By Amie Sillah
They always scorn his brother’s family and call them names bluffing that they are blessed with boys while the others have only girls. Now the rejected stone have become the centre piece. T.J’s spouse proves his worth and kept to his promise to Papa that he would train the girls up to any level and the sky is the limit.
Now I.J has a suitor. Maji’s family is progressing while Maga’s is retrogressing. Sap cannot swallow the bitter truth she became obsessed with grudge and jealousy but she decided to pretend ‘maaslaha’ the Gambia style that she is pleased with Magi’s family.
“I am happy for you my sister, the girls have made us proud, I pray the boys also change and follow their sisters’ footsteps,” Sap posited.
“Amen O! Amen!”
She came to the village for her wedding preparation. She wanted it to be very expensive and talk of the village for a long time.
“My husband is very rich and can afford it. Just say any amount,” she argued.
“We should not be greedy to earn the wrath of your suitor. Our family is always contented with what we have until now when our situation is steadily improving since the arrival of Sura into our family. Let us keep it that way my daughter, we should only ask what tradition permits nothing more, nothing less.”
He came and found them discussing and he asked to see their list and straight away rejected it.
“We are not selling you but just giving your hand in marriage to your suitor. I want to be able to pay if ever my daughter is treated as a slave but if I asked for large sum of money you’ll become an indentured slave forever.”Jaa concurred but I.J is angry.
“Tunde loves me very much and would not mind spending a fortune on my head please do not discourage him,” she pleaded.
“Nonsense! We don’t mind if he does it out of his own volition and in such a case we will not be obliged to pay for anything if the marriage turn sour Allah forbids. We will strictly go by what the Qur’an stipulated, nothing less nothing more!”
Maije Gu Njayka (Marriage Gifts)
Tunde’s people came from Nigeria in grand style just as they do it at home.Convoy of expensive cars entered the village horning attracting everybody’s attention. Villagers and invited relatives and guests packed full the compound.
Tunde came out regally dressed in flashy robes accompanied by his best man and friend Sura. Flower girls came out sprinkling flowers in front of him and he is also accompanied by his family’s griot (praise singer).
Magi and his Relatives
They were stunned, they thought it was only an ordinary bringing of marriage gifts but not in such a grand style. There and then they decided to tie the marriage at the village grand mosque ‘Jaaka’.
I.J and T.J
The bride hid at her uncle’s house with her sister T.J and their friends. She called her into Nene Sap’s bedroom.
“What is this?”
“You didn’t tell me Tunde is from a traditional ruling family at his town,” I.J protested.
“We decided to make it as a surprise packet, now when you visit his home and he succeeded his father as the first son you’ll be referred to as ‘lollo’ (queen).”
“Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to be married to a business tycoon and also a traditional ruler.”
“A good turn deserves another, had you shown jealousy when Sura proposed to me I would not have been in a position to enable Tunde see you and propose to you. You are a wonderful sister and I would lay my life for you if need be,” uttered T.J shedding emotional tears and hugging and kissing her sister.
At the Compound
Tunde fulfilled all the rites according to the Qur’an and in turn presented his bride with two trinket boxes one of gold and the other of other precious stones worth millions of dalasi.
He is excited and has to ask questions.
“Who is our in-law, a son to a billionaire or a king?”
His griot Alhajj Buhari spoke.
“Tunde here is the son of a great traditional ruler of Yoruba land whose great ancestors fought against Colonialism. His father is rich but Tunde through his ingenuity has business acumen and had legally made his wealth as a business tycoon. He has businesses all over Africa and he believes in African Unity that is why he decided to marry a wife from the Gambia. Your family is bless to have such an in-law.”
“Let us share the drinks.” He called his wife Sap and asked her to give food to the guests as well as the parcels.
“Eat, drink and be merry, Tunde our in-law is a billionaire,” Cow Maga posited.
The in-laws bought a utility car for Cow Magi; they become overwhelmed.
“Thank you our father for giving us these wonderful maidens who give us good luck since we married them. This handy gift will help you transact your small businesses in the village and catchment area; please identify a driver whom we will pay monthly.”
“My in-laws! I can drive, give me the key.”
“That settles it! Your sons not in-laws, we have become the sons you’ve never had.”
Magi prayed for his sons and praised the lord.
Exclaimed and called the neighbours.
“Relatives! Neighbours come O! Allah is in my house come and see him O!” She danced and praised the lord.
She rushed to see what was happening.
“Who owns the car?”
“We own it my wife and me. My sons bought it for us; we who trek the vase area on foot because of lack of fares, our girls trek their whole school years under the scorching sun; Allah is great and whom he blesses no man can curse! Thank you God!” He looked up and prayed.
“Our in-laws we are grateful for everything you have done and is doing for us as a family, may Allah bless you all the more. Amen!” Sap prayed.
“Amen O!” Jaa and Magi concurred.
He came and Sap told him; he just rushed to the backyard and asked to be left alone. He reflected.
“I’ve seen it coming when I had that dream about I.J and it happened exactly as in the dream. These girls came with their luck I did everything to thwart their development but to no avail. I have to do something if not my family will remain wretched and my brother’s family becomes blossom.”
To be Cont