By Amie Sillah
She is going to the stream to fetch water.
“Ah! Where are you going dressed in flamboyant ‘garnila’ dye print?”
“Today is the naming ceremony of Alhajj Banta’s ‘maanyo’ who gave birth to a baby boy to be named after Magi; we are going to give ‘deremi tuur’ and ‘ndoli’ and to also grace the occasion.”
“O I forgot as I was also invited by the girl’s mother who is a member of our ‘compin’. We have to take our ‘tek’ (donation) for her. But I cannot go I am ‘broke’ business nowadays is worst.”
“Do you really want to go to the ceremony?”
“Go inside, get dressed we are waiting for you,” Jaa posited.
He sat at the driver’s seat, shook his head, amused watching the unfold drama while they awaited Sap.
“Nothing is static everything moves in motion.” He told his wife who smiled and concurred, their positive action shaming his brother and wife all the more.
When Saptieu came out Jaa gave her D200.
“Here, take D50 as you said for your ‘teklaa’ and the rest you keep for yourself. When we return you can get water from my water tank.”
Sap bowed for her and Jaa remained composed and humble giving all glory to God. Magi drove to the ceremony.
The boys helped the in-laws offload the building materials to the warehouse. They came back to the home. The spouses laid their rules.
“Here are the log books to record all materials coming in or out of the store. No stealing you have to ensure that and you’ll be well compensated,” the spouses posited.
“We are ‘bad boys’ we know ourselves, they dare we not because they know what we are capable of,” The boys bluffed.
Magi is amused and he smiled.
“Anything for the ‘little boys’?”
“Of course! There is always something for our in-laws.”
Sura asked Yerro to give him his brief case.
He took out D5000 for each sibling. They became excited as they jumped high and danced.
“They are very funny guys.” They posited.
“Yerro and Lama will not kill me,” Magi posited. They saluted the spouses and left.
Magi with the Spouses
“My in-laws!” He shed emotional tears.
“No Papa a point of correction, we are your sons drop in-laws out of it. Your ‘pure’ innocent daughters brought luck and prosperity into our lives and businesses. They are well brought up and the source of our joy and happiness. We cannot just thank you dad. Don’t you worry, Tunde and me are here for good.”
“I don’t know where to start my sons; I only prayed for you to be blessed and sheltered forever.”
The spouses left for the city. Papa and Mama waved them goodbye and asked them to greet their spouses for them.
At the City
They sat at the Dining having their lunch in T.J’s house. I.J is around nowadays to help her pregnant sister as she is very heavy now especially when Sura is not around.
“I’ll always be grateful to you for making me to meet my husband,” I.J posited.
“Are you also not forgetting too soon O? You supported me to marry Sura and if you didn’t I wouldn’t have been here enjoying ‘good life’ having fun and eating chicken,” T.J posited.
“Who is calling my name? I am here to join you in the dining.” He stooped, kissed his wife and asked because he now knows the baby’s sex through the scan:
“How is Alhajj Sura, my son doing?” Sura lost his dad while his mother was pregnant with him, she was the fourth and youngest wife, when she gave birth his people named his son after him and his mother stopped her mourning period. He kissed T.J’s ‘big belly’ and she laughed heartily as he helped himself.
Sura again kissed his wife before he ate his food.
“Am I not being made jealous here? Where is my husband?” I.J asked.
“Am I your husband keeper?”
“Are you not his friend whom I should ask?”
“Should I not crack a joke with my sister and best friend’s wife anymore?”
He laughed heartily and said:
“He’s gone to his office to complete his office work load.”
“How are our parents and Cow Maga’s family?” T.J asked.
“They are all fine and have sent their greetings.”
“How is the construction?” I.J asked
“We are at the finishing end and Insha Allah before the Muslim New year we would have completed the edifice, it takes the shape of a big barracuda fish, very artistic and beautiful, our father said his father was a fisherman ‘Chibulo’ fishermen among the Fula ethnic group. Our group of Architects designed the building. After the completion of the building we will surprise him and mama with tickets to perform the holy journey.”
“Excuse me guys, I want to go and prepare something nice for my hussy after a tedious trip to the village in the rough, bumpy roads.”
“No! No! Sit down and eat your food afterwards you can drive home and do whatsoever you want,” Sura posited as T.J concurred.
He reported back to his wife.
“The edifice is phenomenal, we asked Papa what he likes and he told us that his dad a ‘Chibulo’ was a skillful fisherman who supplied big fish to the village and catchment area since Colonial times even supplying the white Commissioner who helped him sent his two boys to school. The edifice took the form of a huge barracuda fish. It mesmerized the village and catchment area and tourists are taking pictures of it when they visit the village.
Everything has been done we are now at the finishing touches.”
I.J became excited.
“My sweetie I cannot wait to see our parents finally get a structure they can call their own. Cow Maga always boasts that he put a roof over our head.”
“Honey that will soon be a thing of the past.” Tunde kissed her forehead.
Jealousy and Grudge
Sap is very displeased that her sons bump for every successful person of the village especially now they do it for the spouses’ of their cousins. She reflected over the past when they used to lord it over the other family. Her husband vigorous bringing goody as business strives.
“With their new found wealth! Is it the Law of Khmer? Now they are giving out crumbs to us and we are at the receiving end. Magi and Jaa are now loyalty of the village, patrons to ceremonies, paying fees for the needy and putting food on tables of poor families. I cannot take this! I cannot take it!”
At the Village
Tenneng and Sura are with the parents and the pregnancy is advancing.
“You are blossoming, the joy of motherhood and you have radiated the whole room.” Magi commented with broad smile and excitement. The couple is happy and love themselves.
Tenneng turned to Mama and teased her.
“Mama, you are getting younger daily.”
“This is my handiwork with Allah’s help and blessing, I am taking good care of her,” Papa posited.
“That’s correct Papa and I believe you,” Tunde commented.
“Papa, play the flute for me I want to dance.” Tenneng requested.
“At this advanced stage of pregnancy?” Mama questioned.
“Let me show you some dance steps.” Tenneng got up and danced giving joy and laughter.
“Papa we have to take you to the city to play for my wife when she put to bed.”
“Surely, I’ll always play for you and that would be daily. Where is your sister? I miss her.”
“She has stopped with Tunde to shop for the things we will need for the house opening and Qur’an recitation. They’ll soon be here.”
Sura gave Tenneng some money to give to Mama.
“Women are better managers than us; my little manager here will give you the envelope to add to what you have as our contribution during our stay here,” Sura explained.
“Thank you.” Mama said.
Papa took the flute and started to play for her daughter who got up and dance amidst laughter and joy.
To be Cont.