Sunday, May 13, 2012

Limpopo Kratisa

Limpopo lived with his wife of 40 years and 12 kids in Likomba where he will die on July 22, 1986 at 12.00 P.M. He was from a little remote village called Bachuo Ntai (although he was enlightened as if he came from the city of Ntenako). He had lived in Malabo for years. The first three months of his arrival, he was the boulevardier. In those days, Malabo was to Southern Cameroonians as New York is to Africans today. Everyone dreamed of going there, and God had made it possible for Ta Enowfukang. He had taken a nom de guerre or name of adventure: Limpopo Kratisa. Everyone knew he was loaded not only as he came with twelve kids from the same wife, but he also had brought the proceeds of oil money.  His long stay abroad had made him to lose touch with his village. Some hated him, but others loved him. He was always a dividing topic amongst those who knew him. I heard of him too when I was a kid. He had seven daughters. As you know, if the palm tree does not get ripe, birds do not hover on it. Every village or city bird always stopped on Limpopo’s roof. Unfortunately, Limpopo became sick briefly and died just like a chicken attacked by the Newcastle Disease.
Before Limpopo died, he gave his will. The first was that he should never be put on the cargo area of the car. He wanted his coffin to be inside the van or bus with people. Secondly, he wanted to be buried in Likomba. Thirdly, he had willed everything to his wife.  Fourthly, he cautioned the relatives and villagers against shaving his wife’s head as she has been shaved already putting up with him for 40 years and above. The night before he died, he gathered his wife and all twelve kids towards his sick bed and told them this will.
Immediately after he died, his older son informed his uncle who convened other relatives living in Douala, Yaoundé, Limbe, Muea, Ekona, and even those who worked in the Tole Tea Plantations. They all assembled. They decided to take him home, but the wife and kids rejected and stated his will. The family head said Limpopo was like a chief, so he will not be buried outside no matter what he told them all, so they ignored his will.
The wake was arranged, and the next day they had rented a 19 seater bus to take him to his village in Bachuo Ntai. They took the coffin and place it on the cargo spot on top of the bus because someone people did not want to sit with a coffin in the bus. Without going 50 kilometers, Limpopo’s coffin slipped and fell by the road side. The people took it and retied it back up, this time with stronger ropes. Then after about 100 kilometers, the coffin fell off the car again, this time with Limpopo’s corpse out of the coffin smiling. When one old woman saw it, she went into the bush, cut a whip and began whipping Limpopo’s corpse. Americans will say “abuse of a dead body.” People were praising her “ ngore nkwoh (woman tiger), mgbokondem (princess), ngoreh papa (papa’s wife),   and tamfang (thorny tree).” The corpse became red. They retied the corpse back on top of the bus and as they went 25 miles, the coffin began shaking and shaking, and the driver veered into the bush into a little creek where 12 of the people died.
A timber truck that was coming from Mamfe towed the survivors out of the bush. They took his corpse from the cargo place and put it inside the buss and then made a U Turn back to Likomba where he was buried.  The same day that he was buried, he appeared to his sister and told her that he speared their life because they were not in accordance with the rest else they too would have gone.  He told her that he was going back to Malabo and will write them. That night, like a spirit leopard that visited a village, Limpopo disappeared into the thick bush.
 Perhaps next time people will learn to respect the dead’s will. When someone dies and leaves a will, do not change that will. Some houses have been known to be hunted because someone disobeyed a will. At times some have swindled the dead man’s will and calamity upon calamity had befallen them.

Until then, do not alter people’s wills.

St Arrey of Ntenako“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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