Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ntenako: Chapter Four



 
Mbintu and Atongho loved playing even in public. Perhaps that is why Atongho really loved him. Unlike them, the Agbor-Ndakors were subsistent farmers. They had large farms of melons from which they made their Egusi. In this quarter and in this village, you will not see another great producer of Egusi like  Bessem-Enow.  For one reason or the other, she forced Agbor-Ndakor to leave his cocoa farm and follow her into making only egusi. Agbor ndakor will clear the forest, cut down all the big trees; from iroko, to mahogany, he will set traps around the farms to prevent the porcupine, cutting grass and other destructive animals from eating their crops. They also planted about 5 or 8 scarecrows. I don’t quiet remember everything, but I remember some of the scarecrows actually looked like human beings.  Usually the villagers put their fetishes on the entrance of the farm, but Agbor Ndakor’s own was in the middle. Chitchats have it that it was really powerful too.
It was sometime around July 25, 1992 that Bismarck Ntui who came to visit his parents from MolyKo Grammar School was affected. He was accompanying his grandmother to the farm and then he saw a plum tree that was all black. He branched and harvested some. He hid them inside his bag which he placed in their farm-hut without his grandmother knowing.
As he left the farm around 2 P.m., his body began itching that he could neither eat nor drink, he could not stop shouting and screaming as if bees were stinging him within. “Did you touch anything on your way to the farm? The grandmother asked. “Did you cut any plum?” You better speak the truth because since your brothers and sisters have been going to this farm, we have never had any of this. “She emphasized. Agbor-Ndakor has fetish in his farm that itches the body.”
Now Bismarck knew that he was a victim of the fetish. What would he say? He thought to himself. How will his grandparents look at him? What would the villagers think of him? Many of these thoughts ran amuck in his mind. Was he going to die if he did not confess? He once heard that those who were victims of fetishes may suffer for long before dying. He tried to think about those he had known. He could not count any, but he had heard of so many. He will resist again for a day and see if truly it is the fetch. Perhaps it was the grass that touched his body. There are some grasses that will make you miserable if they touched you. He went to bed without confessing but when he woke up, his face and body were all swollen with little boils.  “aiiihhhhh!” He screamed. “Big mami, big mami see weti don comot me for skin.” Grand mom, grand mom, see what has appeared on my body! He explained to the grandmother in Pidgin.  
Mma Manyi-nsok just began crying. To her, the villagers want to kill her grandson. She cried and called the quarter head. She called every relative in the village. Most of the people coming back from Agbor-Ndakor’s house heard of the cries and branched. Now, the news is going far and wide that Mma Manyi-Nsok’s grandson who came for vacation in the village is being bewitched. “How can this happen? Why are people wicked like this?” Some inquired.  “Who can be doing this? “Others asked.  Many children have come on holidays and gone back very ill with some recovering and others never ever having the luck to recover.  “I am not going to allow vainglory to kill me.” He said to himself. “I have to confess, but to whom though? He pondered again.
Every step of his life ate through his bones and marrows. He was his parents’ primogeniture. He has promised them that he was never going to fail them. If he allowed himself to be killed because of this curable disease, then he has surely failed them. “There was nothing wrong with making a U-Turn if we got lost.” A voice spoke to him.  Rather it is a noble act to ask for directions if we got lost. He could prevaricate, but his life wasn’t venal. He reflected. “That is a fact!” He screamed aloud.
Bismarck then got up and continued his journey towards his grandmother. It was better she knew that he stole plums rather than die and leave his parents in perpetual trouble. Furthermore, his death could even complicate matters, not only for the villagers but also for the grandmother as many have accused her of witchcraft in the village. Some will say that her grandson was killed because she had been a witch, and had destroyed the kids of others and others will say that she had killed her own grandchild. Many will not even cry because there was a popular saying in the village: “how can a lion cry for her cubs. What of those of others she ate?” The bond between grandma and Bismarck was so strong that he did not want to have her in that dilemma. The more he thought about it, the faster he walked. 

    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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