Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nkwaimou

Nkwaimou was a local headmaster who was popularly known in his village and the proximate villages. Women sang his praises and men hoisted him to the level of a god. He was a smart and wise man; caring and understanding; never sparing an opportunity to do good pass him by. His 12 kids and wife of about 20 years said he was the same person both at home and outside. It was difficult to find a fault in him if you were not persnickety. Nkwaimou had debunked the usual notion that when you are married you do not visit people. On top of his choir master position he played the role of a true headmaster.
Early in the morning he rode his bike from the town where he lived to the village where he worked. Every child on that road knew him. He greeted youngsters like he greeted the dotards. If he was coming back from work and saw a woman struggling for anything he stopped by to help. If cars were stuck in mud he ordered the men around to provide succor. He was so close to the ladies of the village that many men thought he cuckolded them or perhaps was their Sancho.
Then out of a bleu moon, a child was brought to his house. He was a boy he got from another village when he was the headmaster. After all his other kids were grown up that some have gone to Britain on government scholarships and the other ones have migrated to town either to fend for themselves or patch up with their older ones.
Nkwaimou had an old bicycle that could carry him, an extra person and a goat behind. But the spokes of that bike were bent and so he gave it to a repairer who could not finish it on time. He decided to take the old one he was using before he bought the new one. With that one he could only carry a person or a goat on his back.
It was Wednesday: the market day of Ntenako: my town. This village has quickly grown into a town. There is a myth that the people of this village were semi gods; they never lost a single battle. Their enemies fear them not for their number but for their spiritual and mystical strength. Before Nkwaimou could go to work he will have to pass through Ntenako on the market day.
This is how Nkwaimou carried his son on his bicycle.
He was a hero and everyone knew him. When he reached Besongabang people began asking him: “Eh Nkwaimou, did you buy yourself a slave”? Then he will ask: “Why”? They question: “Why are you riding a bike while the boy is walking”? He will say: “what should I do; I am getting old. But this is my son that I got when I was headmaster from so and so village”. Then some villagers said: “But it is not fair that he should walk on foot. The distance is too far. By the way are you going to school?”
That bothered Nkwaimou a lot that before reaching Ntenako where everyone knew him as a hero, he asked the boy to climb on the bike while he walked. Immediately as people saw him, they shouted at the boy: “You small wizard, what is wrong with you that you let an old man like this walk on foot while you sit on a bike like a slave owner”? A female voice pierced through the crowd: “It is pure witchcraft in broad day light. These children are turning to monsters these days. Look, the old men are now slaves to the young ones”. Another one squealed: “If you don’t climb down now I will burst that elephant head of yours”. The boy’s occiput was like that of Enoma and Nchanga. It was long behind with a curve. Then he added a little slur: “Nyamfuka”! One woman who was selling her garri imputed: “you would have at least carried your father”. Then one known drunkard in town commented: “Ma Elisa, don’t you see that HM (headmaster as he was popularly known) is bigger than the boy. Do you want to kill the boy? Ok when you kill him give me only the head”. Finally, a little child said: “Make the papa carry the pikin noh; nobi na papa de get for carry pikin them”?
Nkwaimou decided to carry the boy on the back and pedal his bike. Just after Ntenako; entering Ndekwai is a small stream with a footbridge. While on the bike crossing the bridge they were frightened by a truck overloaded and overlapping with oranges and others that the inevitable happened. Nkwaimou slithered with the bike and both of them fell into the stream. Minutes later, young kids who were bathing down the stream saw blood and rushed to their shock. It was Nkwaimou and his son; they fell and gushed out their brains on ashlars that villagers have gathered. Nkwaimou was dead. The young people took their bodies to town.
The type of truck that frightened Nkwaimou.
Epilogue in the village holds that Nkwaimou died for trying to please everyone. Beware those who try to give happy meals to everyone; you cannot please everybody. There are some people who are unappeasable no matter what you do. The destiny of Nkwaimou is what holds for anyone who tries to please everybody. It is not everybody who matters to you. No matter how a radio is powerful it does not capture every station. Don’t over widen your antennas to hear everything people say about you; you may be digging your grave. Actually his name Nkwaimou means simpleton. Only Simpletons try to please everyone. So tell me: are you a Nkwaimou?
Until then, don’t be a Nkwaimou.
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

“Go for the person who loves you most and not the one you love most for the one you love most may not give you the love you need most because though love is blind marriage is an eye-opener” (Hamilton Ayuk).

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