By Amie Sillah
Joana Chajel is an orphan rejected by maternal and paternal family. Story has it that her mother died giving birth to her and her father died in dastardly motor accident when she was 2 years of age. Her relatives discriminated her as being an evil child and being bad luck.
A ‘yaradal’ (a woman who loses her children) adopted her amidst dissuasion.
“Why do you adopt this ill fated child? Do you want to die? Have you not seen how her parents died and she being rejected by maternal and paternal relatives?” Neighbours told Aunty Magu.
She rebuked them.
“I have adopted her with a clean heart and God will see us through as he has taken all my kids at infancy, she is an innocent child and has brought me luck. Since I’ve adopted her my petty business has thrived as well as my husband’s mason work, that’s why Sam Pierre dotted on her. She again gave us the joy of being parents.” Aunty Magu argued.
Pa Sam Pierre has an accident and died and Aunty Magu was being pressured by family and friends to take Chajel to SOS but she refused and stood her guts.
She grew old with her ward until she saw her married to her sweet heart Alfred Algasim and she later passed on with great satisfaction and fulfillment.
They loved themselves and support each other. Algasim became the parents she lost; Chajel read Commerce and helped her husband in their family business.
Aunty Rosa Rugi
She is a widow nicknamed (‘Ngorr-Jigeen). Gossip has it that she poisoned her husband and squandered his wealth as the husband Pa Baaba was a womanizer who has many kids out of wedlock and has threatened not to will her and her kids. She was blessed with three kids, Lawrence Lamarana the eldest, Katherine Kanku and the youngest sibling Alfred Algasim whom she controlled with an iron fist.
Gossip also has it that through evil means she rendered Lama useless, irresponsible and a ‘mama’ boy’. He is not married and totally dependent on the handout Alfred gives to mama for welfare. He helped him many a times to set up business in the village to become responsible but to no avail. He drinks to stupor, smokes Indian Hem and womanizes but Aunty Rosa does not bother and he remains her ‘boy-boy’ up to the age of 40+ years.
She is dead opposed to Algasim marrying Chajel.
“How could you leave all legible women and went to marry a bad luck woman who has killed all her family and close friends?” Aunty Rugi protested.
She poisoned her other children against Chajel and they hate her with passion but Algasim protects his wife and make her life comfortable.
Mama Rosa did everything to frustrate their holy matrimony but the couple loved each other and was resilient.
He is the star of the family with double Masters in Business Management and Corporate Law Degree. He secured loan from the bank, set his businesses in importation of foodstuff as well as Clearing and Forwarding Agency. Chajel heads the Foodstuff business while Gasim heads the Forwarding and Clearing Agency.
She stayed at the village demanding a lot of money for family welfare while she uses the extra to patronize and lord it over the less privileged neighbours who run her beck and call and she became a village ‘yaayi compin’ highly sort after by ruling class politicians. To keep her there Gasim will succumb and gave her extra. If she comes to the city she brings her ‘warkala’ (troublesomeness) into their family finding fault into everything Chajel does or says.
He came to Mama protesting.
“Look at my situation! Am I not like a beggar? My youngest sibling lives in a mansion at the city and enjoying with his useless wife and here I am wangling in poverty; you should impress upon Gasim to give me another chance and this time around I’ll manage my business well and will not mess up and if I do let him not help me again.” He begged.
“You mess up! How many times did I prevail upon him to help you? Do you want him to kill himself for you?” Mama Rugi scolded him.
“Please mama do it for me this last time and if I mess up never help me again.” He pleaded.
“This is the last time I’ll prevail upon Algasim to help you, you are just a mess, like father like son.” Mama Rugi chided.
At the City
Chajel gave birth to a bouncing baby boy and both mother and child are very well. A modest Naming ceremony was conducted followed by a simple Christening attended by close friends and relatives. The child was named after Gasim’ father Bambi Baabagaleh.
Mama boycotted and refused to attend either ceremony. Chajel was worried but Gasim was cool.
“She is trouble and it is better for us if she is absent so as to live our lives in peace.”
She visited the city unannounced when the baby was three months old.
Mama Rosa came and found the couple out Mamut (Musa) the security and Mama Margo the house help were present. She passed them without greeting and when Mamut offered to help her she declined.
“Leave my bag do you want to steal from it?” She scolded. With laughter Mamut left and went back to his post.
Margo rushed to the house and went to the baby. She does not like Mama and she equally too despised her with passion.
“Mama is evil and wicked, she hates you and if she has the chance she will harm you and the baby be very careful of her.” She advised her madam after mama’s last visit before Chajel gave birth to Bambi Baabagaleh.
She is Chajel’s good neighbour and friend who is like a sister she never has. She is from a poor family with lot of children not going to school and her husband Kajally is a labourer and she sells cookery at the car park. Chajel lives at Brusubi while Ramatoulie lives at the village. Even though from different class backgrounds they bonded in friendship and Chajel helps her a lot. Margo is Rama’s daughter whom she adopted and she works for her as a house help and she sponsored her in Skill’s Centre where she learns tailoring and catering.
She paid her a visit today for assistance and Chajel asked her to play Ludo Game with her before going home.
Chajel is down to earth as she never forgets her past life people are surprise how a woman from a higher social class can befriend a woman from such a low class ground.
“God hates haughtiness some one gave me life and makes me what I am today, I have to give a helping hand to the less privileged.” She argued.
To be Cont.