Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Ntenako: Chapter 6: Tabe-Ngwaih, the Greedy Husband.
Mbintu was intending to move in with his brother in law- Tabei-Ngwaih who lived in the city. He was a very greedy man who always ate his wife’s food until he was poisoned. He had heard about him, but it did not mean much because he did not know him well. Epilogue goes that the man has been bad since when he was a youngster.
Tabe-Ngwaih was born in Etogho village on June 23, 1979. He had signs of a trouble-maker since when he was still in primary school. People usually say that blood is thicker than water, but it seems the opposite with him because his parents were well educated and decorous. It was a rule that like father, like son, but this time it was different. Although his parents were well educated, he made it a habit to skip school. One day, after skipping from school, the teacher called their home. He picked up the phone, so the teacher asked to talk to the father. “Tabe-Ngwaih had malaria today; that is why he did not come to school.” He said. “With whom I am talking?” The teacher asked and Tabe-Ngwaih replied, “This is my father talking!”
When he came back to school, he was severely punished for trying to deceive the teacher. Those two days before Monday would be very long. He went to his friend’s house, Akikereh to seek consolation. Akikereh told him that for some time now, he himself has not been sleeping well because Zuma gave him nightmares. Zuma was their teacher who made them to learn 25 new words every day. How do you cope with the pressure? He inquired. “I get up every two hours and I cry.” He replied. “I bet you also suckle? Otherwise, why you would get up every two hours to cry like a baby?” Tabe-Ngwaih teased him. He was heartily heartless. His mischief had some competition too.
Tabe-Ngwaih had a daughter called Atongo. It seems as if a fruit cannot fall far from the tree. She was as mischievous as the father. She always sat on the telephone for long hours that no one dared to use it again. Everyone knew that if Atongho sat there, it would need at least five hours before should could even go to drink water. One day, the phone rang and she was the first to run unto it. She picked it up and spoke for almost 45 minutes. Her father wondering what had happened, asked her why the conversation was that short this time. She replied, “Papa, it was a wrong number.”
Therefore, it was unknown what would happen to him if he moved in with the uncle. Was he going to be like his uncle and his kids, or was he going to be different? He pondered over it. One day, he told his uncle that he intended to move to the city with his brother in-law. His uncle sorrowfully laughed and narrated a story that happened just two days ago.
Tabe-Ngwaih was now a monoblepsist. He and his wife were the only ones living in their home because the kids had gone to school. Each time the woman cooked, she would come back only to find an empty soup. Someone had come and stolen the meat inside. She would ask the husband what happened. He will tell her, “honey of the honeys, you and I were out. Before we came, they had stolen our meat. Why are you asking me? Wasn’t I your honorable and faithful husband with you? Do I have feathers to fly and come back?”
The woman was tired having her meat stolen from her soup, so she decided to poison it. After she cooked, they ate and she kept the rest. As they left, she told the husband that she had forgotten something at home, She came back home and poisoned the food. The husband did not know. On their way, he excused himself as usual that he was going into the bush to answer Nature’s call. The wife waited and waited. Tabe-Ngwaih ran home, ate the meat from the soup, tried to erase all evidence of the soup on him and joined back the wife. They had barely walked 5 miles when he began to scream, “My stomach, my stomach, Mami Atongho what did you put in that soup? Lucy, my wife, what did you put in that soup?” The wife thought that it was the same soup that they ate, so she explained to him that it could not be the soup they ate because she too ate the same soup, He cried again, “Mami Atongho are you the one killing me?” The wife was confused. She told him that the only soup she put something, was the one that they left behind, which he did not eat because she went back to put the poison when they had left. At that movement, Tabe-Ngwaih screamed in a threnody:
Hey menghemme bhe tuh wai me: selfishness is going to kill me
Hey menghemme eh: oh selfishness oh
Hey menghemme eh: oh selfishness oh
ghemme menghemme a wai chi mwet: a selfish person is killing but himself.
It was then that Mbintu heard that Tabe-Ngwai was dead, so he would have to change plans. The entire village was wondering why a man would decide to steal his own food. His greed was almost as if he was possessed by the spirit of Plutus. They elders used to say, “Greed may be delicious in the mouth, but it will kill you!”
©“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). "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). "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." Hamilton Ayuk. 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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