By Amie Sillah
He sat alone contemplating. Sap came and shook him.
“My husband! What is the problem? You have been here for a while now contemplating. Can I share your problems?”
“Of course! Do you remember the dream I had of my brother and his family some time ago where a rich suitor who looks regal came to ask for I.J’s hand in marriage?”
Sap reflected for a while and scratched her head.
“O yes! I do remember about the dream you told me. You are right my husband!”
“Now you see, never doubt me again, I can prophesize.”
Magi in his house with Jaa
He is in his house with Jaa chatting. A knock at the door.
“Who is it?” He asked.
“Papa Essa. Yaa Dikon’s son.”
“Come in Essa, you are welcome.”
He came in.
“Where is your mom my niece, is she fine?”
“She is suffering from malaria and has gone to hospital. What can we do for you, my grandson?”
“ It is about my WAEC fees, my mom cannot afford it as a single parent, she lost my dad some years back and because of ill health she cannot worker harder as before due to age and health status.”
“I remember all that.” Magi asked Jaa to go into their room and bring out the required sum to pay the WAEC fees. She came out with the money and Magi gave it to Papa E.
“We took it from our emergency fund meant to help people in need. Make best use of it, take your exams and pass it and we pray to Allah that you become somebody someday to be useful first to yourself, your family and society.”
Papa E stooped down to pray for them.
“Get up! Allah is the only one to stoop for we are only mortal doing our duty to society when Allah has blessed us.”
She shed emotional tears.
“Allah is praised! Who am I Jaa of yesterday? Me who did not have three square meals to feed my family, my girls trek 2 kilometres daily to school, we could not pay fees for our girls, our immediate family scorned us, only genuine friends help, we are here paying fees for other people’s children, Allah is praised!”
“Didn’t I tell you to stop crying and lamenting about girl children as you nearly kill yourself for it? Which male child would have done all these things for us? We are now on fixed salaries, our store is full of foodstuff replenish every three months, we help hungry villagers with fees for their children and food on their table, we have a utility car to run our errands, there is a plan to build a village mansion for us, chosen as patrons in the village and catchment area for every ceremony be it burial, wedding or naming, many children are now name after us, we have virtually become celebrities, woman! Let us praise the lord for remembering us and changing our social status.”
“I.J said it when I went to collect the money for selling my ‘Hollandish’ wrappers to Madam Hor Jobe Hamza, she paid me cut-throat price for them; my daughter cried and said to me; ‘Mom! This is the third time you sold your valuables gold, wrappers, clothes at cut throat prizes just to see us through school, Mom! It is well noted by us, we will not disappoint you our parents, we will excel in school, become graduates, get good jobs or be self-employed to pay you back and get you out of poverty. We will pay you double; triple everything you’ve done for us.’ I thank you Allah! I am now giving to needy children, my fellow deprived women, nothing is static and everything is in motion.”
“Thank you lord you have now decided to embarrass me with wealth, help and bless these children for us O!” Magi prayed.
He sat at his swing chair and contemplated.
“Why haven’t you gone to work?”
“Why should I go to work when I am making little money, feeding your curse children, look how fat and obese you are, what you know is to only eat my food and defecate in my toilet, you have no use as a wife or a mother, what have you taught those boys while I go out to work to feed you?”
“Don’t even go there? What were you saying when I want to discipline the boys? Didn’t you ask me hands off your sons? Now, why are you blaming me?” Sap protested.
“I should have ask questions about your family background before marrying you, you have infected my children with your family bad luck, today they roamed the village roads causing nuisance with petty stealing not even highway robbery that could have been enough for us, bad blood!” He spat at the ground.
She being bad mouth and sharp tongue paid back bumper for bumper.
“Coal de call kettle black! Look at who is talking here; didn’t you maltreat your elder brother and called him all kinds of names; you made me disrespect him, we have boys what is their use compared to what the girls’ through their husbands are doing for their parents and at the same time their parents’ wishes being fulfilled in their continued university education. Isn’t it the law of Khmer? What goes around comes around! Allah has clapped for them and you now want to be part of the glory, reaping where you never sow? Had you ever contributed anything towards their education? Have you ever borrowed him feeding money or pay towards the family medical bill? And now you shamelessly bluffed about the ‘useless girls’ as you used to call them? How can you bluff about another man’s hard won success? Jealousy and grudge will kill you. Go and find out why our boys are cursed before standing here and accosting blame onto me.” Sap paid back.
“Now you talk to me any how you like useless mother, so-called wife? Your boys bump successful villagers, no ounce of dignity in them. I won’t go anywhere; I am very tired of feeding grown up idiots and imbeciles!” Maga ranted and raved at the top of his voice.
Magi with Jaa
They are attending a naming ceremony where the baby was being named after Magi.
She is going to the stream to fetch water carrying a big drum.
“Ahaa! Where are you two going dressed like peacock in flamboyant ‘ashobi’ attire?”
“O! Alhajj Sunkaru is naming his first son by his ‘maanyo’ (young wife) being named after your brother in law Magi, we are going to take our ‘ndoli’ (present) and ‘daremi tuur’ (present on the name).”
“O! Am sorry I was invited but I’ve forgotten altogether; go well and come back in peace amen!”
“Where are the boys to help you fetch water?” Jaa asked.
“Who those ‘big papas’! Do you want them to beat me up? I have to pay for their services if not they will not do anything for me; aren’t they cursed?” Sap lamented.
“No! No! A mother should not say such about her children, let us keep praying for them to grow up and change. Do you want to attend the ceremony?” Jaa asked.
“Of course, but you are already set to go and moreover, I am very broke today, market is not good all these days.”
“Well! When we return I’ll allow you get water from our water tank; meanwhile go inside dress up and come with us.” She took out D200 and gave it to her.
“You can give Nansatou D50 and keep the rest for yourself.”
She stooped and prayed for them.
“It’s okay, just get up going there and get dressed; we are waiting for you.” Sap is very ashamed whenever Jaa gave her present, remembering how she used to torment her with boy child syndrome and refusing to assist her in whatsoever manner possible.
To be cont.