is not much but this is what I have, your materials are more than it but I’ll keep them until you pay me back my money.”
“Thank you very much my good friend and may Allah bless you.”
“You are welcome, what are friends for? The siblings are my children too,” Yaa posited.
Magi harvested a lot of cassava, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and green leaves; he called Alhajj Banta a middle man and decided to sell it to him. They bargained.
“Give me D10, 000, it is much more but I am desperate to pay for my girls’ education.”
“I have only D4000.00 nothing more, nothing less!”
He came and met Alhajj and greeted him.
“Banta! Banta! The trader who go to where he gets it cheap at cut-throat prices; what are you doing at my father’s compound?”
He looked and saw the loads of farm produce and examined them.
“What are you doing with all these farm produce?”
“I harvested them from my farm and am selling them to pay for my girls’ education; do you see anything wrong in that?”
“I’ve warned you to stop worrying about these girls and wasting money on them; these crops are yet to be ripe, these girls will eventually abandon you and go to their husbands’ houses to develop them and leave you in your poor abode.”
“Thank you!” Magi continued to bargain for a good price.
“Are you going to sell?” Alhajj Banta asked.
“Of course I’ll sell! It is just the concerns of a brother, they are my crops and I am selling them.”
“Come down, what you are asking is exorbitant and the crops are yet to be ripe as your brother has rightly said.”
“Add more D4000. 00 is too small.”
“D4000. 00 or am gone! Are you ready to sell?”
Magi hesitated but finally agreed, he has no choice but to give away his hard earned farm produce to pay for his girls’ education.
“Okay! Give me the money.” He counted the sum and gave it to him.
“I’ll send my children to come for it, thank you.”
She came with her daughter Ousai and confronted Saptieu.
“Your son Lamarana impregnated my daughter.”
“Nonsense! That is a lie, how can my handsome son impregnate your ugly daughter? It is impossible. If your wayward daughter want her ‘bastard’ unborn child to be fathered let her try somewhere else but not here.” Sap blasted at them.
“Look at you a so-called mother and a woman saying that to a fellow woman, a girl for that matter? Shame on you!” Ebruwa fought back. She took a cutlass and started to chase them out of her compound.
“Who are these people in my compound? Has it turned into a ‘luumo’? (weekly market).What is it?”
“These vagabonds accused Lama of rape with subsequent pregnancy,” Sap explained. Maga laughed sarcastically.
“Your lunatic, calcitrant son enter my house and raped my daughter when she was asleep which subsequently led to pregnancy,” Ebruwa explained as Maga caricatured her.
“How is that possible and your daughter did not shout for help?”
“He took a pillow and covered her mouth.” Ebruwa explained.
“Before he did that why didn’t she bite his hand or fingers? Your daughter was playing around and when she knew she was pregnant she decided to lay it on my son, is it my well- built house, truck or motorbike that you are eying?Do you think I have money? Money I don’t have and my son is not responsible, get going, out of my compound before I get physical.”
Ebruwa turned to her daughter.
“You have made a big mistake; you should have stabbed him with a knife or cut his manhood. We are going but I’ll be back!”
To be Cont.